We like RSS

So. You remember those icons? Orange and kinda like a wifi sign in the wrong direction? RSS! It's great for keeping up to date on internet things without having to hit any follow or subscribe buttons on any specific platform.

RSS is not the only kind of feed but we can't be bothered to learn about Atom, we just assume that it's just as cool and we like all kinds of feeds that can be subsribed to with any random feed reader app. What we just learned from a quick search is that in Atom, you can specify the language of each indivisual element. That's rly cool because language tags are very important for example so that screenreaders know how to pronounce stuff.

First things first

  1. Many blogs and blog-like things still have RSS feeds. Even Substack has them, so if you want to read all those cool newsletters, but not via email, you can. Just throw the link at your reader and it will probably find the feed for you.
  2. Some things allow you to follow things that don't have RSS feeds in a similar way.
  3. Neocities has very basic feeds, but you can make your own with actual content.
More on all of this follows.

How we read them

We just got a very classic feed reader app for our phone (Android), it's called Feeder, there's at least one other app of the same name, oops. This is more of an example than a recommendation – it does what we want it to, but I'm sure there's many more like it. Just try some and see which feels right.

What we really recommend in a "this might not work for you but it works for us so maybe you want to have a look too" way is the thing we use on our computer, a browser extension called Fraidycat. It's cool because it looks pretty, but also for other reasons.

Fraidycat recommends to use emoji as tags, and we did that and like it, and we also tagged our feeds on our phone app with emojis now, and we like that too.

What about Neocities?

Neocities websites do have RSS feeds, but they don't give much info – just when the site has last been updated. You can see ours as an example here.

If you just want to follow a Neocities site, you cna do that with fraidycat – it scrapes the website's profile page to give you a list of updated pages.

But what if you want people to follow your website in any kind of normal boring RSS reader? That would be good, right? We've been too lazy to do this, but you can actually write your own RSS feed and it's not more effort than writing any other page on your website. This RSS Howto explains how to do it. It looks very similar to HTML, so since you've probably seen some of that, it will look familiar.

So by following this guide, you could make a new <item> whenever you want to let people know that something happened. Maybe you added a new page, or updated an old one. Or you have a blog-ish thing and just add a new <item> for each new entry. Or you didn't update in a long time and kind of just want to say hi, that's still me, maybe I'll write something new soon, but for now, just know that we exist.


We just saw that phosphor azimuth has a really cool RSS explanation on his website: intro to RSS