Replied to a tweet by Tournez à gauche | alt-wrongTournez à gauche | alt-wrong (Twitter)
“So, RSS fans, particularly those who wish google hadn't shuttered reader: what would you pay to have it back as an indieweb project?”
I’d definitely go up to the $75/year range for a solid full-featured reader like Feedly or Inoreader but that included Micropub and Microsub infrastructure. (See also Using Inoreader as an IndieWeb feed reader.)

Looking at the current responses it seems like most respondents don’t have a very solid conceptualization of how to define “indieweb”. Almost none of the products mentioned in your thread are IndieWeb from my perspective.  Most of them are corporately owned data silos.

To me IndieWeb needs to have a focus on allowing the user to keep and own big portions of their data. Things like read status and old articles history should be owned by the user and not by a third party. Readers that do this are just as bad as Google Reader which took that data down when they closed.

If you’re using the definition of a reader, would you be considering building a Microsub server, Microsub client, or both?

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, IndieWeb, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

8 thoughts on “”

    1. Chris Aldrich says:

      I think that far too many people are stuck on thinking about how old, clunky feed readers work, in part, because that’s their only experience. If you built one in a model closer to the feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, LinkedIn, etc., but where all the content is all conglomerated across massive social silos, blogs, websites, magazines, newspapers, etc. then you’d have a closer conceptualization about the power of what I’m talking about and why it’s so much more valuable.

      Spend some time digging into the ideas behind and then try out something like Aperture in combination with Monocle or Together and you’ll have a much better idea of what the value proposition is about.

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    1. Chris Aldrich says:

      I’ve tinkered with ActivityPub a bit, so my WordPress website supports portions of it. Though it’s not “perfect” yet, you can subscribe to it at @chrisaldrich. Are you working on Mastodon or something similar?

      Almost all modern social platforms have integrated readers, though they’re also almost exclusively proprietary to their own platform. Because people are forced to use those interfaces, there’s little, if any, competition to make them better, prettier, more user friendly. As long as social platforms have vaguely standard feeds (RSS, atom, JSONfeed, h-feed, others?) why shouldn’t one be able to use a reader to subscribe to almost any website on the net? Feed readers can then give users a lot more control over what they choose to see, how it’s filtered, how they choose to be notified. These are just some of the reasons that a solid feed reader can be important. Readers give people control that social services don’t or won’t give them. (Remember those great early days of Twitter where there were dozens and dozens of Twitter reader clients and you had choices? I miss those days…)

      Further, giving people the ability to compose their replies to content in a reader and publish to their own website by means of Micropub allows them to own their own content. Then individual sites or social silos can provide Webmention notifications to allow site-to-site communication. I’d give my left arm if Mastodon supported sending Webmentions. (For more details on this, see my A List Apart article Webmentions: Enabling Better Communication on the Internet.)

      In practice, I think is one of the few social services that provides a complete .json output of all the people I’m following on it, so that I can input into a feed reader and immediately have all that content I’ve subscribed to on their platform. I wish I could do this with other social platforms. is also one of the few “social readers” that will allow you to subscribe to accounts in other platforms. I think it’s currently got support for both Mastodon and Tumblr.

      I could go on (the benefit of posting from my own site instead of a social silo), but think about some of this for a bit and then go build the best reader the net has ever seen. We desperately need it!!

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