Enjoying My RSS Reader


I’ve been tweaking and using my own RSS reader for almost a month now. Its been pretty decent. One of the things that I most enjoy is that I never open it and feel as if I’ve missed anything. When I open my Google Reader view, I’m seeing a list of unread items, and there’s a bit of a press to get through all of it. As a matter of fact, the other day I realized that I’d not even opened Google Reader in a few days. There were over 1000 unread items. But, not actually, many of the items that I wanted to read I’d done already – on my reader. This is the kind of enjoyment I’m talking about.

That’s not to say that I’ve been able to build something as complete as Google Reader. Google Reader has the ability to star items to read later. I’ve actually resorted to just sending them to a folder in Evernote (I’ve been doing this with tweets, so it makes a lot of sense). Google Reader also has the ability to click a button and have it share to (G+) social networks. I don’t really have that one either, but since I’m using a browser, I’m just able to use the share functionality to share it there.

I wish that I could say that I developed all of this on my own. Per much of what comes out of my hands, I’m more or less pulling technologies together and making something that fits for me as best I can. Included in this RSS Reader:

  • CSS and HTML5 lessons (w3Schools and beyond)
  • jQuery (though, not much of it)
  • RSS to JavaScript (to change RSS feeds to HTML that I can tweak with CSS and jQuery)
  • RSS Mix (that does a compiled feed of all the feeds present on the page)

All in all, just a puzzle of tech that has made reading and keeping up with various news bits a bit easier for me.

Now, the next steps are probably to take this page offline and just keep it for my local usage. I’ll probably share the compiled feed, but nothing more than that. Personally, I’m of the opinion that we can and should be doing more with RSS… and I’m not the only one thinking that such is possible. I want to do things such as automatically share and save some of the items that I read (click on the link to read it and there’s the share; swipe over the link and it archives it, and stuff like that – buttons are a hack, I want to remove the need for most of them).

Those are the kinds of things that a quieter and self-made reading time have done for me. And these are lessons that I can take to others so that when things like Google Reader shutting down comes along, that I’m not part of the complaints, but am part of making a solid solution.

How about that… reading that provokes making solutions, instead of spreading problems. Kind of novel isn’t it 😉

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