I love reading. I have read ever since I can remember. Before I was around computers, I read physical books. When our family got a computer in the early 2000s I continued reading books, but also began reading news online.
Fast forward to the early 2010s. My reading habits had not changed much, although I added some digital books and magazines to my reading collection. But then, I discovered blogs.
Blogs were amazing! It was a way for me to get inside the minds of other people, and get their perspectives on life. I read all sorts of things: personal blogs, self-help, productivity, tech, you name it. But I quickly found a problem: it can be very painful to keep up with multiple blogs on multiple websites. If only there was a way to collect all of that to a single location for me to read…
The RSS Aggregator Link to heading
Enter Google Reader! Perhaps a year or so before it would be sent to the graveyard, I somehow found out about Google Reader (an RSS aggregator), and quickly became a fan. It was a little clunky at times, but I was able to use it to aggregate everything in one location. I quickly added all of the blogs I followed to the site, and then just kept adding more as I found new topics I wanted to follow.
Of course, as I alluded to earlier, Google Reader was eventually killed off. In 2013, Google announced that it would be shuttering the program, and so I began looking for another RSS feed aggregator. I quickly found Feedly, imported all of my feeds, and life was good!
Fast forward to early 2019. Feedly was still working well, but I occasionally get the urge to move to using self-hosted solutions, and so I decided to look for ways to host my own RSS aggregator. I found a number of options that looked intriguing, but I really wanted one that was both FOSS, and would integrate with Nextcloud (a self-hosted cloud alternative), since I was already hosting an instance on a DigitalOcean droplet for personal use. And that was when I found Nextcloud News.
My Current Setup Link to heading
Nextcloud News was amazingly simple to setup. As with most apps on Nextcloud, it can simply be installed via the Nextcloud App Store. You also need to enable a cron job or use an updater to queue the background tasks, but the guides on how to do that are very easy as well. And so, I had my own self-hosted feed aggregator! Great!
Next up: find a mobile app, as I do a large amount of my blog reading from my phone. At the time, I was using Android, and so I tried the Nextcloud News app. It worked, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. But I stuck with it for a few months, until I ultimately switched from Android to an iPhone back in September 2019.
One of my first tasks after switching to iOS was finding a good RSS reader. I tried multiple over the course of a few months, but finally settled on Fiery Feeds. Unfortunately, it is closed source, but looks amazing, and so far has worked very well for me!
And that’s my setup! It has worked well for months now, and as you may have guessed, I am now using it to actively follow all of the #100DaysToOffload blogs! Huge thanks to Amolith for putting a single mega-RSS feed together!
Finally, for those of you who are interested in following my blog using a similar setup, you can find my RSS feed here.
I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload (Day 6/100). You can join in yourself by visiting https://100DaysToOffload.com.