bwrss wrap-up

Published (updated: ) in projects, tech.

“Been a long time”

This post has changed a bit since I first published it last week, on 4 July. Since then I’ve had more feedback that’s given it a happier ending.

The bwrss project is done. Did it succeed? YES.

The idea was to promote RSS feeds, to remind people that they exist, to encourage people to use them. 

I have a feeling it worked well for people who think the same way as me, and who still use a feedreader anyway.

I wasn’t sure that it reached anyone else. That might be partly my fault for not pushing it harder on social media, but I hate pushing things hard on social media. Ugh. 

It felt odd to be publishing to just a feed, not a website that has a feed.

That in turn made it feel different – as if it was closer to its readers. A bit like the feeling you get writing an email newsletter compared to writing a blog post. It felt more intimate, if that’s the right word.

RSS isn’t where photos should live

One thing I’m sure about is that RSS is not a good way to share photos. I knew that before I started, and so did you, but allow me to make the point again now.

good way to share photos is on the web. On an open, public, accessible web page with a permanent URL that you can link to from elsewhere.

Instagram is not a good way of sharing photos. Everyone uses it, though.

Flickr is a good way of sharing photos. Hardly anyone I know uses it anymore. Just a few people. (Hi Phil! Hi Russell! Hi Ben!)

A little feedback

I explicitly asked for feedback at the end of the whole thing.By far the best bit of feedback, and the bit that made me decide the whole project had been a success, was this from Lawrence:

I’ve downloaded NetNewsWire and I’m back on RSS. Thank you. Been gone a long time, it’s good to be free of all the noise.

Lawrence is now one of my favouritest people in the whole world. 

Warren said:

As an original Little Printer user, I found the personal picture publishing subscription a very pleasant thing indeed.

While I don’t really have time, or the background, for these kinds of projects, it did make me think about RSS publishing as its own thing. Of a piece with Craig Mod’s recent experiments in MMS publishing, perhaps, or Robin Sloan’s history of “media invention.” Thanks for it.

Any comparison with Little PrinterCraig Mod or Robin Sloan is a good comparison in my book. Thanks Warren!

Mike said:

It’s been really nice to see this mini resurgence of RSS taking hold. Funnily enough I was running a user research session today and one of the participants said a website we were discussing needed an RSS feed, so maybe it’s back on the rise 🤞 .

Randall said: 

I love this use of RSS. I never stopped being an RSS enthusiast. I shared your feed with folks in my network in and there was a bit of talk about the uniqueness of what you are doing.

Which was really nice to hear. 

Finally, Larry said:

Yay! Nice pictures!

Thanks Larry.

Was it a good idea? I think it was.

Would I do it again? Maaaaaybe. Probably not exactly the same thing.

RSS is still good, though, right? Yes. Yes of course.