It's probably no surprise to most that algorithms define what we see and what we not see when it comes to news. After all, that's how the constant stream of news and updates keeps being manageable.
But algorithms have a dark side as well. As a consumer, they work mostly like a black box. We don't know how exactly how they decide on what to surface and what to hide from us and in most cases, they have been designed by companies with financial interests in mind which adds a bias towards selection of news.
Luckily, there is a solution for that and it's actually a decades old technology: RSS.
RSS (rich site summary) allows everyone on the internet to build their own newsfeed by manually curating sources. No algorithm is in the way, only you and a direct relationship on a per article basis with your preferred news outlet or blog.
RSS is also a way to self-determine the consumption of information online. No trackers are following you around, snooping in on your reading habits.
I personally chose Feedly (free, available for iOS, Android, Web & more) as my preferred RSS reader and it's as simple as it gets. Adding sources works easily and in only a few moments, you can build your own newsfeed solely based on your personaly preferences.
Currently, I subscribed to the following feeds in case you need some inspiration:
- DER SPIEGEL (German news)
- derStandard.at (Austrian news)
- Tagesspiegel (Berlin news)
- monkbent.net (Ben Thompson's personal blog)
- Axios (US politics, society & tech)
- Vox (US politics, society & tech)
- A VC (Fred Wilson's blog)
- Daring Fireball (John Gruber's blog)
- Dithering (John Gruber and Ben Thompson's paid podcast)
- Stratechery (Ben Thompson's professional blog)
If you have some ten minutes of downtime in between meetings or after work tonight, consider giving Feedly a try – or any other RSS reader of your choice.
You will see, it's kind of liberating to selectively build your own newsfeed and by that, discover new and interesting blogs.
PS: You can also subscribe to this blog if you like: https://bernie.hauser.io/rss/