The "snob RSS" Hall of (constructive!) Shame
WHY do even tech-savvy folks snob RSS? WHY???
Welcome to the friendly Hall of Shame for websites that HAVE RSS but hide it
It is half hilarious, half depressing, how many officially tech-savvy organisations advertise on their websites every possible way to follow them… as long as it is a non-portable, non-future-proof, intrusive walled garden. I am talking of those websites that never, never miss links and icons to their social accounts…
But never show in plain sight also a far better solution to follow them. A solution that, I am sure, they already have for free, courtesy of whatever website management system they may be using: the good, old, far superior Really Simple Syndication (RSS).
RSS is a much, much, MUCH better way to follow what one publishes online than Twitter, Facebook or any other social media: Because only RSS is unfiltered, not centrally tracked, free from addictive distraction and 100% usable from any device. RSS is also very simple. Every time a website publishes some new content, it updates a text listing of all its recent content, like the one in this screenshot:
Since that text file, or feed, is always published with the same web address, specialized programs of any sort can fetch that file any time they want, merge it with other feeds from other website, and present the result as one, Twitter-like timeline.
And yet, in spite of being unfiltered, untracked, addition-free, 100% cross-platform… too many “tech-savvy” websites that do have a working RSS feed do not make it visible in their web pages. WHY??
Would adding an RSS icon/link to those they already showing their accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, whatever… spoil their reputation? How could adding such a great way to follow them be bad?
This perplexity of mine is why, only in order to constructively encourage every website to promote their RSS feeds, I give you…
The “Snob RSS” Hall of (constructive!) Shame, first edition
Here are five concrete examples, out of countless ones, of websites that do provide an RSS feed, but seem to snob it, for no good reason. The screenshots show how RSS is not visible in their “contact/follow us” links, while the “RSS here” links point to the working RSS feeds they already have:
- Freedom House: screenshot and RSS here
- Logic.io: screenshot and RSS here
- Israel 21C - Uncovering Israel: screenshot and RSS here
- What The Future Now: screenshot and RSS here
- Karma Colonialism: screenshot and RSS here
Let me make myself very clear here: those five websites just happen to be the first ones that, by mere chance, I noticed as having this problem. NONE of them is bad. Quite the contrary, if you ask me! That is why I’d really like that they explicitly suggested RSS as the best way to follow them. I hope they will fix this omission soon. It should take just a few minutes, on any content management system worth its name.
If you know other websites that deserve a reminder to put their own RSS feed in full view, please send me their link, either on Twitter (with them in CC, of course!) or via email, and stay tuned for a next edition of this post.
PS: my RSS feed is here and of course also in the footer and menu of this website.