Demystifying RSS and Other Subscriptions With a /Feeds Page

A little meta1 post tonight. Earlier today, I created a /feeds page that (1) lists all the ways you can subscribe2 to new posts from this site, and (2) explains quite a bit about what RSS is and how to use it.

I’ve had the one-liner in the footer about subscribing to HeyDingus for a while now, but I thought they could use some explanation and a more permanent home as I continue to tweak the site’s design. I like the idea of standardizing around some common sub-pages like /feeds, /now, /projects, /uses, and a few others. Well, now I’ve got one more crossed off that list.

But the RSS explainer was something that I’ve long thought was an important bit missing from my site. It’s one thing to advertise an RSS feed, but how many of the people stumbling across my posts have any idea about what RSS is or why it’d make their internet browsing better? I know that I love using RSS to keep up with the sites I like, and I really think it’s the best way to read the web. But I also recognize that it’s a pretty opaque concept if you’ve never had it explained. So much that I’m not sure how you’d get started using RSS if you’re at all intimidated by computers or the internet, even though it’s precisely one of those tools that make the internet more approachable.

So I wrote the explainer in — I hope — clear, relatable terms comparing RSS sync services to your email provider and RSS reader apps to email clients like Apple Mail, Spark, or Outlook. I also recommended some sync services and reader apps that I’ve tried over the years. If you’re curious about RSS, I hope you’ll take a look.

  1. Not that one this time.↩︎

  2. I realized after making the page that it could equally be a /subscribe page. So that URL redirects there, too.↩︎


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