Returned from the Wilds

NetNewsWire is back

Much celebration was had a few days ago when Brent Simmons announced that NetNewsWire would be returning to him after its time spent in the wild.

It’s brilliant news.

NetNewsWire was my first introduction to RSS (as best I can recall) so it’s still deeply imprinted on my brain as the way an RSS reader works; nothing has quite lived up to it.

As NetNewsWire has journeyed through the wilds, so has my news reading. I suppose it started with iPhone and inevitably took a sharp turn into the mires with the death of Google Reader. For about a year I probably stopped reading news in any systematic way at all – I had moved to another country and life was different.

Eventually, I fell into the Twitter trap. It was fashionable at the time to maintain lists: I had lists for tech publications, people I knew, people I Internet knew, music, Japan news, the whole lot. It worked until 2015 or so. Then came the election cycle for the 45th President of the United States and the the referendum on the United Kingdom’s status within the European Union.

Sadness. Anger. Shouting. Weeping. Gnashing of teeth.

A huge wide-ranging set of blocked keywords in my Twitter client was no effective dam. It was too disheartening. I stopped reading. Brent’s spot on:

But most people, it seems, get much of their news from Twitter and Facebook these days, and I believe this is unhealthy for society and for individuals.

Earlier this year I finally came back to RSS by way of Feedbin (enticed, funnily enough, by the ability to subscribe to a user’s tweets like an RSS feed). My daily commute via train is my reading time and necessarily that means reading on iPhone, in either Unread or Reeder depending on the day’s feelings on aesthetics versus pragmatism. They’re both great apps.

Though I may not find myself often using Evergreen-cum-NetNewsWire, it doesn’t mean I’m any less pleased.

4 September 2018