Open Source Weekly #8 - Content curation

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We all know that the world shifted from a material-based economy to one based on the capacity of human attention. Yet, because these social networks and apps made us believe that they are essential to our lives, we (I?) are still relentlessly giving them our limited attention.
Should we wait for the drug dealer to bring us the antidote?
It’s time to fight back! Fortunately, one more time, Open Source got our back covered thanks to developers whose primary goal is not to turn us into zombies in order to nourish this thing we call “financial quarter”.


Did you know

What is “content curation”?
Today, content on the internet far offsets our capacity to absorb it. This is why we need to voluntarily limit the amount of content we access and interact with everyday. This is the purpose of content curation: extracting the most meaningful pieces from the ocean of data surrounding us.

There are different ways to achieve this:

  • Algorithms, where computers decide what is important: Google search, some Telegram bots.
  • Human, where one human decides what is important: Newsletters, Mastodon, Blogs.
  • Community, where a group of humans decide what is important (often by voting): Hacker News, Lobsters.
  • Hybrid: Twitter (human & algorithms), Reddit (community & algorithms), Spotify playlists: (human & algorithms).

As we (as a civilization) are slowly learning, algorithmic curation has its limits whether it be the biases of the creators (censorship, prevalence of advertisement, culture misfit) or bad actors trying to game the results.

Projects

NewsBlur (MIT)
One of the (maybe THE) most recommended news reader on the internet.

Miniflux (Apache 2.0)
“Minimalist and opinionated feed reader”.
I really appreciate the fact that they provide a (paid) hosted version in order to make the development of the project sustainable.

Kill the Newsletter! (MIT)
“Convert email newsletters into Atom feeds”

RSS2Email (GPL 2.0)
“Convert RSS feeds to emails”

Gorss (MIT)
“Simple RSS/Atom reader written in Golang. Highly configurable and with themes."

NetNewsWire (Apache 2.0)
One of the most recommended macOS / iOS feed reader.

RSS-Bridge (public domain)
“RSS-Bridge is a project capable of generating RSS and Atom feeds for websites that don’t have one. It can be used on webservers or as a stand-alone application in CLI mode."

RSS to ActivityPub (MIT)
Convert RSS feeds to ActivityPub (from a pull model to a push model).

Tiny Tiny RSS (GPL 3.0)
Another commonly recommended RSS reader.


Articles

Social Media Zero
Content curation methods were created when the web started to sprawl and the “not enough hours in the day” problem arose. Eventually we ended up with RSS.

RSS Feeds: Still the best way to control the content you consume
Endlessly browsing the web is not the only way to find the content that may interest you. You can also have it landing directly in your feed reader application.

Human Curation Is Back
“As the limitations and misrepresentations of algorithmic curation become more obvious, the marketplace turns back to humans."

RSS feeds for your Github releases, tags and activity
Just a list of Atom feeds to improve your GitHub experience. Nothing more.

The power of the RSS reader
“You shouldn’t accumulate thousands of unread items, because you shouldn’t subscribe to feeds that would generate that kind of unread volume."

Ask HN: Which RSS reader do you use?
A community curated list of feed readers ;)


Book

The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly
In the same way a toast always falls on the buttered side, the author presents 12 things he believes are inevitable for the future of technology.
This is the book that made me realize the importance of content curators’ role versus search engines, social networks and traditional media.


Stay safe ✌️
Sylvain

I’ll write you once a week on open source, sustainability and avoiding complexity.
You can subscribe by Email, RSS or Mastodon