Hacking your salads since 2018

News via RSS: Great Replacement for Google News

31 Dec 2020 - Garrett Brown

Ever since I got my first smart-device, I've almost always had some sort of Google app for news. I used Google Now for a while on my iPod and later on my phone once I got my first actual smartphone. I liked how it showed personalized and relevant information, as well as news that was related to my interests. And if I didn't like what popped up on there, I could just swipe it away, and less stuff like that would show up on the feed. Then they changed it to Google Discover or Google Feed or whatever the hell they're calling it nowadays, and things changed. It was harder to personalize what you saw, there were separate feeds for news and other stuff (weather, events, etc.) and I just didn't like it as much. Then, Google News came around and I started using it. It still wasn't as easier to personalize, and it didn't show the other stuff, but I still liked it! But then I turned on some privacy features in my Google account, and the news didn't feel as personalized as it once did, since it wasn't collecting as much data. Both services also started ignoring the sites I said I didn't want news from anymore. These were usually sites that felt like they had a bunch of click-bait titles and stuff like that. But no matter how many times I hit the button for ignoring those sites, they would still pop up. Since all of this, I've been working to try and find other ways to get my news. Flipboard was a good app, but I still didn't like it as much. And I just couldn't find another app I liked as much as the Google options. But now, I think I've found a new option in some older tech: an RSS feed. I got the idea from a podcast I was listening to called Hacker Culture by J.R. Swab, where he talked about the same thing in one of his episodes. This intrigued me, so I decided to give it a shot. I downloaded Feeder from F-Droid, and found some RSS feeds that interested me. I feel like I have the perfect amount of customization as far as news feeds go. I can get them from any news site I choose, and I can even see when people post on YouTube! It also allows me to keep those pesky sites out of the feed. For example, I don't like getting news from Forbes or, because I feel like their article titles are too click-baity, and sometimes tend to mislead the reader and say something different than what the article does. With the Google options, they would sometimes still show up even if I said I didn't want stories from them. But with the RSS feed, I can just not add their feed, and not get their stories. I haven't used this too much yet, but I'm really liking it so far since no one has to collect my data, and I can still get the nice personalized news feed I like. This is post 13 of #100daystooffload