FeedRiv Introduction

A long time ago I used to use Google Reader which was a free RSS feed reader during what I would describe as the peak of RSS popularity during 2005-2010. It was eventually shut down in 2013 coinciding with services starting to limit or eliminate their RSS feeds.

If you are not familiar with RSS, it is a way to distribute content to your users. For example, this blog has an RSS feed located here: https://www.feedriv.com/rss. If you click on that, it will just look like code but if you copy that link to a feed reader, then you would be able to see the contents of this blog inside your feed reader and you would never need to actually visit this blog.

An easy way to think of RSS is that it is like email for news, media, or any other content that you want to stay updated on. When you check your email, you go to your email inbox and see all the different emails that people have sent you. With a feed reader, you open it up and see all the different content that you have subscribed to.

Although RSS for text is not as popular today as it used to be, one area that has significantly grown in popularity are podcasts. Podcasts are built on top of RSS feeds. Anytime you subscribe to a podcast in your podcast app, you are actually subscribing to an RSS feed.

As a freelance developer, I have often made use of RSS to track potential opportunities. Back when Craigslist was a popular place to post contract jobs, I would subscribe to the Craigslist RSS feed for every major city in the United States filtered for contract jobs. Whenever I had availability in my schedule, I would just open my feed reader and quickly see what opportunities were available.

Eventually Craigslist lost its prominence as a place to post contract jobs and I moved on to other job boards. Eventually, I started using Upwork which allows you to generate an RSS feed off of their job list (you can narrow the RSS feed down to specific search terms and filter criteria).

With Google Reader shut down, I could never find a feed reader that I was fully happy with so to track Upwork jobs I ended up creating my own custom feed reader (it was very ugly and very minimal stripped down for my usage). However, I built a number of helpful features that really gave me an advantage in looking for jobs. I built an automated rating system that would give a rating for each job based off my past ratings. Jobs would be highlighted in green, yellow, or red depending on how I had rated similar jobs in the past.

It also allowed me to track each job that I was bidding on. It was like a feed reader and a CRM (customer relationship management) tool combined together. I could track the status of each of my project bids in my feed reader.

I eventually needed to use the server where I built this tool for something else (and I wasn't using it because my schedule was packed with work). The idea for FeedRiv is to rebuild that tool but make it more user friendly for anyone to use it.

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