I’m working on an initialism for a new standard of RSS Synchronization. It’s really, really simple synchronization, so the working title is RRSRSSS.
Before Google Reader shut down last year, before any of the alternatives had launched, I preemptively replaced it with Fever, hosted on a small Linode VPS.
I never really used Fever to its full potential. The web interface can’t compete with Reeder and I could never really understand how the ‘hot’ list worked, or what one is supposed to do with ‘kindling’ and ‘sparks’. For me, Fever was a glorified RSS read-position synchronization service. I also wanted to add feeds to Fever from Reeder, but apparently that’s not possible due to the Fever API. I thought perhaps one of the new Google Reader replacement services would be worth a try.
I tried to sign up for Feed Wrangler, but the service was unavailable, errors littered the screen every time I tried to ‘Join for $19/year.’
My confidence in RSS synchronization services was at an all time low. Google Reader was gone, Fever was costly to run, had many more features than I needed and Feed Wrangler did not inspire confidence.
It was time to put a little more “really” in Really Simple Syndication.
I added a new manual account to Reeder on my iPhone and then added four (4) RSS feeds to that account. Then I refreshed the feeds, checked that I’d read all the current articles and exported that list via email to my iPad where I imported it to Reeder.
I read my RSS feeds once per day. I estimate that on average there are ten things to read each day. I have since added two new feeds to my list, making a total of six (6), feeds. After adding a new subscription, I simply ‘share’ the accounts via email from Reeder on one device, then import them on the other.
Because the volume of things to read is low I have no trouble remembering what I’ve read between devices. There’s no need to automatically synchronize anything.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by your RSS subscriptions, or unread count, or if you’d like to spend less time pruning your RSS inbox and more time doing something productive, I urge you to try this experiment for a month: Export your current RSS subscriptions as a backup, then delete that account from your RSS readers (all of them). Add a new manually refreshed account to your RSS reader, then add up to five (5) feeds to that account. Think carefully about your choices. Select feeds that provide quality material.
Try Really Really Simple RSS Syndication (RRSRSSS) today. Cut the junk. Remove the clickbait. Spend between thirty minutes and one hour, once per day, reading your RSS feeds, then spend the remainder of your time doing something useful, like finishing that novel you started writing in college, or finally learning to water ski.