Yes. I’ve discovered the internet.
Over the last several years, the commentary has all been about the internet as a cesspit of fake news, data harvesting and trolling.
Over the last several weeks, we have been reminded of all the reasons that we love the internet. A Dutch woman began a hashtag and now every Thursday evening the UK population emerges blinking on its doorstep to applaud the National Health Service.
Social networks have taken on a more loving, supportive aspect that was feared lost forever.
I read many webpages, and I use Really Simple Syndication, also known as Rich Site Summary, (RSS) to do it. Essentially, RSS allows me to collect together in one place all the updates on websites that I follow. RSS has been around for a long time. It powers podcast distribution too.
One of the neatest ways to do this is through a news aggregator. I use one called Feedly, which collects together all the updates. It has an app that lives on all my devices. However – while Feedly is a brilliant aggregator, I don’t find it the cosiest place to spend time reading.
Over the last year or two, I have been trying out several RSS Readers. Feedly, Unread, Reeder, and NetNewsWire. I love the reading experience on Unread, but was seduced by NetNewsWire (a rebooted service) which worked both on Mac and IOS.
Now – I’m an IOS puritan, which, in a way, liberates me. A key feature for me used to be cross-platform support. Vanessa suggested in the 1857 Slack that I should try Fiery Feeds. This is a neat app, with lots of scope for personalisation. I can add feeds directly in-app, and fine-tune every aspect of the display and the settings.
Fiery Feeds is, as I type, favourite. I will experiment for a day or two more and then settle. Once decided on an app, the real work begins, curating the content. A comprehensive RSS feed can reduce e-mails (I unsubscribe from e-mail lists that duplicate my RSS feeds) and creates distinct “safe spaces” for my interests. Stationery features heavily, as does Apple News.
For me, the iPad is never more magical than when I’m sprawled on the couch, reading through my favourite websites.