Current Affairs reader sans the crap

Having another go at RSS readers or constructing something useful

Greetings from the Couch
Jan 10 · 2 min read

I’ve experimented in the past with RSS readers so I can have a central spot for the news, current affairs and information services I prefer. I’ve used Flipboard, Feedly and briefly tried Google News, and MS News, but none really worked.

The story of the endless feed and the Orange Meanie

The problem I began to notice was that specific feeds from news sites tended to jam in stuff I wasn’t interested in. Like Sport, Real Estate, Celebrities and god, if I saw another photo of the Orange Monster staring out at me via my phone or computer, I swore I’d write a horror screenplay (although I’m sure it’d end up being panned as a copy of Ringu, that horror movie where there’s a mopey girl in the tv that eats people). I’d call it “Trumpu” or something.

I digress.

So the other issue was that not every site did RSS. Some did subscription newsletters.

And on top of that, Feedly actually did something really useful that was open to abuse: it would take feeds from Youtube creators. So I could, in theory, abandon my Google account (another work in progress). However, I ended up in a situation where there was just TOO MUCH to read through. It ended up like Facebook, an endless feed of “Stuff” that I needed to constantly tweak to reject stuff I didn’t want, such as the aforementioned orange meanie.

Working hypothesis — maybe there’s another way to do this?

So I’ve got email. EVERYONE has email. It’s the core communication medium of the world. And it’s nasty, and doesn’t really work that well, BUT it is useable and consistent.

Here’s what I’m hoping I can achieve:

  • inbox for personal email — the everyday stuff
  • inbox for subscriptions — the newsletter subscriptions
  • inbox for RSS — is it possible to RSS to a mail client?
  • inbox for youtube updates — similar to what I was doing with Feedly, but as email.

Nice to have would be a way of formatting email to be more like a messenger/sms chat, so there’s a progression of commentary rather than having to open another window/frame to reply to an email.

Also, it would be good to work within spam filter territory to set things up so ONLY whitelisted senders get through, and then a split between non-spam (let’s call this grey), and immediate killing of anything on the blacklist.

Now these may end up being different clients, or addons/plugins. However, it’s a challenge I’m willing to take up in 2020.

And to quote a great adventurer: “I’m making this up as I go along”.

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Greetings from the Couch

Written by

Really not a neural network enhanced instabot from the nastiest burrows of the darknet. (also do chai reviews on @melbournechai )

Paddle your own Review

Reviewing the shiny things without fear or favour.

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