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July 21, 2024 - @73.13 (what is this?)
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Author Topic: Does anyone know what an RSS feed is?  (Read 635 times)
hellodreamymiku
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« on: September 01, 2023 @465.52 »

Hi everyone, I've been trying to separate my time online from social media to a more decentralized and academia focused surfing, I want to read blog posts and articles posted on the internet that have actual meaningful value, keeps me up to date with the world and is far from hate speech/sludge content so that I can learn something important from it. I asked chatgpt for some suggestions on sites I can go and read blogs from and it suggested that I subscribe to RSS feeds to keep up with sites and find content to read. I know chatgpt isn't the best "search engine" to discover parts of the web, still the suggestion on RSS feeds actually grabbed my interest and for the past hour I've been trying to figure out exactly what it is and how to use it. So far my understanding goes like this; theres rss which is a technology that grabs the latest news/content from websites and puts them together on a file, which can be read from an rss reader which kinda looks like an email inbox. Please tell me if my understanding of it was flawed. I still don't know if websites still use rss because I remember seeing the orange icon of rss ever since I was a child I just thought it was unimportant and never learned what it means, maybe it's been too long and there's no point in using an rss feed in 2023? I'd like to hear what you guys have to say about RSS. Do you use rss to have a feed outside of social media? Do you like it/is it still worth it in 2023?
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2023 @475.82 »

Of course  :grin: We actually have an RSS guide on the wiki you might find useful (you might even be able to add to it) - https://wiki.melonland.net/rss_guide

Personally I use it for following this forum, and a number of personal blogs people write! (If you run a blog I think it’s really important to offer reliable RSS) :unite:

Edit: there is also a thread where you can share feeds you enjoy! https://forum.melonland.net/index.php?topic=307.msg1915#msg1915
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hellodreamymiku
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2023 @535.13 »

Thanks a lot melon!!! :transport: What a nice way to recieve news, seems exciting >.<
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2023 @560.00 »

Just about every website that runs WordPress provides a RSS feed. It's an undead technology. It's "dead" in the sense that it isn't commercially useful -- you can't reliably track or advertise to RSS subscribers -- but a lot of people still use it.

You could be one of them if you want.

And even though I'm reworking my site to get away from the blog pattern, I still intend to provide full-text and headlines-only Atom feeds (Atom being a successor standard to RSS; your reader can probably handle both.)
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desbest
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2024 @337.25 »

Millenial Me: Do you even surf the web?
Zoomer teenager: I scroll the web  :tongue:

I use Selfoss as an RSS reader, it's free. I think the best paid one is Newsblur.

Also I pay for Feedpress to host all my RSS feeds for all my websites, as I've replaced all the built-in wordpress RSS feeds with the paid Newsblur feeds.

The social media websites removed all their RSS feeds, as they've moved from an "ecosystem" to a "walled garden" but there is now a makeshift way to get that back at RSSHub
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Paprika
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2024 @380.88 »

Yeah I'm actually trying to make an RSS feed for my blog so people can enjoy it without coming back every week but I'm quite bad at coding so it's gonna take a lot of time to make !
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Dreamwings
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2024 @567.57 »

and for the past hour I've been trying to figure out exactly what it is and how to use it. So far my understanding goes like this; theres rss which is a technology that grabs the latest news/content from websites and puts them together on a file, which can be read from an rss reader which kinda looks like an email inbox. Please tell me if my understanding of it was flawed.

Your idea is close but not quite.
RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" (my favorite genre of acronym, the one that looks like it stands for something really cool but its actually just a meme, like PGP Encryption (Pretty Good Privacy)). It isn't one file that collects multiple files over the web that is then read by another program. It is basically just an .xml file with a dated list of items inside of it and some extra metadata. Whenever a new post for the website or page it belongs to comes out, either manually or automatically that feed is then updated with the new item. This is also where the feed readers come into play. You point your feed reader to the feed via address (DON'T download it. It might try to download itself sometimes if its improperly set up. It won't work if you download it). Every so often, at an interval you set, that feed reader checks the .xml you linked hosted on the page. If there is a new item, it then will notify you. It's basically just really primitive notifications but it works well.

I still don't know if websites still use rss because I remember seeing the orange icon of rss ever since I was a child I just thought it was unimportant and never learned what it means, maybe it's been too long and there's no point in using an rss feed in 2023? I'd like to hear what you guys have to say about RSS. Do you use rss to have a feed outside of social media? Do you like it/is it still worth it in 2023?
RSS still exists today. Not all social media sites have it still but a lot do. Off the top of my head...
  • Neocities has RSS feeds on every website that track updates
  • Tumblr still uses RSS feeds (very helpful for seeing updates on fave blogs without having to log in)
  • Webtoon and Tapas still have the RSS feed functionality (though Tapas hides theirs. You can restore it with an extension.)
  • A lot of Wordpress blogs have them built in since they came with the package
  • Bearblogs have RSS feeds.
  • Dreamwidth blogs hav RSS feeds
  • This forum has an RSS feed (tried subbbing to it once but it was going too fast for me)
  • If a site is none of those things, sometimes the webmaster will just hand-update their own for whatever and link
Very often used for blogs or things that update sequentially like comics and such since that is what they're best suited for, but they can also just give updates on things in general (like in the use case with Neocities).
As for using them, I do actually. My feed reader opens as soon as I turn on my computer. Its a much better experience than manually checking favorite websites for new blog updates, comics, etc (that is why they were invented). Also, indiependance, indiependance and open standards for webness are very nice.
If you need recommendations, since everyone else is dropping theirs. I personally use Liferea (linux exclusive though so unless you want to become one of the penguins or maybe build it yourselfff... probably not very helpful) and I used to use Feedbro (I know the site looks suspect af but its genuinly like, good. No nonesense, everything is laid out, simple, no weird data collection policies like Feeder, etc). Dedicated or extension really depends on what you're using but generally I'd say get whatever would be in front of your face. For me, since at the time I was testing around and switching software a lot, extension in my webbrowser wasn't working for me anymore but before it was, since it was in my face in the corner of my screen. So I have Liferea which starts open and then minimixes itself when I close out so that way I can see the little notif number when something happens and check it.
Alsoo, alternatively, if you're already using it, Thunderbird/Betterbird also has a feed reader inside of it. Now I wouldn't nessicerily recommend it as only a feed reader since it's literally an email client (or maybe more of a general communications client at this point), but moreso if youre already using it.
Not me writing all of this out and then realizing that this post is from Sept from last year uhhh anywayyyyysss
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varve
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2024 @689.50 »

I definitely still use RSS! I don't use a specific "feed reader" as such; I use baRSS (mac only) which aggregates the feeds and shows new items, and when I select one to read it kicks it over to my web browser. baRSS lives in the system toolbar, hence the name :)

For finding feeds to follow, if your browser shows the RSS icon in the address bar when a website has one, you're set, just subscribe from there when you visit the site. If not, such as Firefox removing that feature, you can grab a browser extension. I use "Want My RSS" firefox extension to get the simple feed identification back, and set it up to subscribe via baRSS instead of one of the web-based RSS reader sites.

For finding sites at all though...

feedle both searches many sites that have RSS feeds and also gives topic-based RSS feeds: basically, its search results are an RSS feed itself!

indieblog.page has a set of random RSS feeds which you can subscribe to, with however many per day or week you want to see.
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