“Before Twitter, before algorithmic timelines filtered our reality for us, before surveillance capitalism, there was RSS: Really Simple Syndication … As we move away from the centralised web to the peer web, it’s time to rediscover, re-embrace, and reclaim RSS.”
@aral “The more ways people have of consuming your content, the more resilient that content becomes and the more freedom people have. Duplicate content? Yes, please. The more the better!”
But exactly. I've never stopped using it, and have always made a point of providing full RSS (vs. partial-as-bait-to-make-people-come-to-the-site).
@xj @aral Right. And that FLOSS doesn't even remotely compete here anymore: People using Twitter or Facebook don't want to choose a certain software - they use a turn-key service instead that of course in some way relies on bits and bytes but has its advantage in *just* being available without any learning or administration effort. From that point of view, FLOSS that requires you to think about hosting, backup, availability, ... is just set to lose. :(
@aral Should we take on reclaiming #RSS, or should we rather try focussing on technologies such as #activitypup to replace #RSS? For what I remember, one of the total drawbacks of #RSS was that it wasn't in any way interactive whereas Twitter and related platforms allowed for comments and discussion starting with day one.
@aral I know. :) Just wondered whether, in an #activitypub world, #RSS is still required - except for being a "simpler" standard, does it provide any features that can't be done with #activitypub as well? I wonder because right now I see a lot of blogs moving away from dynamic web hostings and quite some of them end up offering #RSS for syndication - and embedding platform such as #disqus because comments.. ;)
@aral The techie in me agrees wholeheartedly. Looking at end users however (the crowd that still mostly remains on Twitter and seems quite hesitant when it comes to changing tools), I wonder whether too many alternative technical approaches at hand are a benefit or more of a hazard. #fediverse seems a viable, agreeable solution so why not fully focussing on that at least for a while? ;)
@notclacke @aral Sounds valid. Well, maybe at the heart of things, I'd like to see a *meaningful* mix of protocols providing an end-user experience as good and well-integrated as somewhat possible (Twitter and Facebook are the benchmark here) while reducing the need to make decisions between different implementations of the same "use case" to a bare minimum. There's "always more than one way to do it", but there shouldn't be too many... ;)
@z428 @aral With Disqus, Google+ and spot.im using an URL as the key for a discussion, all we need would be an RSS reader, that implements these discussion sites. And these sites allowing access to the comments from multiple accounts (e.g. if the website owner also implemented Disqus already - don't know if you could still see the conversations from a different account).
Yes! Starting to see more people talking about the usefulness of RSS.
@aral Thanks for your post! I think it speaks to the best part of web culture how RSS is still around depsite the best efforts of large social media platforms to kill it.
Isn't it still good practice to put a <link> in your HTML too, to let RSS clients know where your feed is?
@aral I've spent a bit too much time over the past few days writing a CSS sanitiser that reads from rsstail (using my newsboat url list)andfeeds xrootconsole, the xscreensaver phosphor hack, or a terminal, with ANSI highlighting and other bits.
Very hackish awk.
We didn't rss. Publisher did.
They want stats, ads, targeted ads, private data & engagement. All this stuff required their users to move from rss to social networks.
They first put only part of the content in the RSS then completely removed it after they could push content to their user smartphones.
Websites without ads or paywall have not stop providing full RSS. Why don't do read these ?
@aral Firefox still has the RSS feed button, it's just not in the default UI.
Also some (mostly commercial) sites do deliver tracking pixels linked from their RSS feeds, which kinda defeats the idea of not being tracked...
Some still publish their feeds through FeedBurner, providing usage information for the Google surveillance machine. Fat RSS feeds do create quite a bit of traffic on popular sites, as each client reloads the full file on each access... No real incremental updates...
@galaxis @aral There are ways around it, though. Leaner feeds (don’t go back far in time), add pagination via https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5005#appendix-B and make sure client and server use HTTP caching (simple use of if-modified-since headers and 304 responses). These already help a lot. The next step is caching the RSS to a file and letting the web server handle it. I had to do all this for Emacs Wiki, years ago.
@aral RSS is only relevant to blogs, and blogs aren't the Web. Blogs *ruined* the Web.
@aral have you considered using a clearer term than "RSS"? For me, I know when you say "RSS" you're really talking about a group of related syndication technologies that include Atom, but I wonder if others reading this without the historical context might come to the mistaken conclusion that deploying more non-Atom feed setups is a good idea.
@aral The things that are happening now like ActivityPub, DAT etc reminds me of the semantic web days with PubSubHubbub, Microformats, Atom/RSS, FOAF(+SSL) etc but with newer technologies. Seems that the silo monopoly that replaced the semantic web is being demolished. Interesting times!
@mjjzf @aral That's a good point actually: It could have been done for XMPP. But it unfortunately hasn't. Same about the desktop UI or the usability for, say, ad hoc group chats or sharing and finding inline media. A load about Slack is about trivial, obvious usability stuff. It all could have done with XMPP too, but Slack *did* it. And so a load of people use Slack (where a load of these features are just there) rather than XMPP (where a load of these features *could* be there). :(