by Richard Taylor : 2020-02-01
How did people find your latest article in the early days of the web? If you were a big site and produced new articles every day then you assumed that people would bookmark your site and visit every day. No problem.
But what if you were a lone writer producing roughly one article a month. How many people were going to visit regularly just in case there was something new? Not many.
And that is why RSS was invented. With RSS people who liked one of your articles could add your RSS to their list and their reader would automatically show them any new articles when they appeared. Magic.
So why has RSS support now been dropped from many sites and readers? The answer is quite simple. Money. Big corporations don't want you wandering all over the internet finding things you actually want to read. They want you to stay on their sites, looking at the adverts that their customers are paying for you to view.
But the beauty of the web is that it is decentralised and no-one controls it. However loudly big corporations try and make you think they own all the best content and you are best just staying where they tell you to go.
And so RSS is still alive and well. Plenty of sites do still provide feeds and plenty of software does still understand the format. The choice is yours. Either stay in the corporate sandbox or venture out into the wider web.
Look out for the "RSS feed" links on each of my index pages.