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Newsreaders Collecting Virtual Dust

I have Feedly, Newsify, and NetNewsWire on my various computing devices. Only a couple of years ago, I used RSS readers daily to check headlines on Slashdot, RealClear, MacWorld, and many other websites. Maybe it is me, but I felt there were great stories every few hours — and RSS made keeping up with the news easy and convenient.

This week, MacOSXHints went into "archive" mode. Slashdot traffic has fallen dramatically. News sites favor Facebook and Twitter over RSS. Even some apps for news sites don't work well. Tom's Hardware for iOS wasn't updating for nearly a month. Only last week did updates start appearing on my phone and tablet again.

Newsreaders and dedicated news apps are collecting virtual dust.

The most disappointing failure might be Apple's Newsstand app for iOS, another stale and nearly useless slot for magazines and newspapers. Apple, which effectively killed RSS along with Google, just doesn't seem to value virtual periodicals.

I don't want Facebook and Twitter to be my news feeds. But, as RSS faded, I stopped using newsreaders, becoming yet one more bit of evidence for sites that they don't need RSS and news apps. There is a downward spiral of news, and I'm part of that.

I wish Apple, Google, and others would somehow revive RSS. I want Google Reader, RSS in-browser, and reader apps to flourish again. The pleasure of using a text-only newsreader with all the latest stories in one place is something only a news geek can appreciate, I realize, but I miss it.

Feedly and Newsify just aren't the text-based, fast, easy RSS experience I used to enjoy.

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