Making RSS more visible again with a /feeds page
Caution! This article was published over a year ago, and hasn't been updated since. Situation, software and support of the topic below could have changed in the meantime.
A few years ago you could easily tell if a page offered an RSS feed. Browsers (at least good ones) had a feed symbol close to their location bar, and if you were really lucky (or used a really good browser), that indicator was even a button, empowering you to subscribe to a website with only one click.
Fast forward to today: People create more content than ever before – but siloed away in the Facebooks, Twitters, Instagrams and Mediums of the world. RSS is considered as something that can't be monetized in our attention economy and is therefore on its way out. Even when personal blogs offer a feed, it is not obvious anymore in the browser user interface. When I stumble over an interesting blog and want to subscribe to it, I open the dev tools of my browser (which is kind of a knee jerk reaction in my profession anyway) and search the source code for a subscribable URL. I'm aware that I could totally install a browser extension for that, but isn't it exciting to look into people's source code anyway?
But a growing amount of personal website owners agreed on URL design standards, what people could expect on these specific routes – and I think this is great. A
/uses page, for example, details
developer setups, gear, software and configs (If you need some inspiration, Wes Bos collects them on uses.tech. Derek Sivers, on the other hand, propelled the concept of a
/now URL, describing
describing where [he's] at, what [he's] focused on, and what [he's] not..
Personal website owners – what do you think about collecting all of the feeds you are producing in one way or the other on a
/feeds page? You can put your blog feed there, but also RSS generated from your Twitter account (via RSS Box), Mastodon updates, or even the starred items of the feeds you consume (if you happen to use Feedbin).
I highly doubt that this is an original idea, but nevertheless: let's try to standardize this and collect your liberated streams in one central place!