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How to access RSS feeds for websites that don't advertise one

RSS Feeds

intro

The popularity of RSS/ATOM news feeds seems to be declining, so much so that Mozilla has stopped supporting news feeds and Live Bookmarks around version 64 of its Firefox web browser. I find the lack of support for news feeds very discouraging at a time when more people are turning to the World Wide Web for news and especially so given the censorship and purging that is taking place on all of the mainstream social media platforms.

Social media is not an alternative to news feeds, especially when mega-corporations like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Reddit, etc., are purging, censoring and shadow banning many high quality people and organizations from their platforms as the U.S. descends into the realm of the radical left/communist/woke/politically correct ideology.

Due to rampant censorship and deplatforming on all mainstream social media platforms, if you want to follow someones news feed on YouTube, Vimeo or any other mainstream website, you should check if they publish their content elsewhere such as BitChute, Rumble, etc., and subscribe to that feed instead.

In my case i watch more than 100 websites and this would hardly be possible without news feeds and a news feed reader which automatically collects all of the latest headlines and article excerpts from all of them and presents the content in a unified interface.

To read news feeds you'll need a feed reader. You can find various add-ons for Firefox at the Mozilla add-ons website. If you want to check out my preferred news reader, see the Firefox Extensions - My Picks page. For other browsers you'll have to check your repository. If you would rather use dedicated software instead of a browser extension, check out the article 14 Best RSS Feed Readers for Linux in 2018.

With our feed reader in hand, we should be able to access any RSS or ATOM news feed as long as the publishing platform generates one, regardless of whether the website displays a link to the feed. Following are some tips to pull feeds from various platforms which don't make their feed URLs obvious.

BitChute

For BitChute we'll use The Corbett Report channel as our example.

Template: https://www.bitchute.com/feeds/rss/channel/<channel_name>

  1. On any video or channel page for The Corbett Report, note the channel short name which is located just under the channel title (the short name will always be lowercase with no spaces). In this case the channel short name is corbettreport
  2. Replace <channel_name> in the template above with the channel short name followed by a trailing slash (in my case, eliminating the trailing slash prompts to download the feed summary which could also be useful perhaps):
    https://www.bitchute.com/feeds/rss/channel/corbettreport/

Odysee (LBRY)

LBRY is a decentralized content sharing platform that is proving to be an excellent alternative to the censor-happy gatekeepers like YouTube. There are several ways to access the platform, including desktop and mobile software, as well as through a web browser. One of the most popular web clients is the Odysee website. News feeds are provided by a 3rd party, lbryfeed.melroy.org. Again we'll use The Corbett Report channel as our example.

Template (LBRY): https://lbryfeed.melroy.org/channel/<channel_name>

Template (Odysee): https://lbryfeed.melroy.org/channel/odysee/<channel_name>

  1. On any video or channel page for The Corbett Report, note the channel name which can be found in the URL for the page (in your browsers address bar). In this case it is corbettreport
  2. Replace <channel_name> in the template above with the actual channel name:
    LBRY: https://lbryfeed.melroy.org/channel/corbettreport
    Odysee: https://lbryfeed.melroy.org/channel/odysee/corbettreport

Squarespace

Read the Squarespace tutorial, Finding your RSS feed URL.

Medium

Read the Medium tutorial, RSS feeds.

Steemit

Steemit doesn't provide any feeds so far as i'm aware, however you can use the 3rd party website, hiverss.com, to generate a feed for someones Steemit channel. Here again we will use The Corbett Report channel as an example.

Template: http://www.hiverss.com/@<channel_name>/feed

  1. Note the channel name located in the URL of your browser address bar, in this case corbettreport
  2. Replace <channel_name> in the template with the actual channel name:
    http://www.hiverss.com/@corbettreport/feed

Tumblr

Add /rss to the site domain: https://example.tumblr.com/rss

Vimeo

Vimeo uses a format similar to YouTube. Here we will use the Truthstream Media channel (Aaron and Melissa Dykes) channel as an example.

Template: https://vimeo.com/<channel_name>/videos/rss

  1. From the URL in your browser address bar, copy the channel name or numeric ID, in this case truthstreammedia
  2. Replace <channel_name> in the template with the actual channel name or numeric ID:
    https://vimeo.com/truthstreammedia/videos/rss

WordPress

WordPress sites can generate several kinds of feeds by default. How best to access them depends on whether the blog owner has enabled permalinks, but regardless of whether they have or not, WordPress will reveal the proper feed address even if we use the wrong URL format. Try adding any of the following to the root domain of the website:

/feed
/?feed=rss
/?feed=rss2
/?feed=rdf
/?feed=atom

Using this website as an example, i have permalinks enabled and so the URL for my main RSS feed is:

https://12bytes.org/feed/

However you can use the format that assumes permalinks are not enabled:

https://12bytes.org/?feed=rss

You can also grab more specific feeds from a website powered by WordPress, such as for specific categories. For example, if you were interested in the Tech category you can just add feed/ after the URL:

https://12bytes.org/articles/tech/feed/

YouTube

For YouTube we'll use Carey Wedler's channel as an example.

Template: https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=<channel_id>

  1. Click on any of Carey's videos to load the video page.
  2. Go to Cary's channel page (https://www.youtube.com/c/Careyelizabeth824) and right click anywhere on the page to display your browsers context menu, then click the menu item to view the source code of the page after which you want to search (Ctrl+F) for channelid . The channel ID string, UCs84giQmEVI8NXXg78Fvk2g in this case, will follow.
  3. Replace <channel_id> in the template with the actual channel ID:
    https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCs84giQmEVI8NXXg78Fvk2g

generic methods for accessing feeds

If none of the above apply to the website you're trying to acquire a news feed for, try these generic methods by adding one of the following to the website's root domain. You can also try adding a trailing slash to these:

/feed
/rss
/atom
/feed/atom
/?feed=rss
/?feed=atom

You can try this little trick with any website, though it obviously will not work if the publishing platform does not produce a feed. Also see the article, Find an RSS Feed URL, from 'Gloo'.

getting updates from websites that don't generate feeds

If a website does not produce a news feed at all and you don't want to have to visit it regularly to see if anything new has been posted, then some sort of 3rd party service or browser extension can be utilized. In the case of Firefox there are a few add-ons that can monitor a website for changes, such as Update Scanner. There are also a number of utilities that will help you create news feeds, such as the Feed Creator and FetchRSS.

helpful add-ons that auto-detect news feeds or page updates

If you use Firefox, check out these add-ons:

  • RSSPreview by Aurelien David can find and preview feeds for many websites.
  • Update Scanner by 'sneakypete81' is a nice utility that will check a webpage for updates by comparing the current version of a page to a stored snapshot. This is handy when a site simply doesn't generate any news feeds.

recent changes

Following are the most recent changes.

19-Nov-2022

  • corrected some links
  • minor edits

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