Back in a day, I was a heavy Google Reader user. I had subscribed to a few hundred feeds. It resulted in quite some posts every single day. It was messy, unorganized without a focus. Still, I used to check as one of the primary sources of information and tried not to miss "the news."
The killing of Google Reader, not only removed the tool but also ripped out my habit. I exported my subscriptions from Google Reader. I tried to use new tools like Feedly. However, none of it did stick with me. I completely abandoned the following.
Maybe I was too young for it to organize it well?
Maybe Google Reader was just a toy to satisfy my fear of missing out?
Maybe a year ago, I noticed the comeback of RSS. Not sure if it was gone or I was only missing out on it. The primary driver was the interest in following people's blogs. I got fed up with Medium and other content aggregator's reading experiences. I wanted to support independent blogs with my attention.
I decided to try out the RSS reader again. Quickly reviewing the existing tools and solutions, it seemed a good idea to use Feedbin. It uses a clean and well-thought design. More than a year later, Feedbin has been one of the few loved products that I'm super happy paying for.
Strangely, I think paying for a service, in the beginning, was a critical reason why was able to get my RSS habit back. If I am paying for a service, I really want to use it and to know I am getting the best value for the buck. Feedbin exceded every expectation.
Feedbin is such a long time player in the field that almost all native Mac apps for RSS do support Feedbin as a sync account. I did try to use a couple of them. Little did stick with me.
I use NetNewsWire on my iPad. It works smoothly and is one of those Mac-assed apps. It works great on the Mac too but somehow I miss some keyboard shortcuts. I do come back to vanilla Feedbin just because it is that good. It provides a lot of customization and it is as fast as a native app on my mac. And actually, it is faster because it does not have to do any sync.
Feedbin gives you an email that you can use for newsletter subscription. I have moved all my email subscriptions and I am very happy about that. For me, a newsletter is just like an RSS feed: an occasional post that I am interested in. Additionally, Feedbin native web app is able to recreate some styling that was applied for email. It creates one more compelling reason just to stick with vanilla Feedbin.
Read it later
Feedbin also solved another problem. Before, I was a Pocket app user. I used to bookmark articles to read. However, I bookmarked more than I read. Feedbin does come with a bookmarklet that can be used as a way to send the whole webpage to Feedbin inbox. Since now it's a habit to read RSS updates, it's a great place to come back to long-reads that have been bookmarked before.
I am happy that now I have created a workflow that works well for me. I am driven by the idea to support people who come back to personal blogging. I am still interested to find more great blogs to follow. Once found, I will know what to do:
- if it's in a form of newsletter - I have an email address to subscribe to
- RSS provided? I will subscribe to it
- a single blog post to read? I will send it to my reading inbox
Note: this is not a sponsored post. Simply, it is my appreciation for a great tool out there - well priced, well designed and working flawlessly.