The idea

#FeedReaderFriday: A Suggestion for Changing our Social Media Patterns | Chris Aldrich

Feed Readers

Just after I discover RSS in the “flowering” of theScotEduBlogs community I got interested in aggregating RSS and creating specialised readers. Back in around 2006 I was blogging some ideas which lead to Robert Jones & Pete Liddle creating the first iteration of the ScotEduBlogs aggregation. Later I moved the site to WordPress using the FeedWordPress plug-in. I’d seen this in use on the marvellous DS106 site which aggregates blogs of students and open participants of the many iterations of the notorious Digital Storytelling course. The flow on DS106 has pulled in 91749 (at time of writing) posts since 2010.

ScotEduBlogs is at a bit of a low at the moment, there are not so many folk blogging about education in Scotland. I still love the idea of ‘specialist’ or community aggregations or feed readers. Of course the site has an RSS feed that can be subscribed to. Dave Winer’s FeedLand, which I noted in a previous #FeedReaderFriday, can also create ‘News Products’ with similar results.

Folk to Follow

I like to follow some human aggregators, even better if they add their own opinions. One of my favourites in Arron Davis his Read Write Collect blog is an IndieWeb style collector of replies, bookmarks and other responses. RSS.

Some of Tom Woodward’s Bionic Teaching – utan blixt consists of his harvest of links with brief comment. This might be auto posted, perhaps from pinboard? He also posts about higher ed use of technology and, of particular interest to me, his work with WordPress. RSS

This post is part of a series with a wee bit about readers and a couple of suggestions of feeds to follow.

Replied to #FeedReaderFriday: A Suggestion for Changing our Social Media Patterns by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (boffosocko.com)
Instead of spending time on Twitter, Mastodon, Instagram, or other major social platforms, start practicing #FeedReaderFriday by carving out some time to find and follow people’s websites directly with a feed reader or social reader. Then engage with them directly on their own websites.

This is a really nice idea Chris.
I am currently trying out FeedLand Dave Winer’s new project. This is a feed collector & reader. You can also see what other people are subscribing to.

 

Feedland went public today. I’ve been lucky enough to have been testing it and following its development for the last few weeks.

Feedland is a lot of things, all to do with RSS feeds. First it is a place to gather and organise feeds. Second it can be a place to read these feeds. Third it allows you to publish a ‘news product’ which you can share so that others can read the news from sets of these gathered feeds. Fourthly it is a place were you can see what feeds other users have gathered.

Feedland was built by Dave Winer who

pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software;
So it has an interesting pedigree and is opinionated software. Dave has had as long a relationship with RSS and OPML as anyone on the web and in an excellent position to have opinions.

Feedland is developed with an eye to interop. Feeds to get information out abound. For example the widget on my sidebar uses the Sync OPML to Blogroll plugin to sync my blog role from the opml list of feeds I’ve subscribed to in Feedland. I could also use this to control the feeds I view in an rss reader like inoreader which supports external opml.

Dave says:

FeedLand is all about people, feeds and news.

One of the most attractive, to me features, is the possibility of communities being loosely organised around the sharing of feeds. It is easy to see the feeds another user has gathered and to add them to your own list with a handy checkbox.

Feedland is still developing. I’d recommend a look at the docs and there are some interesting views starting to appear for the early adopters.

I’ve only touched on a few to the things about Feedland I’ve found interesting so far. There is a lot more to this app already and lots more to come.

Of all the digital tools I’ve used the one that has stuck with me longest is RSS. I’ve been excited & delighted to get a peek at Feedland. Feedland is Dave Winer’s latest foray into the technologies he has spent many years working on, RSS, opml & news.

As part of my peeking I’ve had the chance to produce a personal news reader. Any messiness is down to me rather than Feedland.

Over the years I’ve made a few similar things. This has been one of the easiest ways. The linked page is running on an old Raspberry Pi 2. Most of the work is done on Dave’s servers but the end result was easily produced on my own.

Dave hints this is a partial sneak peek. I am looking forward to exploring and finding out more.

Uh, you know, you could imagine a history of podcasting, that evolved more just like a digital version of radio, and didn’t have this, this idea of a feed. And there are services out there, I think, trying to get back to a more controlled, like not, not a feed-based system,

I’ve been really enjoying dipping into Really Specific Stories which is about the creative practice of RSS-based tech podcasting. So far a lot of the episodes I’ve listened to have been from duel point of views as listeners & producers. I’ve found the ‘listener’ views particularly compelling.

I’ve not managed to post any notes about the episodes I’ve listened to but I’am delighted that they come with full transcripts. I mostly listen to podcasts while driving, ideas pop into my head and vanish. The transcripts let me go back and skim to be reminded.

I didn’t really need to skim this episode except to grab a quote. Daniel’s passionate arguments for RSS and publishing in the open came across very strongly. I both enjoyed and agreed with it all.

Although Really Specific Stories is about tech podcasting I think anyone with an interest in podcasting would enjoy it. I’ve listened to several episodes now and will continue to follow it.

I’ve just read On Reshaping: Tooling WordPress with nothing other than it’s URLs – CogDogBlog

Alan covers many of the interesting url patterns that can produce sets of posts in WordPress. I knew of some, but there are several gems I’d not discovered. Combining dates and taxonomies for example. RSS Feeds for all of these and finally RSS feeds for searches.

Many of these could all be used as links on your site in the same ways as a simple category can be added to a menu. It reminds me of one of my favourite plugins Display Posts which lists posts filtered in every which way. 

The RSS ones might be used to show a dynamic set of links from a different WordPress site. For example Alan mentions HyperCard in his post, by using the url for the RSS feed for a search on his site for HyperCard I can use the RSS block to show search results for HyperCard on Alan’s site:

I don’t usually use the block editor on this site. To insert the RSS block I switched to the block editor, inserted the block and switched back.

This is a bit kludgy but apart from some bother with paragraphs it seems to work.  Once you have added the block and switch back to the classic editor the block is invisible in the Visual view but you see:

<!-- wp:rss {"feedURL":"https://cogdogblog.com/?s=Hypercard\u0026feed=rss2"} /--> in the text editor. You could just save the snippet, and change the url for later use. (Or just use the block editor it seems to be the future).

See also Hidden in the Code – Read Write Respond found via a search for a possilbe featured image

Bookmarked My Indie, Integrated Feed Reader (colinwalker.blog)
For a few years now, it has been a goal (or more of a dream) to build my own feed reader which integrates directly with the blog making it easy to perform indieweb actions such as likes and replies.

This is a really beautiful looking setup. The best thing, I’d guess, is the integration with Colin’s blog using indieweb actions. The UI looks great. The video of mobile looks perfect.

The upside of a DIY system would be it works just they way you want it. I wonder if something similar could be done for WordPress, using FeedWordPress as a reader perhaps.

RSS Via Shortcode for Page & Post

I’ve been using this plugin on several pages on this site for a while. Recently I’ve seen errors on some of the pages and occasionally on other posts pointing to this plugin. I checked and it has not been updated for 7 years, so decided to pull the plug.

Rather than find a new plugin I just changed the pages to use the new Blocks editor and add feeds using some blocks.

For some I used the Display Remote Posts Block – WordPress plugin. This I discovered & installed through the add block interface & found later that it has installed a plugin. On others I used the built in RSS & podcast player blocks. All three seem to do the job.

Examples: RSS block, Podcast Block & Display Remote Posts.

I am not ready for the Block editor full time on this blog. I’ve been exploring it a little on Glow Blogs. But I’ve got a few things here that are incompatible (eg. Post Kinds plugin) and for my blog the classic editor, is usually more than enough.