Stepping back from RSS

I was an RSS fanatic from way back. But lately I’m cutting back. Instead, I’m more often just going to news websites and subscribing to newsletters.

Newsletters end. Like reading a newspaper back in the day. RSS never ends. You’re never caught up.

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BTW, I subscribed to 35+ newsletters one day last week on a binge. This may not have been a great idea lol.


Huh. RSS works opposite for me.

ME BEFORE: checks blogs every 5 mins to see if there is a new article

ME AFTER FINDING RSS: knows when articles come out from notification and doesn’t get unecessary distractions


I fully go through my feeds in about 60-90 minutes a week. It can be done!

I do like newsletters, though, and I’ve been subscribing to more since moving my personal email to Hey. Hey’s The Feed is a really low stress way of accumulating them, and feels a bit nicer than doing email-to-RSS in my reader.


I haven’t quit RSS. I check it a few times a week.

I need to further organize my feeds to get more value from them.

RSS isn’t a great way to keep up on breaking news, though. Better to choose feeds carefully and subscribe to medium- or low-volume feeds, rather than high-volume stuff like CNN, Yahoo news, etc.

yeah, definitely not meant for news.

RSS is my preferred way to keep up on new items of interest, and my RSS reader (Reeder) is my go-to app for incoming stuff.

I do have newsletter subscriptions, but I found them a bit challenging to keep up on in my regular mail; I don’t want my mail app filled with things I might want to spend time reading, I want to get into and out of my mail app as quickly as possible, and keep it as clear as possible for active communications.

I’ve tried Stoop and Slick inbox. Both very useful, but using either of them essentially means one more inbox to develop a habit of clearing down. Then I found Kill The Newsletter and everything made sense. Newsletters now arrive in Reeder alongside my RSS feeds.

If I can just find an easy way to create RSS feeds for some of my Twitter lists, I’ll achieve reading-inbox-nirvana. :wink:

As far as reviewing my feeds goes: pretty much once a day, in a single sweep. I’ve set that for manual rather than background refresh so I don’t have “new/unread items” notifications to draw me into constant checking. During review, I push interesting items to read later, then flip over to my read later stack and pick a few items from there— whatever particularly interests me in the moment, or run a shortcut to grab a random item. Weekends, I try to stick to my read later stack— to spend more time with what I have, and take a break from constantly adding new stuff to the pile.

Of course, our respective experiences of RSS will also be impacted by the kinds of materials we’re subscribing to…

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You can read your twitter feeds in Inoreader. You can also have newsletters forwarded there.

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I have the opposite problem. I can’t seem to build RSS any kind of routine.

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Why do you need a routine? I am subscribed to over 1,500 RSS feeds and currently have over 10,000 unread new items from two dozen categories - I usually read everything in two of those categories (or I drill down to a specfic site’s feed), and I skim some of the rest, or search… then I mark everything as read and move on.

Just as Twitter is a firehose of tweets, RSS is as well. You read what interests you, while knowing that you won’t read everything, nor is it incumbent on you to. I pay $36/yr for a feed service for real-time RSS, searching, tags, training the service to star specific topics/sites/authors, and it can even track sites that don’t have RSS feeds, like Twitter and YouTube and newsletters. And just because it has this power doesn’t mean I need to be a slave to it.

If it’s entertaining or valuable yet not for work who needs a routine?


Oh. I just need to do a better job of finding the time to get in there. I haven’t looked at it in weeks.

My preference is that email is something actionable or time sensitive and rss is content to be read or used in research. Use the best tool for how you think about it. It’s easier for me to bucket and read rss when I have the time.


If I can just find an easy way to create RSS feeds for some of my Twitter lists, I’ll achieve reading-inbox-nirvana.

Feedly introduced that yesterday:

But only for the (expensive) Pro+ plan?

Given my OCD nature, that would have me in a straight jacket in short order!

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The idea of RSS for me is to offer a one-stop shop of the types of info I am interest in from sources I’ve decided I wanted to hear from. That doesn’t mean that I want or need to read anything… or could even if I wanted to. Then again, I don’t have OCD.

Similarly, I follow several thousand Twitter accounts but rarely actually visit the site, intead relying on and its iOS app to show me the most commonly shared links by people I follow (who are themselves broken down into Twitter lists). This gives me a way to sift through Twitter folk and sites I respect to see what’s important and new (Nuzzel lets you sort by the last X number of hours and the related tweet, as well as show you what ‘Friends of Friends’ are sharing. And with a click I can send any article to my preferred Read It Later service, all for free. Here’s the 1st two results from the top-shared stories in the last 2 hours from the 200 accounts in my Health section

and if I extend the search to the last 24 hours:

It shows what people are sharing, and who they might also be sharing, and in their tweets often their opinions on the material being shared. It’s a fast way to mainline not only curated news but opinions about that news.

There’s no way to do this with RSS, yet RSS offers a different kind of complementary news stream, with different sources. I have 246 unread posts in RSS in my Health section, easily skimmable in reverse chronological order and readable in ad-free Reader mode.

It takes a little time to set up, and a little self-control not to go down too many rabbit holes. (I visit random Wikipedia pages for that!)

“Why do you need a routine? I am subscribed to over 1,500 RSS feeds and currently have over 10,000 unread new items from two dozen categories…”

There is only 1440 minutes in 24 hours.

…I used to over subscribe to RSS…I ditched it and go for a walk with the dog or do some gardening instead…

The point is that unless you need to access feeds and news for work there’s no point in ‘building an RSS routine’ - RSS is a convenience that does not require one unless needed for work. I’m glad you fixed your oversubscription problem but as I’ve noted, for me, RSS and other sifting mechanisms like Nuzzel are time savers and I’m not oversubscribed to anything.

It sounds like you’ve subscribed to too much content, either that or you’re not using smart filters.

I subscribe to this as well. Emails are not for newsletters or general casual reading material. Everyone seems to be subscribing to newsletters but I am certain my email inbox is not the place for it.

All my newsletters, website rss and twitter, reddit, youtube is in Feedbin. You have to remember, you only add things that you want to read or are interested. Because the bigger this content box is, the harder it will be to keep on top of it and difficult to find articles or content you actually want to consume.

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@bowline I’m not actually OCD clinically speaking, I’m just a neat-nick; I even keep my digital trash bins empty. :smile: There is zero paper on my desk, the SUV is immaculate inside and out, and to my wife’s delight I never leave my clothes laying around—but she would be quick to note that doesn’t make up for my other faults! :slight_smile:

Given your extensive use I can’t imagine anyone with a better perspective on the best reader to use. What do you recommend for a reader when 99% of the reading will be
on the iPad? What feed service do you use? You have probably mentioned both but I’ve missed it.