Replied to a thread by Ian Guest, Aaron Davis, and John Johnston (Twitter)
Keeping my follows on my site as an OPML file allows me to use Inoreader for OPML subscribe. Then I can use their built-in search (and saved searches) to get information from personal websites I’m following.
Read RSS is not dead you know (nor is Atom) by Sebastiaan AndewegSebastiaan Andeweg (
Quite a while I wrote about building a social reader[^ Then called IndieWeb reader, but social reader is the better term.], but these days I have to admit it went nowhere. The biggest problem with it being that I myself don’t really use any reader to consume stuff: I was not used to keeping up wit...
I need to do some deep thinking and design layout of the feed reader I’d like to have. Something like a cross between some of the traditional readers like Inoreader and which has some of the time-based and social sorting that Ton has suggested in the past.
Read A fresh look for your Microblogs, Twitter and Facebook Feeds by Inoreader (Inoreader blog)
If you’ve browsed your Twitter or Facebook page feeds in the last week, you have probably noticed that we changed the presentation of the posts, so they are more coherent with how a microblog post should look like. Initially, Inoreader started as a pure RSS reader and titles are an essential part ...
titleless posts!
Read Inoreader mobile apps updated to support Automatic Night Mode, Microblogs, Sort by Magic and popularity indicators. by Inoreader (Inoreader blog)
Hey, it’s been quite some time without updates on this front, but our latest updates to our Android and iOS apps should make up for it. Our apps are now both at version 6.2 and include several cool new features. Automatic Day/Night mode This feature automatically detects if your OS is in Dark mode...
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?

Some recent work in the feed reader and discovery space

I’ve noticed a lot of quiet, but very interesting and heartening feed reader and discovery work going on in the IndieWeb and related communities lately, so I thought I’d highlight it briefly for those who are interested in the topic, but may not have been following as closely:

  • Inoreader has been working on a beta product that will make following social feeds in Twitter,, the Fediverse, and even IndieWeb sites with h-entry easier and prettier.
  • Kicks Condor has been iterating and doing some interesting work on the FraidyCat reader over the past few weeks.
  • Malcolm Blaney has a fantastic little feed reader in his Unicyclic site (not to mention that he’s also got a cool looking IndieWeb as a Service site with that I desperately want to have time to try out).
  • The volume of different and interesting content going into as a discovery hub has been increasing lately.
  • I’ve been admiring the discovery/aggregation work of Terry Greene on his OpenLearnerPatchbook and OpenFacultyPatchbook sites within the education space.
  • CJ Eller and others have been contributing to Blogging Futures as an extended online conversation in the form of an aggregated blogchain.

And none of this even touches on the excellent continuing work on Microsub readers which continues to astound me. Even with all of this activity, I’m sure I’m missing some fun little gems, so please don’t hesitate to mention them.

Comparing Inoreader’s user interface for their internal tweets versus RSS tweets

For a long time I’ve been consuming the majority of my Twitter feed within various feed readers. My most frequent feed reader is Inoreader, though I’ve been experimenting with and using some IndieWeb influenced microsub-based feed readers for quite a while.

Earlier today I thought I’d try out Inoreader’s Twitter integration and subscribe to some of my twitter lists using that instead of importing feeds directly from outside services. (I’ve been a big fan of using Ryan Barrett’s Twitter-Atom and related tools.) One of the things that had always bothered me about third party RSS feeds into most feed readers is that the author of the post is in such tiny text and there is no avatar indicator of who wrote the post. As a result I’m stuck spending a lot more cognitive load trying to discern the author of a tweet before or after reading it. It just boils down to less than optimal user interface.

Fortunately Inoreader seems to have a slightly better method for doing this (since they control the user interface and are presumably using the Twitter API). Within their reader, Tweets look a tad bit more standard with respect to the usual Twitter client and include an avatar and the name of the author in larger font. Sadly, though they have control over the UI, they’re still including a bolded version of the the text of the tweet as a title and thereby needlessly duplicating some of the content. It would be far better for notes, status updates and other content that typically doesn’t have (or need) a title if they would simply just leave it out. They could then use the extra space to have a larger font for reading the short status update. In fact, most of the IndieWeb-based feeds I read in Inoreader have these unnecessary titles included which typically not only look bad from a UI perspective, but they again needlessly duplicate content I don’t need.

Below I’m including screenshots of the two different methods of reading Tweets via Inoreader. I’m also including a screenshot of how Tweets look like in Monocle when fed in via the same Atom feed that was used in the Inoreader case. In Monocle’s version, it’s got a nice larger and easier to discern author name, but it too is missing the author photo (or avatar), in part because the feed doesn’t include it as a default. I suspect that if the feed included it, Monocle would display it properly though the Inoreader version probably wouldn’t. The Monocle version also includes a copy of the photo in the Tweet twice because the feed adds it in a second time as an enclosure.

UI example of a tweet within Inoreader using their native Twitter support.
UI example of a tweet within Inoreader imported using a third party RSS-based client.
UI example of a tweet within Monocle imported using a third party RSS-based client.

For completeness, I’m including the text of the Atom feed for this particular tweet so that we can see what is or isn’t being included in the Inoreader and Monocle versions.

 <name>Big History Project</name>
  <title>In an ideal world, you’d have 1-on-1 time with every student to discuss every...</title>
  <content type="xhtml">
  <div xmlns="">
In an ideal world, you’d have 1-on-1 time with every student to discuss every aspect of every writing assignment. With BHP score, you come close. <br />
<a href=""></a>
<a class="link" href="">
<img class="u-photo" src="" alt="" />
  <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="" />
  <link rel="ostatus:conversation" href="" />
      <link rel="ostatus:attention" href="" />
      <link rel="mentioned" href="" />   <activity:verb></activity:verb>
  <link rel="self" type="application/atom+xml" href="" />
      <link rel="enclosure" href="" type="image/jpeg" />

In sum, I generally like the UI of the Inoreader version, though they could still do with removing the redundant and unnecessary title. The Monocle version is likely the best, but I’d need to find a feed method that also includes the avatar to have a better representation of the original Tweet. Even with these differences, I think I tend to prefer Monocle at the end of the day because it also automatically includes Micropub functionality which means that I can post my reactions (likes, reposts, or comments) directly to my website and syndicate copies directly to Twitter. (This is also in consideration of my previously having set up some separate functionality for forcing Inoreader to allow me to post some of this same sort of data to my website by other means.)

Has anyone found better/prettier or more useful ways of consuming Twitter in third party means while allowing one to own their data?

👓 New Feature: Sort by Magic and Article Popularity Indicators | Inoreader blog

Read New Feature: Sort by Magic and Article Popularity Indicators by Inoreader (Inoreader blog)
The best part of using RSS is that you see all the news, unfiltered and sorted exactly chronologically without a smart “AI” messing with your data and deciding what to feed you. It is, however, useful sometimes to have the power to sort through thousands of articles and see the most interesting ...
Replied to My Human Readable OPML Blogroll by Ton ZijlstraTon Zijlstra (
After my recent posting where I asked people which RSS feeds they read, I received several responses. One of them is Peter’s. Like me he was publishing an OPML file of his feeds already. OPML is a machine readable format that most RSS readers will be able to import, so you can subscribe to blogs I...
Ton, this is great! Though perhaps you’re reinventing the wheel a bit more than you may have needed to?

I’ll see you your blogroll and add in images and descriptions as well!

A while back I did something similar to what you and Peter have done, I just did it with the old built in Link Manager feature of WordPress. The primary difference is that I’ve got some meta data about what the site/feed is about in addition to an image. I left out the feed in the human readable version as it’s less likely to be used, while it’s more valuable to the computer readable version. I’ve also figured out the a URL query parameter for breaking my blogroll up by category, so that folks can copy smaller subsections of it.

Another added bonus is that I’m using Inoreader which supports OPML subscriptions so that any time I update my OPML file, my feed reader auto-updates for me without needing to manually upload the new OPML file! This means I just add the follow in one place and everything else follows without any additional work.

Here are the details for how I did most of it:

Perhaps what we really need is to give some love to that Link Manager in core to update it to OPML v2 and add in the rel attributes from XFN microformats to the links? 

When you have a moment, be sure to add your example to the OPML and blogroll pages on the IndieWeb wiki, where you may find some additional inspiration.

Thanks for experimenting to bring back the blogroll! (And thanks for sharing, there are a few of your feeds I see that I ought to be following and I also recognize those we have in common of many educators I already do follow.)

Replied to a tweet by Laura GibbsLaura Gibbs (Twitter)
I’m curious if you use Inoreader’s OPML subscription functionality at all? It’s kind of like Twitter lists in a sense, but a lot more open and distributed.

Much like your version piped into an LMS, it could be used used to create a planet of all of the participants in a course, but set up in such a way that only one person needs to create and maintain an OPML file that everyone else can use instead of needing to manually find and subscribe to a bunch of feeds or worry about missing out on that one feed of the student who joined the course two weeks late.

As an example, here’s an OPML file on my own website (through my following page) of all the educators I’m following who are tangentially involved in the IndieWeb movement. If you subscribe to the OPML file in Inoreader, when I update it with additional feeds, you get all the changes synced automatically.

I’d be interested to see exactly how you’re using Inoreader–particularly the off-label methods. Have you written up any of the details anywhere? It looks like you’re using tags in Inoreader and piping those details back to the LMS so that you can filter portions of the class content?

I recently documented some of my personal use here: Using Inoreader as an IndieWeb feed reader. A big portion of it is about being able to use Inoreader to interact within its interface, but also have those interactions reflected on my own website (aka digital commonplace book) which sends notifications to the original content on the web instead of just leaving it siloed within Inoreader.

👓 Inoreader is meer dan een RSS lezer | Digging the Digital | Frank Meeuwsen

Read Inoreader is meer dan een RSS lezer by Frank Meeuwsen (Digging the Digital)
Ik gebruik Inoreader al een paar jaar maar ik wist niet dat het mogelijk was om er nieuwsbrieven in te ontvangen. Je kunt een specifieke tag aanmaken waarna je een uniek mailadres krijgt. Met dat mailadres kun je je op allerlei nieuwsbrieven abonneren en deze dus in je feedreader krijgen. https://di...
I use Inoreader a lot and never noticed it did emails to pull in newsletters! This is awesome!

👓 Save web pages straight to Inoreader | Inoreader blog

Read Save web pages straight to Inoreader (Inoreader blog)
Hopefully, by now you’ve recognized Inoreader as your go-to place for regular content consumption. But we know there are many more ways to come across great new content – and we want to help you with that, too. Now you can save pages from all over the web with our new feature, Saved web pages …

👓 Inoreader How-to: Do more with browser extensions | Inoreader blog

Read Inoreader How-to: Do more with browser extensions (Inoreader blog)
When you’re casually browsing the internet, there is nothing better than stumbling across a new source of excellent content – but nowadays you’re rushing so much that you might not put in the extra effort and fire up your Inoreader to add a feed to your subscriptions. Inoreader Companion, our dedicated browser extension, will save …

Reply to Damian Yerrick about leaving Tumblr and recommendation engines

Replied to a tweet by Damian YerrickDamian Yerrick (Twitter)
Because of the decentralized nature of the IndieWeb, it’s most likely that more centralized services in the vein of Indie Map or perhaps a Microsub client might build in this sort of recommendation engine functionality. But this doesn’t mean that all is lost! Until more sophisticated tools exist, bootstrapping on smaller individually published sorts of recommendations like follow posts or things like my Following Page (fka blogroll) with OPML support are more likely to be of interest and immediately fill the gap. Several feed readers like Feedly and Inoreader also have recommendation engines built in as well.

Of course going the direction of old school blogs and following those who comment on your own site has historically been a quick way to build a network. I’m also reminded of Colin Walker’s directory which creates a blogroll of sorts by making a list of websites that have webmentioned his own. Webrings are also an interesting possibility for topic-related community building.

Since Tumblr is unlikely to shut down immediately, those effected could easily add their personal websites to their bios to help transition their followerships to feed readers or other methods for following and reading.

Of course the important thing in the near term is to spend a moment downloading and backing up one’s content just in case.