Brian Feeney

The Republic of Newsletters

I really like Robin's idea of a hardware device for reading open-web blogs:

I still believe in a Kindle/Analogue-esque device that, within it, contains an operating system that is half Patreon, half Substack, half Instapaper.

I think of this as the Republic of Newsletters writ large—The OmniBlog—where writers can publish their work and folks can subscribe via RSS but with a Coil-esque payment system built in and preloaded onto a physical e-reader. Writers could blog away, connected to eachother, whilst readers could subscribe to their work and perhaps even fund larger pieces of writing[.]

It's a fun idea to think about. A paperwhite-like screen would be amazing, but so many blogs also post images and videos. And the device would need a decent browser to allow following links. These are issues which make a separate hardware device less likely to happen. I mean, iPads. But it's interesting.

He ends by fearing he's "just described Medium," but I don't think so. The problem with Medium is that they possess your content. What the internet needs is a next-level application for finding, subscribing to, and reading blogs in one place, via RSS. Something a few notches better than what today's newsreaders provide.

August 13, 2020