Back in the R.S.S.


tl;dr – Subscribe to my shared feed of blog posts I find interesting here. Expect a mix of comic book news, digital culture and technology. You know, the same stuff as this blog and podcast.

When Google Reader shut down and many people were scrambling to migrate to another system, I didn’t. My reaction was similar to that home organization technique. I squirreled away my subscription list off somewhere, and waited until I missed it. I didn’t, not for a long time.

Eventually I came across a reference via Thomas Gideon that he is using Tiny Tiny RSS. It is a self-hosted version of a Google Reader-like RSS reader system. I was into this as 13 years ago, I used a similar style system when I first got my own hosted box.

The first complication was that I could no longer find my squirreled away subscription list. I decided that wasn’t even a big problem and I took it as an opportunity to start from complete scratch. I subscribed to a couple of things, including Thomas’ public feed from his own instance, and away I went. One thing TTRSS is very good at is feed discovery. If you find a blog post anywhere, like from someone else’s feed, and just put that post’s URL in the subscribe field it will find the right feed. It has never failed for me on any site so far. Standardized headers for that are pretty much ubiquitous now so that job is much easier than it once was.

One of the things I liked best about Google Reader is that you could star and/or share individual posts and I did both. I also subscribed to other people’s shared feeds and discovered posts and blogs to follow that way. It was a nice, virtuous cycle. TTRSS has all of that functionality, and I am publishing articles to my shared feed as well.

Another nice thing about TTRSS is that it has a pretty good Android client for reading on your phone. In fact, I prefer the phone interface to the web although I use them both depending on what I’m sitting at.

I don’t spend nearly the time reading the blogosphere as I once did, but it feels good to get back into this world. RSS and the interconnected blog world it enables is too good an ecosystem to let wither and die. Let’s prove the “RSS is dead” prognosticators wrong by

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

13 thoughts on “Back in the R.S.S.”

  1. Welcome to tt-rrs, sir! It has become indispensable to me, even more so than Reader ever was. The Android client is a delight!

  2. I’ve been using tt-rss since Google Reader shut down, too. I’m very happy with it.

  3. Dave Slusher says:

    +Heiko Niemeier and +Ken Kennedy , are you both sharing public feeds? If so, lay the URLs on me please.

  4. I didn’t yet, but I will start now. Expect to find a few german language articles every now and then, though:

  5. I set up a new category just for feeds like all of yours and subscribed. Curious to be exposed hopefully to new some new stories and sources.

  6. Ken Kennedy says:

    I do definitely share articles, but it’s been hit or miss for the most part. IIRC, I was thinking about putting a widget on my site sidebar showing recently shared stories, but never got around to that. But I think this is actually better…sharing things I enjoyed with people I like! I agree…I expect I’ll be doing more consistent sharing in the future now.

  7. Dave Slusher says:

    Thomas, I did the same thing. I created a “Shared Feeds” category for all these. I hope to find more. There is an interesting dynamic in a healthy sharing ecosystem. For example, I don’t subscribe to any tech news sites assuming that anything important I will get from you. Presumably, you will get all the comic book news you need from me. Years ago I unsubscribed from Boing Boing because at the time, I was getting way more Disney and thumb-drives-that-look-like-sushi stories than I wanted. I assumed that the really impactful articles would float around elsewhere and I’d eventually see them. I let the blogosphere be my filter, the way a wetlands is for ground water.

  8. Ken Kennedy says:

    I’m also going to set that up…sounds like a great idea. Your BB comment really reverberates, Dave…I still haven’t unsubscribed, but I’ve done a lot of “Mark Read Older than a Day” on it since setting up tt-rss. I guess I have a sentimental fondness for my memories of Boing Boing 10+ years ago that are holding me back, but it’s just not the same blog today.

  9. Dave Slusher says:

    Ken, I definitely am not hating on it.. It’s more a case of “taste drift.” This happens as their obsessions and mine move in different directions.Yesterday I just saw a reference to the Molly Crabapple post of a few months ago, which is pretty brilliant:

  10. Ken Kennedy says:

    Oh, there’s definitely still good stuff, but like you said, there has been “taste drift”. What once was an a 80%+ hit on my taste meter has dropped significantly.

  11. Ken Kennedy says:

    Ah! I like the Molly Crabapple post!

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