Dave Winer asks for two-way RSS. He says publishing platforms usually do provide feeds for readers, but writers usually have to use the platform itself. This while Dave, and I presume many other writers, as well as me, do their writing preferrably outside the place where we publish. Dave suggests for platforms to be able to import feeds, not just generate them. That way there is no need to use the platform’s back-end.

I am not sure if RSS is the most flexible solution, although it is entirely possible. In fact, I publish on micro.blog/ton by sending an RSS feed from this site to Microblog. Currently it’s the main feed of this site, but it used to be a different one, and it could be a fully separate one. If your own writing tools are already good at generating RSS feeds from what your write there, then sure using that is fine. Like on Microblog, all it takes is to log into the publishing platform and add the feed URL in your settings. This works well in a one-to-one setting, connecting a writing tool to a publishing platform.

Another option is using Micropub. It’s a bit more complicated to initiate, as it requires a workflow authenticating oneself to the platform, and in 2 steps obtain a token to be authorised to send content to the publishing platform’s micropub endpoint. But once you’ve done that, you’re basically talking to an API. This allows not only creating, but also updating or deleting earlier posts. It also supports uploading media to the publishing platform itself and manipulate it there, thus allowing media to be hosted with the publisher as well.

This is what I do mostly these days. I write in my own writing tool (Obsidian currently), and run a script that looks up the items ready to publish and pushes them one by one to one or more of 4 sites. I use the same solution to also directly post from my feed reader, and using a simple form for the most basic of posts. I imagine in Dave’s use case that would entail multiple feeds to have the publishing platform subscribe to, or merging multiple streams first into a single RSS feed.

The web wasn’t intended as a reading only space, but as a read and write space. Whatever makes writing easier, whether it’s original texts, responses and dialogue, multi author edits, or annotations, is useful.

3 reactions on “

  1. @ton The phrasing “inbound RSS” is interesting. I think it’s one of the things that has always made Micro.blog unique, that even blog hosted on Micro.blog work this way.

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