Falling back to RSS

by Mads Hartmann - 26 Sep 2023

Twitter X is slowly dying and none of the replacements are doing it for me.

One way I used Twitter has been to find great blog posts to read. At some point it became the primary way I discovered new content.

However, with so many people (seemingly) gone, I can’t really use it for that anymore, which is a huge shame.

In an attempt to not loose out completely I’m trying to rebuild my RSS subscription list as that’s what I used before Twitter. Unfortunately, I’ve long since lost my subscription list from way back when (pre ~2010) so I’m starting from scratch.

Or well, sort of.

I wish I could just do something like the following: For all the accounts I follow on Twitter, find their blog, and subscribe to the RSS feed. Unfortunately the semantic web hasn’t caught on enough that a query like that is possible (as far as I know).

However, a few years ago I started maintaining a Notion database of URLs to blog posts, youtube videos, and so on. I categories the links and attach various meta data such as topics, ratings, personal notes, etc.

I extracted all unique domains from the URLs in that list, and used that as the base of my RSS subscription list.

This does not in any way represent my favorite sites, or sites I would even want to stay up to date with. I have URLs in that DB of things I have yet to read, or even read and disliked.

But it’s better than starting from zero. As I start using this subscription list over the next couple of weeks I expect to make quite a few changes to it.

But for now, here the OPML file if you’re curious.

This whole process has made we wish there was an easier way to explore RSS feeds. What I’d really love is to be able to browse other peoples subscription lists. Like the old-school blogrolls but based on open standards. I think you would be able to express it using FOAF or SOIC but I haven’t researched it enough yet. If this keeps interesting me I’ll follow up with another blog post on the topic ☺️