A little while ago I had a discussion about how we consume content, and how aggregates like Reddit cause problems for discovery.
The quick-and-dirty is this: if you’re relying on upvotes and algorithms to show you what is “best,” you stop searching out new things, and can potentially miss out when those methods fail. Because algorithms and upvotes favor those already successful, they take up “space” that prevents newer or alternative creators from growing.
Essentially, Reddit creates bad habits in consuming content, and because the consumers are there, it affects production as well. This is my attempt to offer a free resource to help fix things, even to a small audience.
This is a bundle of over 125 RSS feeds that can be imported into major RSS readers (Feedly, TheOldReader, InoReader) in order to read content directly and totally.
It is pay what you want: you can put in “$0” below under the “name a fair price” to get it for free.
How to use
After downloading this file to your desktop, you can import the feeds into one of the three readers I mentioned above, or any reader that supports it.
Largely considered the frontrunner for RSS readers after the closure of Google Reader, it has a ton of nice apps and good design.
After creating an account, scroll to the bottom and click “Import OPML”. From there, upload the file and wait for the feeds to import. From there, you can click the “X” icon on folders of games to delete their feeds if they don’t interest you.
InoReader is a newer product, and what I like about it is that you can subscribe to hosted OMPL files so that if the bundle updates, your feeds do as well. You can subscribe to the URL for the Feed Bundle and it will be updated regularly.
TheOldReader is the closest thing to Google Reader’s UI, and if you liked its no-frills design, this is the simplest. However, you can only put in 100 feeds before it prompts you to pay more, which really kind of limits its usefulness if you’re trying to follow a lot of things.
More about RSS/why you should care
RSS (Really Simple Syndication/Rich Site Summary) reads sites and imports new posts into a reader as soon as they’re published, in chronological order. It means you’re not going to miss new posts, and can visit them directly, supporting the creators who make them.
This is actually an older way of doing things, as sites like Google Reader (RIP) allowed people to consume content before aggregators (like Reddit, Digg and Google News) emerged.
The difference is that RSS allows you to decide what you want to see, rather than letting someone else (upvoters, aggregates, algorithms) do it for you.
In short, I want to encourage people to be a little bit more responsible in consuming content, mostly because reliance on aggregators means that you either need to try to game that system or cross your fingers and hope you get lucky. I believe this isn’t sustainable, especially for content creators trying to do offbeat or controversial stuff; I’ve made an effort to try to be diverse with the voices that are included.
By providing this bundle, I’m reducing the amount of gruntwork that people need to do in order to get an initial group of sites. This removes the excuse to be lazy; if you want a better esports ecosystem, this is a step to doing it.
I encourage people to add or remove feeds as they see fit; this is your reader, and you can do what you want with it. Removing feeds will not affect the bundle.
Some blogs did not have RSS feeds, or covered gaming (and esports) but didn’t offer specific enough feeds. When people add those RSS feeds, I can include them in the bundle.
For now, if there are any sites you’d like to see included, fill out this form below. There will be updated versions of this file, and I will announce them as they come out on my Twitter.