Automating Things Worth Reading

The more I use Tiny Tiny RSS (TTRSS) for keeping up with blogs, the more I find it can do.

For instance, I can publish specific feeds of curated items using tags, which is sweet. I acutally used that method to gather standards-based grading articles for teachers at school to read as they have time.

But what about others? Well, TTRSS also allows you to re-publish articles to a general feed. They can come from anywhere, not just tagged or labeled items. Hooking this up to IFTTT, I can now reshare articles to Twitter - linked to the original source - without so much clicking.

If you want to subscribe right to posts I find extra interesting that's your choice and you can do whatever you want.

Creating a Curated RSS Feed with TinyTiny RSS

Creating a Curated RSS Feed with TinyTiny RSS thumbnail

I've been using Tiny Tiny RSS (TTRSS) for several months now and I'm finally getting into some of the more advanced uses. It's more than just an RSS reader - it can be an RSS curator which makes it so much more powerful.

Here's what I mean.

TTRSS can collect and categorize feeds like any other reader out there. I have mine grouped by topics I'm interested in. Each installation also has something called a Generated Feed which allows me, the consumer, to republish my own curated feed with any article I want to share.

A unique URL is generated for my installation. Each article has a publish option that adds it to my public feed.

Here's the generated feed, if you're curious. You can subscribe to this if you want to know what I think is worth reading. I can also hook this into IFTTT to auto-tweet new items, etc.

That's one layer. What if I want to share curated articles based on a topic? I can only have one published feed for my account.

That's where labels come in.

If I create a label - a custom tag, essentially - in TTRSS, it also has a feed I can publish out.

Woah.

Even more, there are filters in TTRSS, kind of like Gmail, which can automatically add a label to an incoming post. This is triple powerful because I don't have to manually mark articles I want to share out.

Here's a full example of how I'm taking advantage of this:

Next week, I'm kicking off a standards-based grading cohort with ~20 teachers from across my district. I want a way to easily curate and share articles with them. Instead of emailing everything, I'm going to use TTRSS filters and labels along with Diigo to collect SBG reading and share it all out in one, continuously updated place.

First, I set up the label in TTRSS. That created this RSS feed pushing back out.

Any post in my incoming feeds can be labelled with SBG which publishes it back out to the world.

Next, I set up a tag in Diigo for SBG-related stuff. This is anything I come across on the Internet that isn't from a blog feed. It can be YouTube videos, PDFs, newspaper clippings...whatever I want. Diigo gives a good RSS feed of tags and labels, so I ingest that with TTRSS and use a filter to automatically apply my SBG label, which then updates my outgoing feed.

TTRSS is becoming less of a pipeline in to me and more of a packaging complex which takes information in and allows me to publish it back out to serve a purpose.

RSS isn't dead.


Featured image: Pipes flickr photo by derekbruff shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license