Letter to the Editor: Just Use RSS, Homie
A reminder that a tried-and-true method still works.
Letters to the Editor is an open forum for members of the XR community to sound off about what they feel is important. What's on your mind? Hit us up on Twitter, or contact us here.
Today's update comes from c@tboy, a self-described "actual factual cat that meows, the whole nine yards". They're one of the many personalities you'll encounter in the VR musical and creative group known as Friend Club.
A few months ago, Twitter was taken over by a car salesman. I'm not sure how many cars he ended up selling, but his real goal was to make my life a little bit more difficult by getting my friends' friends to post on different platforms. They've calmed down and moved back to Twitter now, but what if it happens again? What if there are other posts on different platforms that need to be checked, but I get lazy? Well, I'm here to sell you a ̶c̶a̶r̶ solution that we've had since the 90s: RSS clients.
RSS is flexible and lightweight. There are plenty of solutions that can be used on your local device or a hosted service, DIY or otherwise. If any solution goes south, you simply take your links somewhere else. This is still less stressful than some of the bullshit you guys do to make your Twitter feeds slightly more bearable.
If you want a simple guide for RSS feed apps, you can peruse this list. For DIY solutions and manually inputting feed addresses, read on.
Use this open-source tool to grab the twitter accounts you want to follow; you can also use a tool called Nitter and see its instances here or try out a tool called RSSHub.
Check this out: you can shove all the tweets you could ever bear to look at in this and have them come out in order that they were tweeted every time. You can also filter tweets to only see images from certain users.
Utilize RSS to make Bandcamp deliver you new albums from your favorite tags! As soon as an album hits the site, it's in your feed. Here's a sample link to show how it works: https://rsshub.app/bandcamp/tag/jungle (Editor's note- the raw page looks ugly, but the link is the proper format for RSSHub in this case).
If people actually manage to switch to a social media void of dopamine loops, you can easily add RSS from their Mastodon profile.
Soundcloud works with this, too. You can see your friends' new mixes before they even post them to Discord.
Fuck Mixcloud. Also, I don't know a way to RSS it. This isn't a huge problem, since people who post to mixcloud usually share it to other platforms.
Youtube works natively, I recommend putting the work into figuring it out: this and this should help.
Putting It All Together
Building things in VRChat has shown me that horizontal platforms always promote creativity. They always feel fresh and you can always be free because you're making your own adventures.
At the beginning, your RSS reader will be empty and you might feel discouraged (just like your VRC friends list once was). Building your RSS feed means building your own pattern of consumption online. There's no promoted content that's going to lead you. Although this article is brief, it really is that easy to consume content on your own terms. It's also just as easy to start creating on your own terms.
If you'd like to add The Metaculture to RSS, the simple link is: http://themetaculture.co/rss/. It looks like nothing if you click on it directly, but it will work once implemented. There's also a Feedly link in the top right-hand corner of our site.