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Tuesday, 12 August 2014


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Ironically, I'm reading this outside my normal RSS reader. Why? I'm having my morning coffee. Last night, read your posts--in my reader--about your experiment. It's slightly after 6:30, but my reader didn't show an update from your site. :-)

Freely and gReader here.

Morning Coffee, Day Two - already a habit. That's a positive vote for you, Mike.

Good luck on the ongoing move. The dumpster may symbolize the unburdened life. (Or something like that.)

I use RSS almost religiously. I've got a few hundred sites marked, though many of them are for work — it's a good way to keep on top of published research papers and things like that. And yes, I usually read TOP through RSS.

In my case, I set up "Tiny Tiny RSS" on a small server of my own when Google discontinued their Reader service. If you have a server (most don't of course) it's a great way to get your RSS feed fix. I read my feeds in a browser tab on my desktop and I use their app for my phone.

I use Feedly on my home computer, work computer, iPhone and iPad to be kept up to date on any new article from about fifty sources.

Using ISO Reader here. I still miss Google Reader but INO is doing a reasonable job.

Use Digg Reader, which works well.

RSS feeds are how I still organize much of my Internet reading and stay abreast of new content. After Google dropped their Reader, I moved to Feedly and am pretty happy with it. Not quite as easy as Reader was, but it allows me to continue using RSS.

I always read TOP via Feedly. Works as a web app, and also has an Android (and I assume iOS) app.

Mornin'! Been enjoying "The Morning Coffee" so far here...and consuming my daily cup via the Feedly reader. This reader rose to prominence on the fall of Google Reader (*moment of silence*) and it provides a really nice reading experience.

I agree with Michael: "It's absolutely fundamental to my internet experience."

I used google reader until they dropped it, now I use feedly.com.

Keeps track of news on all sites that I follow. If a site don`t works well in feedly, I will simply not follow new postings on that site. It`s simply not an option to go to a website just to see if there is any new content.

I am a great fan of RSS but use it via NetNewsWire rather than NetVibes (which I might check out). However it seems to be slowly getting less and less useful, as many sites are offering smaller and smaller snippets via RSS, rather than the whole article. With a small snippet (as for example Steve Huff now uses... his site became such a pain I've unsubscribed), it is very difficult to see if the article is interesting without clicking through, which rather misses the point of RSS. TOP is well laid out, and I think I still see some of your adverts. The major advantage of RSS for me has been that I can read the text part of articles when not connected to the internet (eg on trains), and that all the articles I'm interested in are simply laid out together.

I use RSS to get updated on new articles on my favorite sites, including TOP. There is no shortage of RSS readers (applications relying on RSS) and some of them keep their state on servers on the Internet, providing synchronization between several instances. The best analogy here would be Kindle reader and the Kindle app on iOS or Android: switch between them and you don't need to remember "the last page" (there's no meaningful page number there, as you can change font size), you can continue reading in the application from where you left on the Kindle reader.

One such example of RSS reader was Google Reader. The announcement of its demise led to a race between several teams to fill in the space (and users). Feedly is one decent replacement. You could give it a try... There are alternatives, of course. (I am in no way affiliated with any of such application providers.)

I love my RSS feeds, but I definitely need to do some culling. Much like Facebook, the endless scroll is something that sucks you in, and you can find yourself killing yourself with too many feeds. I missed a few days moving, and had over 500 RSS notifications on feedly.

RSS is super important to me. So important that when Google reader shut down last year I built my own replacement as a hobby project. I check my RSS feeds a dozen or more times a day, and I am always frightened about sites stopping to offer the feeds. Thank you Michael for still doing it!

I used to read TOP on Feedly. Now I read it on TOP because I get to read all the comments too.

Since Google reader went away I have switched to Feedly for my daily consumption. I've never been happier. It keeps track of feeds across all of my iDevices and various browsers. Occasionally I use Flipboard when I need a well designed layout but Feedly is my workhouse.

I have been using the my.yahoo.com page for a long time, which presents the news feeds and blog feeds I am interested in. TOP has always been there!

Avid RSS consumer here, I use it as a 'DVR' for the internet and it's essentially how I consume anything that isn't a major news site. RSS lets me see updates when I'm ready, not just when they happen to be posted.

I can't stand 'following' a person or a business with tools like Facebook and Twitter. That feels like pre-DVR television, except you never know when your favorite show will come on, and everything's on one channel. Happened yesterday? Rewind. Happened last week? Good luck even knowing that you have an update to go find. How do people stand it?

A distressing trend I've noticed lately is that some sites that I really like are 'going dark' because, as they re-design to be modern and mobile-friendly, they're moving on to platforms or frameworks that don't natively support RSS. I think that so many people with a wordpress or tumblr style CMS don't even know they have a news feed, or that they might be getting traffic through it, that it's not even a consideration when choosing a new platform.

Of course, RSS is nerdy and requires me to be somewhat active in configuring my channels so I understand why it never caught on. Still...

Feedly. Hardly ever visit your site directly. You should put ads at the bottom of your message so I see them instead of just in bars surrounding the content.

I use feedly as my RSS reader to keep track of about 100 different sites (only about a dozen of which I actively read every day). And, yes, it's for both daily sites such as yours (now!) and very infrequently updated sites that I don't want to miss or forget about.

And, yes, this is how I read your site and have read it this way for many years.

I've got an RSS reader running full-time here, and TOP is on it, but mostly I find new things on TOP by going and looking rather than waiting for them to show up in the reader. But if I missed something somehow, the reader would remind me of it. I've got around 30 feeds listed, though I think a couple of them are deceased at this point.

TOP is one of a large number of very varied websites I access via RSS (in my case using Bloglines). I can see a list of topics then, as Michael describes, read the full article at the source.

I can mark older articles as unread as a reminder to read them again or scroll back a long way much more quickly than via the 'Older posts' link.

It is far more time-efficient than checking websites manually or trying to add yet another contact to my Twitter feed (which already has a terrible S/N ratio despite my selective following). I'm genuinely surprised that it isn't more popular.

I have not used RSS because I find it more enjoyable to click on the sites my self to see what's new. Like knocking on a friends door to say whats, up. Its the traveling from door to door which is half the fun and even more fun when they have some news or an interesting tid bit to discuss. An added benefit (and I am not sure as I dont use RSS) the web site gets a precious click or visit which can always help out a little bit.

Theres so much that I don't understand about the Internet, RSS feeds beings just one of them. For example, leaving comments for Kirk Tuck and some of the others, I find undoable, because I don't understand the 'mechanism' by which I'm supposed to comment!
Mike, maybe a TOP fan whose knowledgeable regarding these things could give us all a on line seminar during this down time.
Continued good luck with the move!

I quite agree about the value of RSS. I've used the stand alone reader Vienna http://www.vienna-rss.org/ on the Mac for years. I couldn't imagine how I would keep track of all the sites I follow without it.

maybe it is a function of age, but RSS is what I use for my morning Internets tracking. I am not one to like to click, and run wild on the clickweb, and so RSS makes it convenient.

the big thing, perhaps, is to digest so much information by only reading headlines, and perhaps a blurb (NYTimes being a consistent blurb feeder).

the next big thing... is that of resetting (aka "mark as read") to avoid the overloads.

the big question is: how do we aggregate or curate articles? (Evernote seems to be a good way so far — as it can include other non-webpage sources.)

I am happy to pay for Newsblur, and has excellent iPad/iPhone apps.

I use a feed reader -- the "Brief" extension for Firefox, which is very nice both in displaying articles in the reader, or letting you click on them to go right to the website.

My main problems is that it takes discipline to limit the number of sites in the reader... and not be totally overwhelmed by the number of unread articles!

Thanks to Michael, Netvibes looks interesting. I also like Morning Coffee, can't it be a weekly thing when not required anymore? A sort off topic or photo column for us visitors to contribute discussion items.

I love RSS. I used Google's until they shut it down, and now I'm using Feedly. It's the only way to keep up with many websites, including TOP, and best of all, it syncs across all of my devices: desktops, phone, and iPad no matter where I am.

Most of the time I just read the headlines, sometimes I read the summaries, and sometimes I read the whole post. I like sites like TOP that put their whole post into RSS, as opposed to the sites that arbitrarily cut off after so many characters.

The more SEO-aware ones like Gawker have a lede-like paragraph that tries to get you to click through to the main site.

Speaking of the Sigma DP1: I wish I hadn't rented a DP3M this weekend. In spite of its considerable faults, its picture quality has hooked me bigtime. But I admit that changing a battery after 57 shots does feel a little bit like changing film.

I also use NetVibes to follow sites like TOP


Best of luck on the ongoing move.

I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff on my last two moves, and it feels great to do so. Mush went to the local Humane Society thrift store - which my partner calls the 'Used Cat Store', and a local used book store, where I had a credit that lasted for years from the move from my batchelor pad in Mendocino to her place just north of town.

I use Feedly, but my feeling in that RSS is going away. More and more sites don't support it. It's too complicated for most internet users. And others seem to be using Twitter for the function of keeping up—I haven't used Twitter much but RSS newsreaders are easier for me. Newreaders mark stuff you've read and you can hide things you've already read. AFAIK Twitter readers don't do this, but I haven't looked carefully.

Good luck with your move. And you'll find it easier to have gotten rid of stuff before you move, but it is not easy.

You might find out about one of the RSS pioneers, Dave Winer, who has based an empire of tools around "enjoyable content provisioning", and incidently writes lots of morning coffee notes himself, over at http://scripting.com

Best of luck with the move!

Oh, yes. Stuff you don't need just weighs down on your soul. You will feel lighter of heart from chucking useless stuff away.

I'm a big fan of the RSS feed reader for pre-surfing the web. I'm still using an old version of NetNewsWire. It doesn't sync anymore with the demise of Google Reader, but then again, that's good for my discipline of working when I'm at work, and surfing only when not.

I'm a pretty firm believer in using an RSS reader as well. I use Feedly to organize them all and then the app Reeder on both my mac and iPhone.

There's just no way I'd go visit all of these sites to see if there's new content without it.

Hallo Mike,

I come here via Feedly. I appreciate that your RSS-feed contains full articles, especially when I use a mobile device. One thing that would make reading your articles even more convenient for me and would at the same time mean that I would visit the actual site more often (does that help even if I do not click on any of the ads?) would be links directly to the comments section (or the featured comments, which may not be up to date in my RSS reader) at the end of the articles in the feed.


Push is quicker than pull


and if you are moving to WordPress


I use the Live Bookmarks facility in the Firefox browser to keep track of RSS feeds - a very concise way of keeping tabs on new articles and linking directly to the selected article.

I switched to uStart (ustart.org) after Google shut down iGoogle (darn them to heck!). T.O.P is at the top(!) of my page of photography-related RSS feeds.

Dumpsters can be so gratifying, especially when they are fairly empty and things you toss in them still make a good thud when they hit the bottom!

Want to suggest a topic or ask a question?

I am fascinated by the sudden celebrity of Vivian Maier, her oeuvre was discovered posthumously and it has become a treasure trove for salvagers of her work.

There is a lot of media attention, including documentaries, books and of course $2,000 images for sale.


Is this art or really clever marketing?

Thanks for the link. I really enjoyed Petteri Sulonen's way of writing, and he has some nice content worth reading.

I used to use a feed reader for al those reasons, tracking about 2 dozen sites (about as much as I have time to manage). Then Google binned their reader, which was simple & effective and did all I wanted. Just haven't had the time to properly research & install an alternative.
Now TOP is one of only about 3 or 4 sites I keep up with!

I moved houses in March/April last year, Mike, and I filled a dumpster before I left (with some regrets, I admit) and the rest came in about 120 cardboard boxes. I still haven't unpacked a few of them even now and several (they were all labelled) went to the Good Samaritans unopened. I figure if I haven't missed the contents after a year, I don't need it.

Yes, I found the whole process exhausting, but really cathartic. It actually feels good to shake off the old skin.

Ditto Michael's comment. I use Liferea (http://lzone.de/liferea/) as my reader (and not to start an argument about which reader is better...) and find it very useful.

I don't understand his comment implying that reader users are not able to get to the web site. I simply click on the feed header and it either goes directly to the web page within the reader itself or opens a tab in the default browser. Adding feeds to the reader is a wonderfully simple drag and drop from the browser; normally, dragging the home page will find the feed, so you don't even have to follow the RSS icon (if it even exists on a page) in order to add the feed.

It really is my custom newspaper without the paper. I have a few wishes, but very few.

I access several different photography and technology related feeds mainly through RSS, and TOP is by far my main source. Many times, if I'm running short of time, I will just read my TOP feed and skip the rest.

Feedly (on Android) is my current RSS reader of choice, either on my phone or tablet.

So big, big thanks for keeping the full-text RSS feed available. I am currently contributing a monthly subscription to TOP in order to make up for my skipping the ads. Maybe it's a good opportunity to remind everyone else of this option...

Yes Mike, I use Firefox with Sage extension to follow RSS feeds -- many dozens of then, including TOP.

How does Michael know how many use RSS? I've been using it for years to follow TOP.

I'm also using RSS for a collection of feeds. It is a great way to get notified about new content, and avoids visiting a ton of web sites every day only to discover there is nothing new.
Also, you see the title of all new articles on one screen, and can easily skip those that aren't interesting; if you visit the web site you may need to scroll/click a lot.
The RSS reader knows which articles you have read; on a web site it is not always easy to see what was added since your last visit (check out http://www.theregister.co.uk and you will understand what I mean).

Maybe some sites use twitter to announce new content, but that is really poor compared to what RSS offers.

I'm also an ex Google Reader user, and when they killed it I went to http://theoldreader.com .
You can also use e.g. Mozilla Thunderbird for tracking RSS feeds, but using a web-based solution means I can use it at home, at work, on my PC, phone, tablet, and so on.

I appreciate that for TOP the RSS feed contains the complete article; other sites only put a few lines there and require you to go to the web site to read the complete article. The reason often being that ads don't show up in the RSS feed. Steve Huff made this change recently, and now requires you to visit his site.

On the other hand, if the site's owner only makes money for ads that are actually clicked on, it would not make a difference in my case (I understand that ads pay the site but I just never click on them).

I tend to visit the TOP web site almost daily anyway; to read the comments, and since I'm pretty sure there is new content when I wake up, even before my RSS reader informs me about it (different timezone here).

Feedly is your friend, use it as a "launchpad" to move to the full content.

I've been using Feedbin since Google Reader closed, and love it.

So many RSS-following people makes me wonder what effect this has on TOP's advertising income. Anyone reading the RSS version isn't going to create any page and advertising impressions, and there's zero chance of them clicking an ad. I always click through to the site to read TOP, but I must admit this is partly because Typepad-hosted sites seem to be the one thing Feedbin can't handle well.

Once you're back up and running, and thinking about the new site again, it might be worth considering having ads at the end of each item in the RSS feed, or inserting occasional "RSS feed sponsored by..." posts?

The only tech "goodie" I dislike more than RSS is tapatalk. Thank you but no, I would rather check things myself for what I know that I like rather than some poorly written software package thinks I like.

I use Newsify RSS reader (which I think piggy-backs on Feedly) on iPad to find updates but seldom read the posts there. The articles I decide to read I add to the Reading List in Safari and read them there.

do you really have a big dumpster to fill?

Yep; I use NetNewsWire. But I often jump over to read and leave comments. Either you're a good moderator, or you've got the nicest readers on the net. It's peaceful here.

i read TOP, along with a few dozen other blogs, via RSS almost exclusively; that's why i often reply late to your posts — RSS is like TiVo, i don't have to go to your site to see what's new, my feed reader (NetNewsWire) keeps track and lets me choose which articles to read when

another part of RSS's beauty is that it is very decentralized and proletarian; it just works, and there's no way to turn the RSS user into a "product" (as in Twitter and Facebook); RSS is more useful and flexible than big-money social media, but you hear about it less because there's not a big-money angle

i'm a programmer and i was there using Dave Winer's tools (scripting.com) at the birth of RSS, and yet it took me a few years to understand what was special about it; instead of immediately flooding you with content, RSS requires that you take deliberate steps to curate your own information sources; it can become "social" when you reply on your blog to another bog that has an RSS feed (via "trackback")

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