Screw getting news and updates from Facebook. Get it from the source, easily.

You’re rethinking how you get your news, information, and just general internet.

Photo by on Unsplash

Maybe it’s because of the way Facebook has been pointed at for influencing the election, how it spreads and profits from fake news (and still does, since folks are already finding ways around “safeguards”), how it’s reportedly banning/blocking independent creators for sharing their work and crowdfunding projects (instead of buying ads), or the way it’s trying to become the next AOL and killing off independent sites like Funny Or Die in the process.

But at the same time, you don’t want to go to a bunch of different sites.

Well, friends, let me (re)introduce you to RSS – short for Really Simple Syndication.

Here’s the short form: Lots of websites and blogs (including this one) produce a stream of information called an RSS feed.  You can subscribe to these, kinda like you would subscribe to a newsletter, except there’s a few big advantages:

You don’t give away your e-mail address to scammy marketers.
You know when your favorite websites update.
You don’t clog up your e-mail with articles.
Someone at Facebook doesn’t decide what you see (and where you see it).
You can open it up and read when you want…
…and if you choose a cloud service, wherever you want.

Sound good?  Then you want to get yourself going with an RSS reader.

Lifewire has more about what RSS is, and how it works

The most aggressively cross-platform one I can find is The Old Reader (it even has a Kindle app) which also has a built-in social aspect.  RSSOwl is one of the more popular cross-platform desktop feed readers; SharpReader is free for Windows, I use Liferea for Linux, Reeder is available for the Mac (though it costs $), Feedly is based on the web (though slightly limited on the basic plan), and there’s plenty of other readers out there for web and mobile services as well as self-hosted ones.