The MonkeyChow project years later, and the problem with morning news edition feed readers

MonkeyChow has been around for almost 8 years. I’ve used it for all those years except for a year I moved to Google Reader when I didn’t have my own server running. What this needs is its own Kickstarter to get me on AWS, like forever. Anyway, here is whats coming, and why I think feeds are still very important.

1. Within the past few days, I have been changing the controls in the MonkeyChow interface to use Font-Awesome, supplemented by Javascript. I had to use MC on Chrome and Windows at one point when my Mac’s hard drive kicked the bucket, and I hated the difference from how it looked on Safari. I am now using Font-Awesome to provide a light and constant look across all platforms, rather than relying on the varying look of each platform’s form controls. Font-Awesome will provide scalable vector images, so that everything looks the same everywhere. I have more testing to do and a few more controls, but for the most part it’s coming along very nicely.

2. Since I’ll be keeping the frames around a little longer, I changed some CSS so that they scaled with font size changes. Not sure when I’ll get around to moving this all to a single-page application. The mobile version of it sucks right now and has been ignored for a while. Somewhere along the way, I need to revamp the reblog, and write some APIs.

3. The next most important feature will be sharing. I’m tired of copying and pasting URLs to share them, so this will be priority for me. Because I don’t have a steady IP long term, this is harder for me to do, but OAuth support is coming very soon. Possibly even for logins. I have a lot of ideas I want to implement so that I can scratch my own itch and at the same time provide a good platform. Have an idea of which services you want to be better supported? Have any suggestions? Drop me a line or comment below. These are the services I plan on connecting, in order…

Anything else OAuth?

These were all apps that were nowhere to be seen in 2006!

4. So why am I still pushing RSS all these years later? Why is RSS still relevant when services like Flipboard and Feedly succeeded the now-dead Google Reader?

While apps like Flipboard are the new stylish way to read news, they really only focus on the most popular feeds and articles. They ask you what your interests are, and make a number of assumptions about which articles you would like to see. The problem with these is that they have become the morning new edition in the feed reader world. Meaning, that they provide just a summary of the most popular or most relevant, but not a complete view. You only get a broad view, so at best, they are supplementary, and you’re missing out on the whole picture.

The river of information is wider than ever now, and only real RSS readers can provide the backbone for the internet. The flow really isn’t a river anymore; it’s like trying to drink from a tsunami. Nobody can see absolutely everything, but for those of us who can skim well, this provides you with the opportunity to see the edges as well as the common and popular center. While directly accessing RSS is now derided as ancient, only a full reader can let you glance at this flow and choose where YOU want to dig deep. Not where someone else wants to direct you.


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