The Case for RSS

David Sparks on why he prefers to use RSS:

The reason I’ve stuck with RSS is the way in which I work. Twitter is the social network that I participate in most and yet sometimes days go by where I don’t load the application. I like to work in focused bursts. If I’m deep into writing a book or a legal client project. I basically ignore everything else. I close my mail application, tell my phone service to take my calls, and I definitely don’t open Twitter. When I finish the job, I can then go back to the Internet. I’ll check in on Twitter, but I won’t be able to get my news from it. That only works if you go into Twitter much more frequently than I do. That’s why RSS is such a great solution for me. If a few days go by, I can open RSS and go through my carefully curated list of websites and get caught back up with the world.

When Google Reader shut down in 2013, I stopped using RSS. RSS felt like yet another inbox to attend to, so I ditched it and used Twitter instead. But in the past few months, I’ve returned to RSS and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed keeping up with a select few sites.

My return to RSS was based on two factors:

1) I’m using Twitter way less than I used to. I’m not enjoying it as much as I did. Twitter was how I kept up, but not anymore.
2) I’m using an iPad more. Reading RSS feeds on a tablet-sized device is a great experience.

I completely agree with Sparks advice on subscribing to high signal, low noise sites:

RSS is so easy to implement that it’s a slippery slope between having RSS feeds for just a few websites and instead of having RSS feeds for hundreds of websites. If you’re not careful, every time you open your RSS reader, there will be 1,000 unread articles waiting for you, which completely defeats the purpose of using RSS. The trick to using RSS is to be brutal with your subscriptions. I think the key is looking for websites with high signal and low noise. Sites that publish one or two articles a day (or even one to two articles a week) but make them good articles are much more valuable and RSS feed than sites that published 30 articles a day.

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