With Social Media Companies Distancing Themselves from News, It’s Time For You to Learn About RSS

Kevin O’Keefe has a post linking to the New York Times article, and talks about the impact this de-emphasis on news could have on legal bloggers. (Or all bloggers and writers really.)

To quote:

In what could bring changes to law firm publishing, Mike Isaac, Katie Robertson and Nico Grant of The New York Times report major online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter (now known as X), and Google are distancing themselves from news content, signaling a significant shift in the already complex relationship between tech giants and the news industry.

If you’ve gotten in the habit of getting your news from X or Facebook, you might need a better source soon. I’d argue you’ve needed a better source for a while now, but I get it, news has been dropping into your newsfeeds without any effort on your part, so why bother with anything else?

Well, maybe because that social media newsfeed is about to have a lot less news in it.

Given that, readers you might want to take a look at an RSS reader, like Feedly or others. You can subscribe to news sources directly and have their feeds show up in your reader each day. You’ll never miss a beat, and there won’t be any algorithm deciding what you want to read for you.

Bloggers and writers, we’re going to need to step up in at least two areas. One, making sure our RSS feeds are easy to find, and educating new users on how to use RSS. Secondly, we need to be offering better email newsletter options.

Yes, I know it sounds like 2004 in that last paragraph, but if social media is giving up on being the place to get your news, then we really are back to that tried and tested technology that still works for being informed.

At least until AI can just tell us the news every day, though I suspect we’ll still need to teach the AI which news sources we want to hear from. Not all online news sources are worth our attention.

In the interest of helping.

  • Check out this post with a tutorial on using Feedly. Or some of these other posts about RSS Readers.
  • Check out a newsletter service like Substack. – here’s my newsletter as an example.
  • Check out a Fediverse-based social network like Mastodon. No big companies, no data tracking for ad tech, just people and a small, but growing, number of journalists, sharing stuff. (Here’s my Mastodon profile, feel free to create an account and follow me.)

If you have questions, feel free to ask folks around these platforms, most of us are eager to share what we know.


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