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Slashdot Asks: Do You Still Use RSS? 438

Real Site Syndication, or RSS has been around for over a decade but it never really managed to lure regular web users (though maybe it wasn't built to serve everyone). So much so that even Google cited declining usage of Google Reader, at one time the most popular RSS reader service, as one of the two reasons for shutting down the service. With an increasingly number of people looking at Facebook and Twitter for news, we thought it would be a good time to ask the following question: Do you use any RSS reader app? If yes, do you think it is still a good way to keep track of the "new stuff" that your favorite sites publish?
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Slashdot Asks: Do You Still Use RSS?

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  • RTS? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by superdave80 ( 1226592 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:02PM (#54335037)

    Real Time Syndication, or RSS

    How does Real Time Syndication become RSS? Should be RTS?

    • Re:RTS? (Score:5, Informative)

      by synaptik ( 125 ) * on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:06PM (#54335091) Homepage
      Because it's actually Rich Site Summary, or alternatively "Really Simple Syndication"
    • by CAOgdin ( 984672 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:51PM (#54335633)

      Only a professional cares, but Aaron Swartz named his product RSS, and it's still RSS.

      I live in RSS (Rssowl) every morning. I get all the news I need and can make selective choices about which ones I read (Google News, for instance, posts a lot of Sports crap I couldn't care less about, so I can see the title and know it's not worth my time to click.

      I'm dismayed by the number of sites that no longer provide RSS feeds (I'm looking at you, Daily Kos), and I'm disappointed that RSS aficionados are letting the RSS clients slide by without improvement (Rssowl v2.2.1 was last released at the end of 2013).

      We RSS BELIEVERS need to band together and tell the major sites they need to support RSS clients; the software's free, and they can still inject their ads!

    • Why, yes, I do still use Really Sloppy Slashdot. Isn't that obvious?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:03PM (#54335047)

    I've never understood why people have gone away from it. It's the most effective way to track a ton of websites in entirety. I think of my RSS feed as my morning newspaper. I follow literally hundreds of websites, journals, and blogs using it, and I can churn through it all in maybe twenty minutes at my keyboard each day on inoreader.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hey! ( 33014 )

      I think of my RSS feed as my morning newspaper.

      Well, there's your problem. The idea of starting your day with a cup of coffee and a broad sample of current events has gone the way of the dodo.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rdelsambuco ( 552369 )
        bullshit
    • by Nutria ( 679911 )

      I follow literally hundreds of websites ... using it, and I can churn through it all in maybe twenty minutes

      Then you don't really follow hundreds of websites, journals, and blogs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's the same as a newspaper. Skim headlines for pertinent articles. Read the articles that are relevant or interesting.

        I doubt most people that follow the New York Times read every single article they publish every single day. But I feel a lot better seeing the headlines and the first paragraph and deciding whether it pertains to me or not. Either way, I'm aware that those events are happening and being discussed.

    • by rdorn ( 2729595 )
      Same, I saw this article through RSS... I use outlook as my RSS reader. Allows me to check on recent events when I catch up on my inbox.
    • This was me, until this morning. I aggregated all my RSS feeds on an igHome page with multiple tabs- but they appear to have blanked out my account over the weekend- I'm just seeing generic crap now. Not my RSS feeds.

      Now I need to start all over again finding my feeds.

    • I use RSS to keep track of websites that change infrequently. I mean, I can just visit slashdot every day or when I feel like it, but I use RSS to get notified when some channel on youtube gets a new video or some blog gets a new article.

      I dislike getting the notifications to my email - I check my email more frequently, but may not be able to read the new article etc. OTOH, when I have the time, I open my RSS reader and get the notifications for all the new articles/videos then. I used Google Reader, now I

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by extra88 ( 1003 )

        I also switched to running TinyTinyRSS after Google Reader. I agree that RSS is very helpful for sites that update infrequently and/or at varied times. I also use it for frequently updated sites, it's so much faster to skim headlines and teasers with little to no ads in a feed reader; I tend to be a completist though so I have to fight the urge to skim everything.

        When Twitter dropped their RSS feeds, I added a little code takes a Twitter handle as a parameter and returns their tweets as RSS (I already had t

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      I think it went away because people (not me) just went to social media and use that as their aggregator.
    • by mpol ( 719243 )

      People often complained that RSS was too difficult and only for techies. But with a simple explanation and an "Aha" moment people would enjoy it.

      What I think the real reason is, is that it doesn't make the advertisers money. They want clicks and eyeballs, not RSS refreshes.
      Google Chrome doesn't support RSS feeds anymore, not in the standard build. Google Reader is gone. So you can guess where the advertisers are not wanting to go...
      My local newspaper just recently stopped providing RSS feeds. I quit reading

    • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @03:46PM (#54336151)

      Likewise, I got here via RSS.

      Before I say anything else, I'll shill by tossing in a glowing recommendation for Feedbin [feedbin.com]. I tested way too many clients after Google Reader went down, and it was far and away my favorite of the bunch. As a nice bonus, it's also open source and can be run on your own servers free of charge, but I've been a paid subscriber ever since Reader shut down. Well worth the $20/year I'm paying.

      Speaking more generally, the problem we all have is with surfacing the content we want to see. The content we want to see is constantly being published all around the web, but we lack the ability to know when and where it's getting published, so we need help finding it.

      As of today, we have a few options. We can rely on curated content (e.g. newspapers, BuzzFeed), which waste our time and attention with copious amounts of content that we have no interest in so that we can find the few nuggets that actually interest us. Alternatively, we can rely on content aggregators (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit), but content aggregation is rarely a money-maker, so each of those serves numerous other purposes (e.g. sharing jokes, posting cat pics, relaying personal messages), all of which add noise that detracts from simply consuming the news. Moreover, each of those sites interferes with the news in some ways (e.g. reordering or hiding content), making them unreliable if we want to have a holistic and accurate view of matters.

      Or, as a third option, we can rely on RSS and not have to make any of those compromises.

      With a newspaper or BuzzFeed, if I feel like I have to sift through too much cruft, I can either take it or leave it. But with RSS, I can effectively make my own newspaper by subscribing to exactly as many sites I want to, each of which narrowly covers a small subset of the topics I'm interested in. As a result, I have exactly as much new content as I want, and nearly each piece of new content is tailored specifically to my interests. Plus, I gain all the fine-grained controls (e.g. mark as unread, applying rules to filter news, being able to look through update statistics) that come with having technology that's dedicated to solving a specific problem, rather than being one part of a much larger, general-purpose platform like those other content aggregators.

      In fact, I've become so averse to sites that waste my time that if a site that posts new content doesn't offer an RSS feed, I simply don't visit it unless someone else links me to it. Nor do I apparently miss them, as I just learned when I went through my feeds and found that about a dozen of them hadn't had any updates in years, only one of which I had noticed was missing.

      And what do I do with all of that time I've saved? Waste it commenting on Slashdot, apparently.

      *sigh*

  • Yes, I do. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alexru ( 997870 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:03PM (#54335063)
    I would not be reading this if there was not RSS. I don't have time to manually check dozens of sites for updates.
    • Mod this up ;-) I use The Old Reader daily to get updates for software, blogs, comics, news, etc. I couldn't function without RSS/Atom.
  • Of Course (Score:3, Funny)

    by chrisautrey ( 1960196 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:04PM (#54335069)
    How else would I get my Slashdot article headers?
  • I use the Sage Plus plugin for Firefox, and the Feedburner link was how I got to this story.

    The real question is, will anyone get here via PointCast?

  • Feedly is a godsend (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bigdady92 ( 635263 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:06PM (#54335099) Homepage
    When the Google reader went away I scrambled to find a replacement. Feedly is by far the best replacement of the bunch and I have paid for all their services to support them.

    RSS is far from dead.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:07PM (#54335101)

    RIP Google Reader.

    Fuck you, Google.

  • by markus ( 2264 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:08PM (#54335119) Homepage

    When iGoogle went away, I whipped up a quick little Javascript that does essentially the same thing. My home page is a collection of RSS feeds. And yes, that's pretty much how I find all the news that I read.

    • by beernutz ( 16190 )

      I would love to see what you came up with if you don't mind sharing. Would like to be less dependent on other sites for my feeds.

    • When iGoogle went away, I whipped up a quick little Javascript that does essentially the same thing.Man, I would pay for a good, functional iGoogle clone I haven't been completely happy with any of try-hard replacements.

      I had such a nice setup in iGoogle. My Gmail account, several RSS feeds, weather, sports. I mean, it was sweet. I've tried every goddamn new "iGoogle-lite" that's come along. I was using Awesome New Tab Page, until they broke the RSS readers and never fixed them. Currently, I'm using s

  • Yes Yes

    Next.

  • Yes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mseeger ( 40923 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:10PM (#54335141)

    I still use RSS for about 50 feeds with about 400 articles a day. The problem are the sources.

    The quality is declining. Some feeds only deliver the teaser and a link to the article on the web site.

    Even when I offer money, nearly no newspaper is able to deliver a full RSS stream :-(.

    • by solios ( 53048 )

      I tried RSS back in the late aughts - problem was, nearly everything I read at the time was a webcomic, and their RSS feeds amounted to little more than update notifications. Full syndication was rare then, I can't imagine how rare it is now.

      Do I use RSS? No. But the feed on my webcomic [amongthechosen.com] has gotten over 8,000 hits since I added a redirect from the old feed location a few weeks ago, so it's definitely still in use.

      • by RyoShin ( 610051 )

        Yeah, a lot of webcomics just use as a notification system... but I'm fine with that. I only find it a very minor annoyance to open a new tab (and no more than opening a new tab for a Slashdot post so I can read the comments!) Better than nothing, and I've stopped reading some webcomics completely because they didn't offer an RSS feed at all and I didn't find it worth my time to make an extra effort to visit them regularly (even when they have a consistent update schedule.)

        Actually, considering what a lot o

    • Similar situation here. I do have less subscriptions to RSS feeds than OP, but I do still use them. Feedly is aggregating these feeds and synching what I do on mobile and what I do on the desktop. As reported, a few of these feeds are just a link to the website, a few others have the first two or three paragraphs without any image, and the few remaining have the whole article in there. Webcomics are a mixed bag. Dilbert RSS included the webcomic in the past, but it is now a link to the website. XKCD still s
      • by mseeger ( 40923 )

        I use Feedly too due to it's good cross platform support.

        Also I appreciate how people like Randall Munroe handle the streams compared to someone like Scott Adams. I try to keep that in mind, when I put down money somewhere...

    • Some feeds only deliver the teaser and a link to the article on the web site.

      This is precisely why I stopped using it.

  • by dogrio ( 136643 )

    Yes, using https://newsblur.com/. It's a very convenient way to keep up with sites of interest.

  • I have a couple of web sites that people visit to get industry news. I use RSS to collect the official posts from a lot of the companies in those industries so I can republish them on my site. Both readers and publishers (e.g., vendors) report this is nice.

    That's pretty much what RSS was designed to do...right?
  • Yup. The Old Reader (Score:5, Informative)

    by kwerle ( 39371 ) <kurt@CircleW.org> on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:11PM (#54335161) Homepage Journal

    http://theoldreader.com/ [theoldreader.com]

  • by ngc5194 ( 847747 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:12PM (#54335179)

    Yes and yes. It fills a need for content aggregation/summary better than any other technology, especially for tracking low volume/high quality sources.

    Apropos of nothing, the recent ad placements on /. really, really suck. They cover so much content and take up so much screen real estate. I don't begrudge any site the need for ads, but seriously, it makes me much less likely to visit the site.

  • All day, every day, w/ TT-RSS. I've got an RSS search engine bookmarked, and I even use a Twitter to RSS service so I can get a few relevant twitter feeds without the clutter of their horrific interface. With Facebook, news curates you!!! (hahahaha)
  • Clicks live (RSS) bookmark for Slashdot on toolbar.

    Notices story at top of list- "Slashdot Asks: Do You Still Use RSS?"- and clicks to find out more.

    Thinks "I guess that's a yes, then".
  • I have a number of RSS feeds in Feedly, but I rarely if ever check it, using the "Twitter will tell me if I need to know" method instead.

  • Yes (Score:4, Informative)

    by Burz ( 138833 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:15PM (#54335217) Homepage Journal

    I use Liferea to collect feeds. IMO, its a simple but enabling technology... a lot better than cramming everything into centralized locations like Facebook.

  • Most (if not all) RSS clients suck. I'm receiving stuff that normally would be found in a newspaper, why is there no option for a newspaper display option (Columns, pictures, organized with the headlines and first several lines to paragraphs with a link to continue reading more on something that catches your eye?)? Then there's the other problem: there is no standard for what is published via RSS: if I want to put together a page filled only with the latest comics from the web, Dilbert might publish just th

  • by Deth_Master ( 598324 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:17PM (#54335237) Homepage Journal
    Yep. I've been using TinyTiny RSS (https://tt-rss.org/) since the Original Google Reader went away. Syndicated webcomics is the way to go for those. Hosting my own, and paid for the Android APP. For news, I've not come up with a great solution.
  • I use gReader every day. I have RSS feeds from news sites, tech blogs, and some forums. I even manually browse to the RSS feed of a few forums I use, just to more conveniently see all the new posts. I find forums to be cumbersome and clumsy for discussions. I much prefer email lists or nntp. But RSS feeds make it a tiny bit more usable for me, at least for lower volume forums with lots of little subforums that I'd rather not visit individually.

    Google has a long history of taking useful things and then j

  • by vistic ( 556838 )

    I saw this article via RSS.

  • I still use RSS feeds to get most of my headlines. After iGoogle bit the dust I moved over to ustart.org and it's been my homepage since. I have noticed that as sites go though upgrades RSS feeds are getting dropped more often than not these days. I've removed quite a few dead feeds for popular sites over the past 2 years due to this unfortunately. I imagine eventually it will disappear to the point it will become functionally extinct.

    It's sad the about-face most big sites have taken over the past 15 yea
  • by Ramze ( 640788 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:20PM (#54335265)

    I used to use RSS back when it was integrated into Firefox. I could hover over the RSS link for Slashdot and several other sites and see the headlines for the newest articles which I could click to read. Somehow, somewhere along the way, that functionality went away, and I haven't used it since.

    I thought it was awesome, and I didn't really care about these "RSS readers" out there b/c I had what I wanted built into my browser.

    Not everyone uses tech the same way, and when this way disappeared, RSS became dead to me at least.

  • I pretty much only read slashdot on it now. Even that is questionable....how does the S2 android app read the news feed? I am only assuming it uses RSS.

  • I like an online reader because I use it from multiple computers with multiple operating systems, and I never have to worry about syncing what articles I've already seen and/or starred. My current favorite is Inoreader [inoreader.com], but I've used The Old Reader [theoldreader.com] and Feedly [feedly.com] before, and they get the job done as well.

    My feeds are Associated Press, Denver Post, Ars, Slashdot, Boing Boing, Kottke, AV Club, and a handful of web comics that I like. I can skim the headlines, and if there are articles I want to read later, I us

    • InoReader is awesome enough I shelled out the annual pro fee to support them. I don't want that one going away!

  • ...in fact, I saw this news item in my RSS reader, Feedly.

    I can't think of a web site that I use regularly that doesn't provide a RSS feed.

  • Yes, I still use RSS - I get it in Outlook 2016 and I use a search folder called "Today" that aggregates my RSS items & emails into a single view.
  • Offers RSS feeds for any search you want to define. If you're looking to buy something it's easy to setup to get notifications when something comes up.

  • by m0gely ( 1554053 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:25PM (#54335339)
    This is probably the single reason why FF is still my primary browser, though I'm happy with it otherwise. It's the best way to peruse headlines because you never have to visit the site. It's probably saved my eyes from more distraction than any other feature I can think of.
  • So, yes.

  • Podcasts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:26PM (#54335351) Homepage Journal

    I think all of my podcasts come in on RSS feeds at this point. I run a video to audio conversion site for one TV program and the RSS feed is the only way anybody gets the audio (they could just play the video file if they were web-constrained).

    Everybody I know who has tried serious podcatching for news has stopped listening to broadcast radio for it.

  • I use a self-hosted Tiny Tiny RSS as my main source of news for:

    * blogs
    * slashdot
    * YouTube channel uploads
    * xkcd
    * and so on....

    Do people actually expect to go clicking on each site they visit each day to see updates?

  • I use it for casual reading of entertainment (Feedly client):
    Not Always Right
    xkcd
    etc

    And I use it in the form of Podcasts for personal and professional (BeyondPod for Android).

  • Google killing Reader was the last straw in me building around their services... It was the one thing of theirs I went to every day, more than email (at least via the gmail web interface...

    I use Feedly now, via an app on my iPhone and Mac, and RSS is still my go-to means for gathering the news of the day for filtering and eventually consuming news. If I had to go hit various sites to find content, I'd pretty much be down to one or two sites a day, and the breadth of my view would be diminished.
  • I use it every day. Firefox treats an RSS feed as a live bookmark on the toolbar. It's the perfect way to access news sites. I use it to read Slashdot, Ars Technica and a handful of other news related websites.

    I don't think I'd bother if I had to use something other than a web browser to effectively use RSS feeds.


    screenshot [photobucket.com]
  • I stopped using RSS on July 2, 2013 when Google Reader was powered down.

  • Everyday. Right now, even.

  • There is no real replacement for that.

  • If you're a blogger who likes to get the latest news direct from multiple sources then it comes in handy. I know I use it for that purpose.

  • Yes, and I also use CSS.

    But that seems to be screwed on Slashdot right now...

    a.fsdn.com uses an invalid security certificate.

    Related?

  • Yes. I have an RSS reader in Chrome that tracks about two dozen RSS feeds that I use multiple times each day.
    I don't know anything that comes even close to RSS for uncluttered and highly targeted news delivery.
    I love RSS for all the same reasons marketeers hate it.

  • by crow ( 16139 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @02:45PM (#54335565) Homepage Journal

    Aren't the Slashboxes you can configure on the right column of Slashdot powered by RSS feeds? I use those daily. (Unfortunately, the "Sci-Fi News" box is stuck with data from over a year ago.)

  • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

    Besteht way to keep all news in one app.

  • All my websites RSS feeds are set up to use FeedBurner. Google no longer does AdSense for FeedBurner and has abandoned FeedBurner for several years. I'm looking at alternatives.

    http://www.wpbeginner.com/opinion/stop-using-feedburner-move-to-feedburner-alternatives/ [wpbeginner.com]

  • I subscribe to several repos at GitHub. When a new release comes out, I know. It's really helpful to help keeping things up-to-date. I use Thunderbird to subscribe to the feeds. On the personal/fun side, I subscribe to a few Tumblrs.

    RSS is useful to keep track of blog like sites that are update infrequently. I don't want to check the site everyday, but an RSS feed allows me to easily.

  • Yes and Yes. And even though it wasn't asked, I use Feedly and check it twice a day minimum.
    For me RSS was the channel to construct my own news aggregate into a single source and not having to surf a dozen plus other sites. The only reason I still use Slashsot is for the witty, snarky, and insightful posts from the readers.
  • by vanyel ( 28049 )

    I use it to read slashdot, several websites and to get a number of tv shows.

  • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

    Best way to keep all news in one app.

  • Its far more convenient to look at news from multiple sources in one interface.

    There are also a bunch of sites I see articles from via RSS, in Feedly, that I would never bother visiting individually.

  • Yes. I use Digg Reader. And the CTO of Digg replies when I Tweet that there is a problem with the service. And years after they opened it they still provide the service for free and without any visible attempt to monetize it.

    Also, notably this is the first time I read a /\?$/ headline where the answer wasn't no. Actually when I read headlines with question marks my bicameral mind (the "reading voice"?) automatically reads a no at the end of headlines with a question mark. As in: "Can McDonald's finally make

  • ... because hipsters want you to use Twitter, because is "cool".
  • Is there a way to read multiple RSS feeds on a single page using my browser?
    No, I do not want to make an account on somebody's web site which combines feeds for me, I just want an application or web browser plugin that does it for me.
    Thanks for any help.

  • Every day. Multiple times per day. I run TT-RSS, and access it from any browser, or if I have to kill some time, from the mobile version on my phone.

    I’m still not sure how people get “news” from Twitter or Facebook, unless they literally spend all day on Twitter or Facebook. And why wait for people to sometimes post a link to a good article (between sharing their meals, games, and personal activities) when I can get it right from the source?

  • I'm an old fart, but the VAST majority of my internet consumption is via RSS. Loved Google Reader until they kneecapped it. Switched over to Feedly after Reader's untimely death.

    I rarely have to leave Feedly, and thus never notice when sites like /. fubar their CSS file (like they apparently have today)

  • I made a program back in 2006 which I still maintain and use. It displays RSS headlines on scrolling LED signs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    https://www.kitchi-rss.com/ [kitchi-rss.com]

  • It's still simply the most efficient way to stay on top of various news streams. Neither twitter nor facebook (or Google+) can compete with that. I'm using netvibes to collect them.

  • I use Tiny Tiny RSS (http://tt-rss.org). Better than Google Reader, self hosted, keeps track of article status across multiple browser and app instances, allows to extract the message body from the web page using XPATH expressions.

    Can't imagine life without it.

  • The question should really just be a poll. Since that's essentially what it is anyway. Yes, I use it daily - I was bummed when iGoogle was shut down, but use a similar alternative now, checking it several times a day and using it as my seach page occasionally. I haven't seen any better alternatives.

  • Took me some time to digest Google Reader end of life. Initially tried some RSS reader before falling in love with Inoreader (web and app), it's my main source of news with the sites/blogs I follow.

  • I have a Feedly (Pro) tab opened any time my PC is open. The vast majority of content I consume comes through this. The two most notable exceptions are Facebook and Twitter, two things that I find it almost impossible to keep up with because of a) no RSS and b) algorithms constantly juggling how things appear in the timeline.

    I literally have no idea how regular people consume content. I can only assume the vast majority of it comes through their social networks these days.

  • I can't imagine life without it!
  • I use RSS and it's a lifesaver. I do not use for tracking news sites, but to track software updates in Slackware and other projects I follow. It's very useful and convenient.

    Since I use KDE, I have a simple RSS Plasma Extension installed for that. Whenever there's an update which interests me, I get a notification. Before that I used the RSS plugin for Claws Mail.

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