Don’t get me wrong. I love ActivityPub and decentralized social media as much as the next disaffected Web 2.0 neckbeard. But, also… yes, this.
I would say after brief testing, PressForward isn’t quite at a stage where it’d be a preference for me,2 but… hm.
Dave Rupert is trying to bring back RSS (as an alternative to social media), by providing RSS-only content.
For me, RSS never went away; I’ve been using a self-hosted RSS reading solution since, like, before Google Reader died, and while the UI is kinda janky and it stopped syncing with my thick client reader when I migrated to CloudFlare, it’s still how I consume like 90% of all my stuff on the web.1 All those links I post? Yeah, they come through my feed reader.2
RSS in the modern web can be a bit crap, but most major blogging platforms and news sites support it in some fashion even if a lot of content isn’t as well-optimized for it as it used to be. Hell, even Tumblr supports RSS, and Tumblr is probably the social media platform least suited to it, so go figure.
The point of all of which is to say RSS is still great and was, in its day, the cornerstone of the oldskool open web. And anyone chafing at the confines of their digital feudal lord’s walled garden3 could do a lot worse than rediscovering the technology…
- The other ten percent? Split between Twitter, Mastodon, and Tumblr. ↩
- If I read something I want to make a post about, I star it in my reader. I then have a script that takes all the starred items our of the database and sends them to Instapaper. There’s another script that pulls things out of Instapaper and posts them as drafts to my blog. Why the Instapaper intermediate step? It’s so I can also flag things I find outside of the RSS reader, either from the aforementioned social media sources, or from following links in other articles. ↩
- … lol. ↩
Twitter killing its RSS feeds was an enormous fuck you to the developer community, though not unprecedented in this day and age of online feudalism. Nonetheless, I was looking for a way to turn my timeline (not my tweets, but the tweets of people I follow) into a feed to plug into Fever for the purpose of URL aggregating.
In the end, I created a new private list (called, aptly, “RSS”) for conversion. It’s slightly more maintenance but works better, I think, than just streaming my timeline, since I plug accounts into it that I don’t necessarily want to follow, but who still might link/signalboost interesting content.
Now. If only Fever’s layout wouldn’t break every time I clicked something in its UI…