Blog logoMatthew Lang


A 16 post collection

The Feed is Dying

 •  Filed under RSS, Links, Internet

The feed is dying. The reverse-chronological social media feed — the way you’ve read Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs (which is to say, the internet) at various points over the last decade, updates organized according to the time they were posted, refreshed at the top of the screen — no longer really makes sense. The unfiltered informational cascade that defined the internet of the 2010s is going the way of the front-page-style web portal: It’s an outdated way of processing online information. The way we consume social media is being transformed and tinkered with as Silicon Valley tries to wring as much engagement, attention, and money out of it as possible. The feed is dying, and we feel shocked by its death — but we shouldn’t.

The Feed is Dying by Select All

RSS is the winner in all this. A chronological feed that you have complete control over.

It's sad to see so social media feeds switching to curated feeds that promote content we might be interested in.

I can't help but wonder though that if all these social media feeds were a paid for subscription service to begin with, would we even need customised social feeds?

Still Using Feedbin

 •  Filed under RSS, Posts, Tools

A while a go I wrote about my move to Feedbin from Feedly and my reasons for the move. At the time I was still getting used to something other than Google's great RSS reader. Feedly in itself was fine but it didn't have the staying power I wanted. I had to login back in on different devices and there wasn't much in the way of new features. So I moved to Feedbin and over two years later I'm still using it. Here's why.

Features, Features, Features

Feedbin is under continual development and every few of months there's a new feature released or small improvements made to the user-interface. It might seem like a lot of time in between releases, but from the start Feedbin already did everything that was essential. You could subscribe to RSS feeds and read them when you wanted too. Everything that has followed has been "nice to haves" and each one of them makes the experience of using Feedbin even better.

A Great Web Interface

From the start the Feedbin web interface was good. Overtime it's been gradually tweaked and made better. Add to the mix a customisable interface with settings for fonts, text size and themes and you have a web interface that negates the need for any desktop RSS reader. Just use it in your browser.

Also the keyboard shortcuts allow you to move about your feeds without having to reach for the mouse. Even sharing articles to your favourite services like Instapaper and Pinboard is easy because you assign keyboard shortcuts to each of your share locations.

The Notifier App

Finally there's the notifier app. Now maybe I'm alone in this but RSS feeds are a great way of monitoring and tracking services. Funneling these notifications into a single device means that you can stay on top of essential services for clients. As a freelance web developer I have clients that need to know when their websites are likely to face downtime.

To do this I keep a track of the different service they use by subscribing to their status page's RSS feed. In the Feedbin notifier app I can then get notifications of these updates as and when they happen. If a client is likely to see downtime on their website I can give them a heads up on it and we can arrange suitable changes for them if needed.

Feedbin is still one of my essential tools as a web developer, both for consuming content and for keeping up to date with any urgent news. I highly recommend Feedbin if you're in the market for a versatile RSS reader.

Subscriptions Cleanout

 •  Filed under RSS, By Me, Reading

I cleaned out my RSS feeds over the weekend. The following feeds have been removed for different reasons:

I've also found a few blogs that have been added to my feeds list:

  • Engine Yard Blog - I don't have anything deployed to Engine Yard, but they're always producing good content from a developers perspective.
  • - Ian Dick is a fellow dev from Scotland with a blog that has a good mix of content.
  • - I have always been a fan of Gina Trapani's work. Even though she's not part of the Lifehacker team anymore, it's good to see she's still writing
  • The Art of Manliness - There we were, me and the boys trying to entertain ourselves when we hit upon the idea of making paper airplanes. Took it to the next level though and made some paper airplanes using the designs from this blog. What more reason would I need to subscribe?