It looks like the demise of RSS – and the blogs it supports – has gotten a reprieve. What brought this about? We can thank Apple’s upcoming News app/service and Facebook Instant Articles for this new interest in syndicated feeds. Even Feedly is testing a publisher toolkit which could give us more contol on how our posts look in Feedly.
The Apple News app will be introduced later this year when iOS 9 is released. It will provide a richer reading experience than newsreaders. If you are interested in publishing content to Apple News, you can apply for a News Publisher account. It costs nothing and only takes a minute. Once you’ve been approved, you’ll receive a link to the News Publishing Guide with information on how to get started, prepare your content for distribution and take advantage of advertising opportunities.
Although the iOS 9 beta is available for download, I’m not willing to brave the bugs and other irritations related to beta software, but that doesn’t mean I’m sitting on my hands until the public release. I’ve reviewed the guide’s recommendations and started cleaning up my blog posts so they’ll be ready with Apple News goes “live”.
Although bloggers have long been able to share their posts to Facebook via RSS and “distribution” features within blog platforms, it look like Facebook Instant Articles is focused on large publishers. Currently it is only viewed in the iPhone app and the content comes from a small group of trial publishers (The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, BBC News, Bild, NBC News, The Guardian, Spiegel and The Atlantic). There is a Contact button on their information page if you would like Facebook to contact you when they are ready to expand the service.
While both Apple News and Facebook’s Instant Articles look interesting and will attract large numbers of reader, I have the same problem with them that I have with Flipboard. There are 300+ feeds in my Feedly account. I would love to see a newsreader/app with the organizational tools to process such a large number of sources while presenting that content in an attractive, magazine-style format.
For those of us who have watched blogging – especially geneablogging – grow, we know there is an incredible number of fascinating writers offering us information, advice and great stories. Blogging brought strangers together and turned them into a community. With affordable and supportive writing platforms, attractive newsreader apps and encouragement from our community, we can continue to expand geneablogging in any number of directions.