Back to RSS!

Back to RSS!

With the impending doom of third party reddit apps like Apollo I have found myself wondering, how will I discover news about the world and niche parts of it I care about? Having joined Reddit approximately 10 years ago, after the death of Google Reader, I had relied on it quite a bit to get news and follow updates for my favorite oper sourced software. So much so that I had allowed my collection of RSS feeds to die along with Reader. While I could of course continue to use Reddit via the first party applications, watching the CEO lie about developers, lie about its communication of plans to monetize the API, and effectively threaten the communities and moderators that help these communities thrive, I cannot see myself continuing to utilize a platform so hostile to its users. So my dive back into the world of RSS begins again!

Step one, find an adequate RSS reader. Aside from the fact that my views on Google(now Alphabet) have changed, Google reader is still dead, so I needed to find an application to use for RSS. Having lost everything before with Google Reader, and tried another centralized service like Feedly, my requirements were pretty specific: I want to control my data, I want the application to be open source, and I want the application to work on my iPhone and macOS devices. That definitely limited my options. And while there are plenty of self hosted, web based options out there, they lack the feel of a purpose built native application that I craved.

In my searches the first application I stumbled across was Raven Reader. Raven reader was a great desktop app. It's open source, your data is only synced off of your machine when you connect to third party accounts, but it lacks the iOS compatibility that I truly was looking for. However, for folks who just want/need a reader that works anywhere an Electron app works this may be the one stop shop that you need. Its a well polished app that does exactly what you expect from an RSS reader. For me, it was on to the next app.

While scrolling through the fediverse I happened upon someone talking about NetNewsWire. And this seemed to check all my boxes. It is open source, it allows you to completely control your data with multiple syncing options, and it has both native iOS and macOS apps! The apps have almost a dozen different options for staying in sync, including iCloud and the self hosted FreshRSS server, it has a Safari extension to make adding feeds a two click action, and in a surprise to me they explicitly state that they do not want your money. Instead, they have inspired me to write this blog post in the hope that it might somehow put this great app in front of someone else who is looking for a great new application for RSS.

Now that Ive found a wonderful app to use, the real hard part has begun: finding all of those sites to follow that can bring me a wide spread of views across an even wider set of niche areas. So if you know of RSS feeds worth following on the topics of homelabbing, open source software, great new apps, self hosting online services, containerization/micro-services, motorcycles, magic the gathering, and just technology and games in general please send them my way on either fosstodon or twitter. And thanks for reading through this rambling mess of a post. I am working on becoming a better/more frequent writer on things I am passionate about, so feel free to subscribe with your favorite RSS reader!

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