Some great feeds
XML with benefits

An orange street sign saying DETOUR, with an arrow pointing down a road

Regular readers will know how fond I am of RSS feeds. The fondness is only growing stronger as the rich moron does his best to tear apart the Twitter community I once enjoyed being part of.

So, to encourage more of you to throw Twitter in the bin and pick up an RSS reader instead, here are a handful of feeds I enjoy reading; perhaps you might enjoy them too.

An outsider’s perspective - RSS feed

The diary of a family from New Zealand who moved to Scotland for a new life. I love Rachel’s openness and honesty. She writes about normal family life, about outings with the kids, about pets and cycling and veganism and tartans. It’s interesting seeing her perspective on life in the UK, as a newcomer with a fresh eye on things.

Holding himself to account

Matt Edgar - RSS feed

I often hold up Matt’s website as an excellent example of working in the open. I love the way Matt gives himself structure with a set of questions to answer every week. I love how he provides genuine thoughtful reflection on his working week. I love how, as a senior leader in his field, he holds himself to account in public. Lovely.

Letters from down south - RSS feed

A recent discovery; the anonymous personal notes of an IT expert doing a stint in the Antarctic. This isn’t about IT, it’s about the lifestyle. Going for walks (yes, they go for walks at the South Pole), eating meals, sending letters. The life they have down there is remarkably similar to the life we have up here; only much colder.

A dormant treasure

The Past and Present of Croydon’s London Road - RSS feed

I’ve been pointing at this brilliant blog for years, saying how good it is. I’m including it here for a couple of reasons: one, because it’s still brilliant, and you should still read it because it’s a real work of urban documentation. Author Kake goes to extraordinary lengths to uncover the story of every single property, how it changed hands, what it was used for. Imagine how much future historians will value Kake’s work.

The other reason: this blog has been dormant since 2021, thanks to Covid-19, which makes it hard to do all the necessary fieldwork. But the feed sits in my feed reader, and I know that one day - one day - that feed will go “ping!” and let me know that Kake’s been out and about again, and there’s another nugget of London Road history to read.

That’s one of the great things about RSS feeds: they don’t go stale. They’re quite happy waiting for whenever their human owners decide to put them to use. Just look at One Thing Well, which went quiet for a couple years while its author had other things to think about … and just the other week, it sprang back into life. Like a friend you haven’t seen for years, when the two of you re-connect and it’s like there was never a gap at all.

Mostly just trees

Diary of a man and his woodland - RSS feed

I don’t know much about the author of this website. I think he’s retired. I think he’s called David. That’s about all I know. But I love reading his updates about a tiny patch of woodland he owns and looks after.

The pace is slow, the updates are mostly about birds, wildlife, trees and mushrooms. The love this man puts into his woodland, and the joy he gets from spending time in it, shine through every time.

Filed under: notes
(1 December 2022)