San Francisco, California

How would I improve RSS?

Matt Webb:

My sense is that RSS is having a mini resurgence. People are getting wary of the social media platforms and their rapacious appetite for data. We’re getting fatigued from notifications; our inboxes are overflowing. And people are saying that maybe, just maybe, RSS can help. So I’m seeing RSS being discussed more in 2020 than I have done for years. There are signs of life in the ecosystem.

As someone who still feels that this ecosystem is the highlight of the web (and as someone who is maybe beginning to build a writing career because of that same ecosystem), I certainly hope so. In the future I can imagine all sorts of platforms built on top of RSS, beyond podcasts, and I think in this post Matt shows where some of those exciting ideas might lead.

Also, I still believe in a Kindle/Analogue-esque device that, within it, contains an operating system that is half Patreon, half Substack, half Instapaper.

I think of this as the Republic of Newsletters writ large—The OmniBlog—where writers can publish their work and folks can subscribe via RSS but with a Coil-esque payment system built in and preloaded onto a physical e-reader. Writers could blog away, connected to eachother, whilst readers could subscribe to their work and perhaps even fund larger pieces of writing—like Robin and Craig. But also mix that that fanciness up with all the vulnerability of Cassie and all the wow, zoom, pow of Charlie. And the working-in-public sensibilities of Jonnie. Add that stuff alongside the musings of Alice and the focused, technical writing of Stephanie and Sarah. Oh, and the political rants of Jon. And the many, many more writers and bloggers and people that I adore.

Shit, I just described Medium huh.