RSS

Maybe personal sites aren’t a real social media alternative for most people. I take Mia’s point:

For the record, I would way rather have blockquote’d Mia’s words there with a link to a blog, but perhaps in this case the point wouldn’t have been made quite the same.

But I’m a nerd and have nerd friends with personal websites so we can simulate a social network with personal sites. At least a little bit. In a slower, more considered, more long-form kinda way.

I still think the answer to that can be RSS. As evidenced by this super clear tweet:

RSS allows me to syndicate my words, and allows me to subscribe to yours. If you’re like what the heck is he talking about, check out Matt Webb’s About Feeds for a primer.

I’ve been reading websites this way for a very long time, and I like it. It’s my morning and evening newspaper. I like to get the daily news. But my daily news. From sources I hand pick, mostly individual voices.

At the moment, I do all my feed management on Feedbin. Sometimes I read directly on Feedbin (it’s pretty nice), but often I use NetNewsWire on desktop, as it syncs with Feedbin. NetNewsWire has an iOS app too, but I prefer Reeder on iOS. I’ve never really tried NetNewsWire on iOS, nor have a tried Reeder on desktop. Maybe I will! That’s a nice part of RSS these days: exploring different apps. Feedbin is starting to be a bit like Google Reader was in that it’s a great home base that has an API that integrates with a bunch of other apps.

How is all this social? It’s just slow social. If you want to respond to me, publish something linking to what I said. If I want to respond to you, I publish something linking to what you wrote. Old school. Good school. It’s high-effort, but I think the required effort is a positive thing for a social network. Forces you to think more. I do kinda like the low-effort-ness of just a quick “like”, but hey, RSS readers support that in the form of stars, and mine are even also syndicated.

You could go all POSSE if you wanted to, but I’m not sure I even care to get that elaborate.