Get Your Own River

The problem with the River format of displaying RSS feeds is that it is not the default setup for services like Feedly. If you are willing to simply read feeds curated by someone else, Dave provides several different topic based rivers that you can follow.

One way to create and manage your own river is to host your own using Amazon’s cloud. Dave provides instructions for creating your own Windows 2003 server hosted by Amazon that includes his software for creating your own river.

I’ve been hosting my own river of RSS feeds in this manner for several months at a cost of about $20 per month with the server running 24 x 7. Amazon provides a free Windows server instance that works pretty much the same, so if you are willing to spend a little time you can pretty easily set up your own Windows server to host your own River of news.

I chose to use a Windows server hosted by Amazon because it provides access to my news feeds from any Internet connection, but Dave’s software runs on any Windows or Mac computer and if you only use that computer then you don’t need a server on the Internet. The software includes a web server, so if you are comfortable with providing access to that computer from the Internet, you could get by without a server.

Dave recently released a new version of his River software, called River3, that provides a nice compromise. It stores the files you open to browse your RSS feeds in a public folder on Dropbox, which you can then access from any Internet connection. You can also copy the files to Amazon S3 for backup or for Internet access. While the new software uses Dropbox, if you want your feeds to be continually updated the computer hosting the software will need to be continually running.

Setting up your own River for updating and reading RSS feeds requires more work than simply turning your feeds over to a service like Feedly, but I think it is worth the extra effort. As I stated earlier, I have signed up with Feedly and have it also collecting updates, but right now I am mostly using it as an archive rather than for daily reading. I’ve grown to appreciate not feeling the pressure of checking my feeds so that they don’t pile up in my “inbox.”

If you want to set up your own EC2 Windows server and river, click here. If you are interested in River3, click here.

About Frank

Mobile enthusiast and author
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