Secluded.Site

Consuming News

Last edited: 2021-06-26

I recently posted about getting through 487 feed items in less than half an hour and I thought I would write about my setup here. There are three primary applications that require some configuration:

Tiny Tiny RSS

My feed reader of choice is TT-RSS. It’s one of the most advanced readers I’ve ever used and can be tailored for any workflow. My basic preferences are below:

  • ✅ Enable categories
  • ✅ Combined mode
  • ✅ Always expand articles1
  • ✅ Show content preview in headlines

Making use of the categories is very important; if you have a lot of feeds, getting through them is much easier when you can go topic by topic and leave some for when you have more time.

In addition to categories, the big feature I make use of is keyboard shortcuts. You can view those from the hamburger menu2 in the top right at Keyboard shortcuts help. n and o is what I make use of more than any other; n goes to the next article (or scrolls in particularly long ones) and o opens the source in a new tab. This would be great except that most browsers automatically switch to that new tab. If you’re just wanting to get it up there to deal with later as I do, this diversion is incredibly annoying. Thankfully, it can be disabled in Firefox 😏

Firefox

This setting is pretty damn easy; open about:config, search for loadDivertedInBackground, and set it to true.

When you right-click something and open it in a new tab, you’re automatically diverted to it. In some cases, this is convenient but I’ve always found it annoying and worked around it by middle clicking links. Changing this setting in about:config will make it so all tabs open in the background leaving your current tab focused.

wallabag

My read-it-later application is wallabag, a libre alternative to Mozilla’s Pocket (which they still haven’t made open source 👀). I use the Firefox Add-on so simply clicking the icon will send the URL to my server for download. I also have an application on my eReader called Wallabako. It downloads articles from wallabag as ePubs so I can read online articles while I’m offline as if they were books. A dream come true 😉

Entire workflow

With all that out of the way, here’s my entire workflow.

  1. Select topic of interest (category)
  2. Start at the top and use n to quickly view the next headline and maybe a short preview of the content
  3. If you want to read more, open it in the background
  4. Continue pressing n and/or o until you get to the bottom
  5. If you have time, move to the next category
  6. Use CTRL+Tab to cycle through all the links you opened and send them to wallabag for consuming later

  1. Depending on what feeds you add, you might want to disable this. Slashdot makes up the bulk of my feed items and they generally fit on one page. ↩︎

  2. A hamburger menu is three parallel horizontal lines typically styled as a button that expands to show a menu of some kind. ↩︎