Falling in Love with RSS again

17 Feb 2015

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It was my personal newspaper online.

It was different from traditional newspapers.

It has only the kind of information that I want to know.

Inspiration, Innovation, Creativity, Spirituality, Fitness and so on.

Nothing about the religions, wars, corporate scandals, murders, rapists… No… No… Nothing negative.

I enjoyed reading it every day, whenever I find the time.

I generally browse through my feeds in the morning to get the daily dose of inspiration.

It was RSS with Google Reader.

Good or bad, nothing lasts forever, right?.

The day was July 1, 2013.

Google shut down its RSS aggregator Google Reader, the only service which kept me hooked on to google for hours every day. I was like a panic-stricken chicken, waiting for his turn. Frantically looking for alternates to google reader.

Trust me, I didn’t like any of the alternatives available at that time. Nothing came close to Google Reader.

After waving good-bye and few days of mourning, I switched to email subscriptions.

Suddenly the world looked so bright. As if I got a “hottie booty” soon after my last girlfriend ditched me.

Now, I don’t have to go to the reader. The content will come to my inbox directly.

Woww… I kinda liked it. I went ahead and subscribed to all the blogs websites that I like and also some of the new interesting blogs.

Its a whole new world out here. Almost every blog or website gives me goodies (an e-book, e-course, PDF reports etc) for simply handing over my email address to them.

I gave my email address to every damn blog that gave a goodie, downloaded every one of them, saved them for later reading. I even enabled email subscription option on all my blogs, immediately.

I was singing, “Ooh la la la… Let’s go dancin’…”

Very soon, I understood the marketing and money behind the email lists. Damn.

Almost every one of the blogs has something to sell. They wrote very lengthy emails to convince me with all the “facts” to prove that their product will improve my life forever. A lot of times they redirected me to their pitching page with either a very lengthy text + testimonials or a video. The most frustrating thing is that - irrespective of the product, every pitching page looks the same. Follows the same pattern. Like Zebras. Sucks!!!

Good or bad, nothing lasts forever, right?.

I started to unsubscribe myself from most of the websites and hang on to 20+ blogs. Even though they pitch in for their products/courses/webinars at regular intervals, I kept on reading their content in emails.

That presented another unique problem over the past two years. It’s probably unique only to me.

I like a clean Inbox. I read, respond to emails on a daily basis. To me,

An unread email is an unfinished task!

Now, I have to read 20+ blogs or at least open them and bookmark them for later reading every day. If I like an article, there is no way to save them for later reading, unless I bookmark it in the browser or use a bookmarking service. Thought about, how easy it was for Google Reader.

What I ended up with is a messy Inbox with multiple folders of unread emails. When an email goes to a folder other than Inbox, I can assure that it will not be read immediately or it may even live there forever.

Why should I go through all these messes to consume the information I like?.

I don’t like the current equation of the marketers,

Email List = Money.

I would prefer to retain the original idea,

Email = Communication.

Why can’t life be simpler like good old RSS days?

I started looking for alternatives again. This time, I liked Feedly. I liked the mobile app, web interface and the synchronization of both. I can use it with Amazon Kindle. All my books and blogs in one place. Love it.

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