By Jason Snell
August 31, 2016 1:16 PM PT
Keeping up on the news
Staying on top of the news sure is more complicated than it used to be. There was a time when I had a newspaper delivered to my door, and that generally did the trick. There was cable news for anything breaking at the moment. And… we were done.
The world doesn’t work like that anymore. But there are still ways to sensibly keep track of what’s going on. In this issue, Stephen Hackett writes about the fact that the death of RSS has been greatly exaggerated, with great options for RSS story aggregation on the Mac and iOS alike.
I have to admit, RSS has never been a technology that ever really stuck for me. I’d download a new newsreader and give it a whirl for a while, but eventually I’d abandon it—usually overwhelmed by the number of unread items, or frustrated about the limitations of RSS feeds themselves—and go back to other ways of getting news.
These days I get news in a few ways. I have three newspaper subscriptions—the Kindle Edition of the San Francisco Chronicle and the digital editions of the New York Times and the Washington Post. I’m a regular user of Nuzzel, a news aggregator for iOS and the web that takes the links in my Twitter and Facebook feeds and filters them based on their popularity. I use Instapaper to collect stories for later reading, and use that service’s integration with the Kindle to send those stories to my Kindle overnight.
While Nuzzel does a good job of aggregating links in my social timelines, I also pick up a whole lot just by reading my main Twitter timeline as well as custom lists I’ve built for sports and science topics.
I also visit a few sites regularly, just to see what’s going on. It’s completely manual—or as I like to think of it, completely on-demand. I type in a web address or click a bookmark and see what’s there. I know, how primitive. But it seems to work for me.
Still, I have to admit that reading Stephen’s story makes me ponder taking another run at RSS. I know how it would end, though. With me deleting another RSS app and going back to the grazing strategy that’s served me, more or less, for more than a decade. It’s primitive, I know, but somehow it works for me.
Next month will be a big one in terms of news. Final versions of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra will arrive. There will be a new iPhone and, if we’re very lucky, maybe some clue about what’s happening with the next generation of Macs. Keep watching Six Colors for our complete coverage, and of course keep listening to the Six Colors Secret Podcast (accessible by logging into your account at Six Colors, if you don’t know the secret feed address yet) and reading the Six Colors Magazine!
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