The logo of Tara Calishain's blog ResearchBuzz, which is the letters R and B with the B depicted as a smiling bee with antennae

The exodus of users away from Twitter and Reddit has led many of those information refugees to discover the joy of subscribing to feeds in a reader. RSS and Atom feeds are an enormous open decentralized network that can never be ruined under new ownership -- because there's no owner.

Tara Calishain of ResearchBuzz has written a 4,000-word introduction to RSS for people who are new to the world of feeds:

I could not do ResearchBuzz without RSS feeds. They're invaluable. And I think if you learn more about them, you'll appreciate why I consider RSS the most underrated tech on the Internet. That's what this article is about: I'm going to explain what RSS feeds are, show you how to find them, go over some of the RSS feed readers available, and, finally, list several tools and resources you might find useful on your journey.

... I follow over a thousand RSS feeds which deliver information to me throughout the day. Do you think I could visit a thousand websites a day to check for new information? Even if I tried to visit a thousand a week that would be over 142 websites a day. Assuming it took me two minutes to visit a site and check for new content, I would spend over 4.5 hours a day just visiting websites.

Do you see why I'm so grateful for RSS?

Calishain, who was blogging before Netscape created RSS in 1999, covers a lot more than the basics, showing how to find hidden feeds on websites, check a bunch of feeds for freshness and create keyword-based feeds to search sites like Google News, Hacker News and WordPress. Even experienced readers of readers will learn new things, and there's a collection of nine handy RSS Gizmos she has developed.

On that subject, Calishain just began programming a year ago:

In spring 2022 I decided to find out if I could really learn JavaScript after being diagnosed as autistic. (I'm a high school dropout and didn't think I could learn something like programming.)


Welcome to the not-so-secret society of programmers, Tara! Please slow down a little. You're making the rest of us look bad.


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