TechCrunch: RSS is undead.

Another enormous challenge is discovery and curation. How exactly do you find good RSS feeds? Once you have found them, how do you group and prune them over time to maximize signal?

This is the weirdest article on RSS I've ever read. Dead? Hardly. Dead means *gone*. RSS has never been gone. Twitter and other social channels have the significant problem of meta-posts during crises, signal obscured by increasing noise, making it impossible to follow breaking stories. RSS, you can clear the hash fast and drill right down to the info. Has he ever actually USED an aggregator? And dear God, he wants to *brand* RSS feeds. That's the whole beauty. All signal, no noise. I used to curate over 1000 unfocused feeds, which I wisely chivvied down to 370 tightly focused ones (though I'm adding more at the moment, trying to range away from politics). I have no problems curating and culling, either in Newsblur or Reeder. Never had problems in NetNewsWire, either. You can categorize in Newsblur, and most news orgs allow you to use niche-focus RSS feeds, so you don't have to parse their firehoses. I get RSS subscriber stats in *Squarespace*, even. Any inaccuracies in subscriber counts are the fault of cloud services, as I understand it - not RSS itself.

Really, TC. Where did you find this guy? 

Later: Speaking of which, Anil had a bizarre tweet the other day, making it sound like the death of Google Reader threw people over to Facebook - if I understand his tweet properly. Anil is always dead-on, so this confused me. Just before Reader croaked, I asked compadres what I should switch to, and chose Newsblur. Exported my OPML from Google, imported into Newsblur, and didn't miss a beat. If some "media maker" people lost their access to RSS aggregation, I wonder about their ability to perform their jobs creditably. Sure, we had to pony up, but that's the way of the world these days. The cost is a pittance. And no, Facebook is NOT a replacement for RSS. It's not even a replacement for AOL (HAH). Twitter is not a replacement for RSS either, though news orgs are prioritizing their Tweets over RSS update frequencies (waiting for full articles or paragraphs to be written/edited/approved), so for immediacy during crises, it's good to check both Twitter and RSS interchangeably ... at least until the Twitter noise obscures any discernible facts.


I see some are doing linkblogs. My goodness, what quaint little attempts. You’re cute. I can bury you without even thinking. Fifteen minutes, timer starting now.

SeattlePI: Couple beat 4 yr old to death over spilled cereal. Proportionality?
Slate: The balanced budget amendment is deeply stupid. Obvious.
Axios: Trump still believes trade wars are easy to win. Speaking of deeply stupid.
CBS: Assault weapons ban doesn’t violate 2nd Amendment, judge says. The militia clause wasn’t a placeholder.
NYT: Markets Tumble Again. @&$^%$@%
History Today: The Lost Classics. To play ancient Greek music, perchance to hear songs of the muses.
Wirecutter: Best nonstick pan. I’ve bought too many, thrown away too many.
Capital & Main: Study: Forced Arbitration Contracts Cover 60 Million Workers. Arbitration sucks. You want a jury.
SLYT: The First Purge - Official Trailer.
New Scientist: Wasps drum with their stomachs to tell each other about food. Beat to eat.
Hyperallergic: How corporations harness – and hijack – the idea of the Museum. “Museum”, going the way of “curation”?
CBS: Sessions orders "zero tolerance" policy on illegal border crossings. There go the raft concessions on the Rio. And the ranchers will lose their wandering cows.
SeattlePI/AP: Yosemite will close on Friday. Expected floods.
New Yorker: The Revolutionary Genius of Cecil Taylor. Try Love For Sale [Spotify].
Facebook: Making Ads and Pages More Transparent. Repairing the chicken coop after the foxes got in, part 25.
CBS: Teens bored with their smartphones. YES! YES! Go out and experience reality.
The Nation: The murder of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll has exposed 2 toxic racisms in France. “… and no religion, too.”
Chronicle of Higher Ed: Have Academics Finally Found the Perfect Meme? If’n you ain’t got the ‘stache …

Done. And that was just with one update in Newsblur. I'd manage even more volume if I was still using my old workflow with MarsEdit. Don't mess. Do better, if you're going to offer a linkblog. My beat in the '00's, to the tune of 60+/day, no compensation, in my spare time. I learned hoity-toity 'curation' by doing. It is now the way my grey matter sees things.

"Interestingness" + value-add.

You need more than just being first to the info; that's a no-win situation. There'll always be someone there before you, and then all you end up being is a manual RSS poster. If all you have is immediacy, and you can't guarantee it, what do you have? Your followers may respond to it, but you will start bleeding them eventually. 

The value-add must first and foremost be perspicacity, and then textured by character, voice of experience, authenticity and wit. Cultural references where appropriate. The wit should be as satisfying as a great wrist-snap when throwing a Frisbee. The audience should feel your archness, envision that raised eyebrow and inquiring look. Euan used to tease me about my rather 'painful concision'. I prefer to add more context these days - Rafe asked me to, way back, and I broke through my mental barriers to accommodate.

The Outline: When conspiracy theories become weaponized.

According to Q, Mueller’s investigation is really all about Clinton and Obama, who — in addition to being BFFs with Russia, Saudi Arabia, and, of course, ISIS — are also the leaders of a global child-sex-trafficking and torture ring, while still somehow finding the time to both lead the insanity known as “Operation Mockingbird” (with CIA operative Anderson Cooper) and feast on human adrenal glands, because why not?

Someone's purposely playing the idiots. Before I opened this, I could have guessed something like monkey glands were involved. Reminds me of a classic Bloom County: "Senator Bedfellow, would you care to comment on whether you sunk Jimmy Hoffa in your pond?" "Of course not!" Headline: "Bedfellow Denies Hiding Hoffa's Body." Bizarro world. Denials are confirmations. Innuendo is fact. I couldn't live that way. Surprised anyone can. But some folk have way, way, WAY too much time on their hands.

TechCrunch: Facebook plans to let everyone unsend messages, will stop Zuckerberg until then.

Facebook retracted his chats, and is now trying to normalize the behavior.

If you post to the internet outside of the courage of your convictions, then you're better off dead if you haven't yet died. Said before, will probably say again. We 'old schoolers' had an unwritten code, you never ever touched your archives after publishing. Zuck's behavior breaks what I consider a moral imperative. Expanding it to others, is just promoting a terrible precedent. What's next, altering history books? Serious slippery slope here. Electronic publishing makes the alteration of past works idiotically simple.

Kickstarter: Relaunching, a 20-year old blogging community.

There's an effort to revive Pitas, for the 20th anniversary of 'my generation' of bloggers next year. I remember tapping quite a few well-written pieces there over the years. Having been on Manila at the time, Pitas was the second place I'd go look for content after the 'usual suspect' Blogger sites.

naked cap: Is It Time to Delete Facebook?

Facebook in particular is a social media way of harnessing interpersonal linkages through the net. Its model must be using those links and the information they generate to create value for advertisers. Any user of Facebook (or Amazon) can easily see how fast browsers insert ads related to one’s most recent searches. So it becomes manifestly clear that these companies are tracking us for common advertising purposes.

Much to ponder in this article. I don't necessarily agree with the dampening of 'techno-optimism' in the last sentence, but stew a while over the rest.

In the above quote, it's the "must" that bugs me. Why don't we know? There needs to be some watchdog function to make sure our data isn't being overgathered, oversold, overanalyzed and misused. 

If our only method of controlling our own interests is by opting out, well ... eventually we'll opt out. We need this theorized "New Deal on Data." It'll cost social orgs $. But for an ad-free, untracked experience, I'd happily pay a monthly fee. And I know I'm not alone.