Web, Email, RSS

Posted: 3 years ago

Hi everyone -

Serendeputy is a newsfeed engine for the open web. Everyone has a different workflow, and I want to make sure it's as easy as possible for Serendeputy to fit into it.

Pretty much everything in Serendeputy is available through three different channels: the open web, email and RSS.

Open Web

This is the easiest one. Everything is available on the open web. The site and all its functionality is fully usable through any standards-compliant browser.


For many people (including me, in many cases), email is the easiest way to keep on top of things. So, I've tried to make email alerts as powerful and accessible as possible.

Every deputy and tag page on the site has an email subscribe button. If you subscribe to a deputy or a tag, you'll get one email a day with the highest-ranking new articles for that deputy or tag.

Here are some specific ways I use this:

Homepage: Every morning I get an email version of my homepage. This is useful for quickly scanning what's top of mind right now.

Other people's deputies: You can follow other deputies on Serendeputy (in fact, you automatically follow people you follow on Twitter). For a number of people, I turn on the daily emails for their deputies as well. This gives me a quick view over their shoulder, and often exposes me to different sites and tweeters.

I also get daily emails for a couple of people whose political outlooks differ from mine. This gives me a feel for what they're seeing, and often opens my eyes to articles I wouldn't have otherwise seen.

Occasional tweeters: Some people tweet really interesting articles that may never get enough other traction to make it on to my homepage. This is a way to make sure I see what they're saying. The Epicurean Dealmaker (@epicureandeal) falls into this category.

Another case is XKCD. I want to see all the new comics when they come up, but it's often complicated because people are tweeting out older comics as well. So, I subscribe the @xkcdcomic twitter tag, which always tweets out the newest ones as they're published. This way, I know I'll always see the new ones without having to poke around too much.

Busy sites: I have email subscriptions to the tag pages of many popular sites, like nytimes.com, wsj.com and boston.com. This way, I know I'll get an email each day showing which articles are most popular among the people I follow on Twitter.


I'm a big fan of RSS, and I've made every article list on the site accessible via RSS. On every deputy and tag page, you'll see the RSS icon along the top. Click it and you'll get the RSS feed. This should work fine in any Feed Reader software.

Please let me know what you think.