How to ditch Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn — and still follow people and organizations you like

How to follow people, organizations, and news on the web with total privacy

You don’t need Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or any other social media platform to “follow” your interests on the web, whether that be people, organizations, news, podcasts, or blogs. The “follow” button was not invented by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or any other social media platform. Neither were feeds.

Feeds (or ) have been a feature of the web since 1999 .

Most websites have a “feed” or a “ feed” or “.”

What is RSS?

allows user to subscribe to receive notifications from websites when there is new content published (e.g. article, podcast, etc). Inversly, allows a website to let subscribers know when there is an update: a new blog post, article, podcast, or picture, for instance.

For the last decade or so, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have been the middle-men between followers and followees.

As the middle-men they granted themselves the rights to decide what you see. Their algorithms have been in charge of what you see, not you. They have also cluttered your feeds with adverstisements and unsolicited news and notifications.

allows you to decide for yourself. You can create and curate your own feed. There are no algorithms, no adverstisements.

How to follow feeds of websites you like?

Essentially, there are two steps:

  1. download a reader on your phone and/or laptop
  2. subscribe to feeds of website you like

Download a reader

There are many readers you can use. For this example, I will use NetNewsWire (MacOS, download https://ranchero.com/netnewswire/)

Subcribe to feed(s)

All you have to do is copy the URL of the website you want to subscribe to. Below is how to do step by step.

Click on the ‘+’ sign at the top-left of the reader

Paste the URL of the website you would like to subscribe to, and click ‘Add’

Here you go! All new updates will show up in that feed.

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