Thursday, 18 February 2021

RSS and the Facebook lockout

 Australia woke up this morning and discovered Facebook had blocked access to  news sites as part of the ongoing dispute with the federal government over paying for news content.

The major providers of news, after their initial scream of annoyance, started advocating that you download each of their individual applications so you could follow news coverage.

There is however another way.  After all, you may not wish to clutter your phone or tablet with apps, or you might prefer to work on a laptop or desktop, or just simply want a single application to view content from a number or sources.

You may recall that I recently posted about my continued use of a rss reader.

Most of the major news providers, eg 9news, The Age, the SMH, ABC news, and SBS continue to provide RSS feeds - there are probably other major players in Australia who also continue to provide RSS feeds, as do most overseas news providers, for example RNZ in New Zealand, NPR in the States and the BBC.

Now the RSS reader I use is Inoreader. There are others out there that do the job but I've settled for Inoreader.

I choose to subscribe, but there is a free plan, that gives reasonable functionality, including the ability to post stories and save them to evernote, one note or pocket.

More importantly, as well as the web client, there are iOS and Android applications besides the web client.

I have used both the iOS and Android app on tablets, and they work well. The web client works well in both Chrome and Firefox, and can be used on a Mac, Windows, or Linux desktop, as well as inside of Chrome on a Chromebook.

It's probably easiest to build your list of subscriptions from a web browser, but the subscription list is shared between the web client and the apps, meaning you only need to do this once.

While GoogleNews and MicrosoftNews aggregate news content the content is curated algorithmically and you have no control over the sources, and as a friend of mine has commented, you might not want to read just what Microsoft or Google consider worth of your attention.

Using an RSS reader allows you to curate your own news sources.

No comments: