Former news reporter stresses the utility and efficiency of RSS feeds

In reply to our previous post regarding email delivery of the SWLing Post, contributor Dan Robinson draws our attention to this excellent article about using RSS feeds to keep track of news:

As this recent article [at Gizmodo] points out, since the demise of Google Reader, things have become a bit more complicated when it comes to RSS readers. Some are free, others not. Some have many features, others are bare bones.

Dan Robinson is a seasoned reporter and former White House correspondent for the Voice of America.

During my career in the news business for Voice of America, Google Reader became a key tool I used to track breaking news. In fact, I was frequently able to be ahead of Twitter by using the numerous RSS links I maintained.

When Reader went away, Feedly sprang up to take its place and I was lucky to obtain a lifetime subscription of the Pro level of Feedly, which I highly recommend.

But there are other options obviously. RSS capability is built in to a number of major browsers.

When it comes to keeping track of Shortwave news, RSS feeds are extremely useful. I have dozens of RSS links in my Feedly account, including SWLing Post and the feeds of major stations such as BBC and others.

And of course, Feedly and others are usable with mobile phones which enables us to keep track of things on the go.

The most challenging aspect of using RSS is keeping track of which feeds go dark, at any point. This is the case for several shortwave-related RSS feeds and it does take some time to make sure your feed list is up-to-date.

The article Dan refers to makes the case very clear for RSS feeds: you are the news curator and the one in control of the news stream. They note:

“[W]hen you follow the news via social media, you’re relying on other people bringing you the news, unless you’re following individual news stories. RSS is like getting your newspaper of choice delivered to the front door rather than relying on heading down to the local bar to listen in on what everyone’s shouting about.

With only one page to visit rather than dozens to catch up on, you can spend less time aimlessly drifting around and more time catching up on the posts that matter.

[…]News is the primary driver behind RSS and most of your feeds are going to be populated with dozens of new articles a day, but the technology also proves its worth for keeping track of other stuff you’d typically miss on social media. Maybe that might be new wallpapers on your favorite art site, or an obscure blog you don’t want to miss a post from.”

Click here to read the full article at Gizmodo.

An “obscure blog you don’t want to miss a post from”–? Hey, that’s us!

If you have an RSS reader and would like to subscribe to the SWLing Post, simply point your reader to our RSS feed url:

As always, thanks for sharing your expertise, Dan!

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8 thoughts on “Former news reporter stresses the utility and efficiency of RSS feeds

  1. Tom Servo

    I use InoReader and it’s fantastic. They have an ad-supported free version as well as various paid tiers, and it’s one of the few sites that I actually pay for because it’s so well designed. They also have Android and iOS apps. I have a mix of newsletters that I get an RSS feeds, and I very much prefer RSS feeds. It’s a shame they’re not more well known. If this site didn’t have one, I’d probably never think to visit here, and I’d miss a lot of great content.

  2. RonF

    I browse online news almost exclusively through RSS bookmarks in Firefox – a bookmarks folder at the top of my screen contains a bunch of often-used bookmarklets/scripts, as well as a couple of folders of RSS feeds (stand-alone, not aggregated via Feedly or whatever) showing the headlines from individual sites.

    Never even realised this site had RSS feeds, though I guess it’s standard with WP. You could probably promote them a bit better – say, an RSS icon at the top or bottom of the front page? 😉

    (Of course, with Firefox in an accelerating spiral down the toilet, and everything else handling RSS feeds badly – Safari forces them to be all mixed up in some shared sidebar, Chrome just displays the XML unless you can find an extension that works how you want, most aggregators being little more than an excuse to advertise/promote at you, etc – it may not be worth bothering at all…)

    1. RonF

      (And now I look for a 5th time, I see there’s an RSS icon half-way down the page on the right hand side. Let’s just say it could be more obvious – because I completely missed it 4 times earlier when I was looking for it…)

  3. grantbob

    Feedly as mentioned in the article works well. I ended up moving to Inoreader ( ) because I like their web interface a bit better. They also have some other cool bells and whistles. I haven’t gone without RSS since I discovered Google Reader. I read this post initially from Inoreader 🙂

  4. Mark

    I too miss Google Reader. I liked RSS feeds because each entry for a given source would normally be a significant topic; that meant that I only had a small number of items in my RSS in-tray, and each one was usually worth my attention. While Twitter can be a substitute, unless you pick your follows carefully, you end up with a torrent of random thoughts and the gems get lost in the rough.


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