In July, Six Revisions founder Jacob Gube unsubscribed from all of his RSS and took his reader to RSS Zero. We were interested in learning more about the results of his experiment and his daily RSS routine.
And even with his busy schedule, he very kindly agreed to take some time to answer our questions!
1) Would you consider RSS an essential part of your daily routine? How do you use it in your normal workflow?
As a person who runs a couple of online publications, I need to be well-informed of what’s going on in the industry I’m covering. And to that end, RSS is an extremely valuable part of my workflow.
Typically, I like learning and reading towards the end of the day, late-afternoon, so that’s when I go through my RSS feed. I process my RSS feed like my inbox, I read and save what’s important to me and delete the rest.
2) You recently wrote about starting your RSS reader over from zero. Do you think that you read more articles now than you did before?
When I wrote about the idea of RSS zero, my feed was not manageable. It was not serving the function it was intended to carry out, which was to allow me to get an overview of the information that mattered to me. There was so much noise that I wasn’t able to derive value from my RSS subscriptions anymore. So I thought about how I could get my beloved tool back. The best recourse for me was just to start from scratch.
I’m definitely reading a lot more now that I’ve cleaned up shop. More importantly, I’ve fallen in love with RSS all over again.
3) Do you think RSS and social media can share a similar space for users?
Personally, I think of RSS and social media as two discrete content sources, and looking at them in that manner makes them more manageable for me. If I want to catch up on news and consume content from sources I’ve personally chosen, I go to my RSS feed.
If I want to know what my friends are up to or I want to learn what people have to say about a particular restaurant, I go to my social media feed. Those two goals don’t often happen at the same time for me.
I do see the value in combining RSS and social news (Reddit, Hacker News, etc.) into one platform.
4) In your opinion, do you think RSS could be replaced with a different format in the future?
RSS as a technology does what it was originally designed to do; it allows content producers to provide excerpts of their content to their readers, and allows readers to stay tuned and quickly see the newest published content from their favorite websites.
RSS could be replaced by a more effective way of distributing content in the future, but as a facilitator of the specific task I’ve just described, I’m not quite sure there needs to be an alternative format, much like how we’re still using HTML or CSS or the wheel because they still get the job done.
5) What are your top 3 places to find fresh ideas and inspiration at the moment?
Reddit, Hacker News, and Niice are all great places for ideas, inspiration and information.
|Jacob Gube is the founder of Six Revisions, a web publication for web developers and designers, and the co-founder of Design Instruct, web magazine for designers and digital artists. He’s a front-end web developer by profession.|