It's even worse than it appears..
Thursday January 11, 2024; 11:07 AM EST
  • A reading list is a list of feeds you can subscribe to.#
  • The author of the list can add or remove feeds. When they do, people who subscribe to the list are subscribed to the new feeds and unsubbed from the ones that leave.#
  • Reading lists are not a new topic, I and others have been writing about them for years. But they've not been used seriously in the past because they weren't widely supported in feed readers. FeedLand, my latest feed manager, has reading list support built-in. And we're serious about starting new communities of feeds and users with this feature. #
  • If you're a feed reader user, you probably know about using OPML to move your subscriptions from one app to another, or to share lists with friends. #
  • Reading lists take it one step further, you can subscribe to a reading list, so you can control one app from another. #
  • Say I had a reading list with my favorite podcasts and my podcasting client could subscribe to it. Then when I add a feed to that list on my desktop computer, the podcast client would automatically be subscribed to it. Or if I used two or more podcast clients (say one on Android and one on iOS), I could control both from the same subscription list.#
  • It factors out subscribing. Now you can use one app to manage subscriptions and use lots of apps to read them.#
  • What's cool about this is that it opens up the possibility for lots of viewer apps. A podcast client is a special kind of feed reader. I'm sure others are possible. But first, to make this practical we need to do better with subscriptions. That's what reading lists are for. #
  • Another idea. Suppose we wanted to put together a big list of great blogs about Major League Baseball (just an example). I might know a few about the Mets, and my friend Scott who lives in Mountain View, CA, would have a bunch about the Giants. We could put together a group of 100 avid baseball fans, and one of us could put out a reading list for all of our feeds merged into one list. It's not so far-fetched, FeedLand can do that today. #
  • I could see a similar "big blogroll" for the IndieWeb, or for Bluesky developers -- or really anything. We just have to get started, prime the pump, and learn how this works. #
  • I felt it was really important to get reading lists built into FeedLand in the current release, because now we're in a position, with the improvements in scaling, to act as a organizing node for new activities with feeds. #
  • This is another form of federation, it's more ad hoc, and doesn't require very much technical knowledge. If you know how to use a feed reader, and move around OPML files, you can do all of what I describe in this piece. #

© copyright 1994-2024 Dave Winer.

Last update: Thursday January 11, 2024; 12:08 PM EST.

You know those obnoxious sites that pop up dialogs when they think you're about to leave, asking you to subscribe to their email newsletter? Well that won't do for Scripting News readers who are a discerning lot, very loyal, but that wouldn't last long if I did rude stuff like that. So here I am at the bottom of the page quietly encouraging you to sign up for the nightly email. It's got everything from the previous day on Scripting, plus the contents of the linkblog and who knows what else we'll get in there. People really love it. I wish I had done it sooner. And every email has an unsub link so if you want to get out, you can, easily -- no questions asked, and no follow-ups. Go ahead and do it, you won't be sorry! :-)