RSS Feeds: Federation of the data

Will Webberley writes:

At that time RSS was still very much “a thing” for many people (though the discontinuation of the hugely popular Google Reader in 2013 was a bit of a bummer to these communities). However new people now joining the web scene would be far more likely to instead engage with these extremely well-funded, well-marketed, and centralised social platforms – perfectly engeineered to be addictive, entirely driven and propagated by FOMO, and focused on content-sharing (even if the content is often misinformation) – where you are the product, rather than spend the time researching and subscribing to individual RSS feeds.

To some commentators in this space the concept behind all of these social platforms is known as the fast web – a web that tells you when and what information to consume rather than letting you make that decision for yourself. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others all started as just a chronological timeline of interesting content from friends and family. On all of these services today the “algorithm” determines what (and who) goes in your timeline, and it constantly learns what to feed you – and when – in order to get those few extra minutes from you each day. This is literally its business model.

I completely agree with this. Social media represents a “gate keeping” community. The content, even if it is reusable (or a link) is carefully held within the confines and they generate immense data for micro-targeting and (worse) psychological manipulation.

There’s even more support for the RSS.

Dr Roy writes:

One solution to all this is decentralised Internet; but that’s a step too far for many if not most people. So a compromise might be to decentralise the subscription points, not entrusting or outsourcing them to companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

QuiteRSS is pre-build for major GNU/Linux distributions. It’s available in repositories. Give it a go and use RSS feeds instead of any of those ‘social’ (control) ‘media’ platforms. Let’s bring back the Web to where it was more than 15 years ago (prior to ‘surveillance capitalism’ and companies such as Facebook and Twitter).

There is a n immense amount of push back- I have always remained skeptical about the big tech and mercifully, gaining a lot of traction. I prefer to use Inoreader and the RSS feeds have been turned on for this blog too (you’d get the full feeds). It is because I don’t depend on the advertising revenue.