Catching up with my RSS feed today, and came across a post by Evan Sheehan lamenting how RSS is at odds with one of his — and mine — favourite things; visiting cool websites.
I think RSS is great, but I sometimes feel like it’s at odds with one of my favorite things about the web. For one thing, I see less of my friends’ cool websites. A lot of the websites in my feed reader are really nice to look at. Some of their owners do periodic redesigns which are fun to see. I feel like I’m missing out a little on these lovely personal websites because I nearly always interact with them through my feed reader, which flattens all of the personality into a minimal, legible view.
I am a big proponent of using RSS to curate website feeds you wish to follow and get updated when new content is published. I currently (and for a very long time) use the excellent Reeder 5 as my RSS newsreader aggregator, which serves as a catch-all for all the feeds I am subscribed to. When it comes to reading the content, Reeder has a splendid user-friendly reading interface with a good offering of important accessibility features.
As much as I enjoy the Reeder reading experience within the app, I enjoy reading the content even more on the publisher's website or blog. Thankfully, Reeder makes this process easy; once I hit the title of the post from the list it launches the content, and a simple swipe right to left launches the content on the publisher's site using the In-app safari browser. Depending on the article — if long-form posts — I can tap on the article title link to launch the content in the default mobile Safari browser, bypassing the need to swipe right to left.
I am a big fan of personal sites, they speak to me, along with the content, style of writing, look and feel of the site. It gives me an instant connection to the person behind the site, an immediate recognition and familiarity.
Best believe when I say I read 95% of your content, on your site. The only exception is when the need to reduce eye strain is required and your site doesn’t have a dark mode, in which case I revert to reading the content inside Reeder.