RSS - A Follow-up

Get an RSS reader and connect everything to it!

Between switching to Mastodon for my social media allowance, and using a dedicated RSS reader has really cut down my overall consumption and wasted PC time.

this blogpost is originally posted to my gemini gemlog: gemini:// which is where I do most of my writing, converting some useful to share things over here. It is also where the original RSS gemlog this is a follow-up to was posted. For context, I wanted to cutback on a lot of my web consumption, wasting time and just being mindless online. So I looked to RSS to help centralize and solve this issue.


So I am using as my RSS aggregator. It’s a self-hosted RSS aggregator that, using profiles, allows you to subscribe to multiple feeds and have them “synced” between multiple devices (they’re not synced, you’re connecting to a central server). I like this because I don’t ever have to worry about dismissing, reading, or marking anything on my phone to have it still present on my PC. And I don’t have to worry about feed subscriptions or my phone pinging a bunch of feeds, or obviously, any third-party hosting.

How I’ve been using it

So as always, please send me interesting RSS feeds! Or even your own! I am trying to read more blogs, and if you have something you enjoy drop me a DM or email! I’ll share what I am following throughout this section <3


Obviously, I am following blogs, one of the last holdouts of RSS. I have a few that I follow, mostly other transfolk on Mastodon that I found had their own blogs. Most non-trans folks I follow are using gemini and still rely on the feed aggregators for that.

If you’re interested the two main ones I am reading right now are:

  1. Erin In The Morn (substack)
  2. Selfaware Soup

Which have been pretty insightful. Erin sharing a lot of US transgender news, which is good since I have dropped off using Reddit which is where I “got” my “news” from.


The other mainstay in RSS is podcasts. Some even say if a podcast can’t be consumed via RSS, is it even a podcast? I would agree. Everything else is just a show. I don’t need the content to be consumable from my reader, but I’d really appreciate it if were. I am always on the lookout for more podcasts though. With the only two consistent listens being:

  1. The Pen Addict Podcast (
  2. Cortex Podcast (

And currently off-season:

Which has a YouTube video format. Though, I honestly really don’t care for Austin Evans, I just enjoy consuming some F1 content and pretending I have friends I can talk to about motor racing.

While writing this section I added:

I have yet to listen, some of the topics seem interesting and being infrequent gives me hope its quality over quantity. (And I like having podcasts for chores to distract my brain)

Tech News

Right now I follow two main news sources in tech:


Running servers using stable debian - it’s good to know when security updates come in, as well as distro updates. And LWN is fantastic, I’ve been a subscriber for many years and while sometimes (Jake) can focus a bit heavy on Python news, has been always interesting to read.

This is the section I plan on adding more and more to. I had other tech blogs that just felt like clutter and were pushing out daily articles that I couldn’t care less about ( cough cough). But that’s just me. Tech news is mainly where I want to focus - since fluff blogs are rarely my cup of tea.

LWN has some links in their weekly editions for other news feeds I might consider directly subscribing too, but for now I have these.

Music News

Some folk have an RSS feed for their site updates, which I appreciate. Some use sites like Squarespace but don’t properly connect up the RSS feed which I do NOT appreciate.

So right now I have two bandsites that DO update it seems (as their site aligns with the feed) - but the only one I’ll mention is: I’ve spoken of this artist in my Music Spotlight MANY times and is one of my favorites. His site, while entirely simple, is setup with RSS and has been publishing his updates consistently. I appreciate this. Always a strong rec from me!

I’ve been toying with Music Review sites that talk about new releases in the genres they specialize in, but I haven’t settled on anything that is helping me discover new music.


This is probably where the biggest change has actually come in. Having my YouTube feed fed through RSS has been fantastic. I am able to not only refresh and not miss any updates (since YouTube sometimes likes to pull updates in out of order than I don’t see it because it’s buried between some other videos that I’d already seen.

But this also allows me one further level of filtering on my YouTube subscriptions. I can stay subscribed to channels I am interested in watching occasionally but not every video, and keep those off my RSS feed. And for the “I like to watch most if not all the new videos” I can subscribe to those via RSS. So it’s like the “bell” but without the app basically. And since on Mobile I do NOT use the YouTube app (so I can take advantage of the Ad Blocker in Firefox) that’s great!

What sucks / is tricky is actually subscribing to the RSS feeds because YouTube buried that feature now. You just need the channel_id or the username and you can subscribe using the following URL:{ID}

And you can obtain the channel_id either using the URL (though with aliases now (@channelname) its rare to see a channel_id in the URL) if present otherwise a little console JS can print it out:


A note however - you’ll need to clear the console if you navigate to the next channel, at least in Firefox, it caches the result otherwise and you’ll print out the duplicate value. There are some tools where you can print your subscribers list into these feed URLs and bulk subscribe. I’ve lost the link (and it’s what I did initially) but I recommend doing the manual add at least to focus on the channels you WANT in RSS, since you can always fallback to the main subscriptions page on YouTube.

But what this has given me is the ability to effectively ignore YouTube almost entirely. Ideally, I’d script something with YouTube-dl but I don’t REALLY care that much, and I’ve gotten into the habit of closing the tab after the video so I don’t stick around and get sucked into the algorithm.

What my morning looks like is sitting down, switching to my tt-rss tab, seeing what’s fresh, and watching a video with my coffee maybe, then just moving on and doing something else. I still lurk Mastodon, or get sucked into my computer in some way or another, but it’s been really positive! I can count on one hand how many times since dedicating to RSS I’ve just clicked around YouTube.


The last section which really is an extension of Blogs/News is “hobby” RSS feeds. These feed a bit into the consumerist side of life and why I keep them separate. Right now it’s almost entirely fountain pen related (Who'da thought this community would still be writing blogs :P) but since most of the blog posts are either about products or reviews in some way, I try and limit how much I expose myself to them. I have been working on a draft about consumerism for quite a while now and just haven’t really worked it into a post that isn’t just DAE consumerism BAD? low-effort Toot level. (But basically, I kinda hate how all my hobbies, and hobbies in general rely heavily on a consumerism mindset, GAS, and such). So I’ve been trying to be more appreciative of what I already have and such.

But these blogs are nice, and often keep in the know about my hobbies and can react to anything meaningful that’s being released. A good video sorta on this topic was by Adam Neely(Adam Neely - How In-Ear Monitors are Making Better Musicians), and how his band spend $6000 on gear for their tour, but what it did was eliminate stress and enable them to more easily fine tune and control how they monitor their live performance. He touches on the fact that gear videos feed into the consumerist mindset of music making, but gear is often necessary to facilitate certain things, and setting up a portable in-ear-monitor rig for their entire band is well… unavoidable. It’s just a minor aside in a much deeper video about IEMs and touring and FEEL. And quite the departure from his usual music education content. But it sums up the main thesis of my consumerism gemlog quite nicely I feel (or at least I am projecting my thoughts into a brief aside he makes).

tt-rss - in retrospect

So tt-rss is fine honestly, I think I need to setup a better theme, something that has a bit more contrast. I don’t REALLY read in it, I just use it as the aggregator and then open the links directly. I don’t mind the way it renders the full articles with images, but I do mind how GREY it is by default (in “night” theme). It looks totally customizable and I bet I can download a decent theme for it if I look. But I may spend some time doing that and try and read more in application.

But other than that it’s been quite the improvement over my internet experience. More RSS!!


I need more feeds, as I do enjoy reading. So I’m always on the look out. I hate to throw in engagement-y things like “let me know” stuff but I am genuinely looking for interesting suggestions for stuff you might subscribe to over RSS. Even if it’s just “this is my webblog” :) I always like reading people’s things. I should troll the aggregators and look at folks capsule landings to see what is linked!

Anyway, you should look into getting an RSS aggregator setup. It’s been really impactful on cutting down on internet scrolling and mindlessness.