Google Reader is going away later this year. This means those of us using RSS to keep in touch with the world will need to find an alternative to be able to get our fix using our different devices.

I still remember the pre-Google Reader days of RSS, when RSS clients were silos that talked to nobody. This meant that trying to read articles on a PDA (Palm Zire anyone?), and on a PC, forced us to skip a bunch of articles each time we switched from one to the other…
Solutions for this problem existed at the time, but were convoluted, and not that pleasant. i.e. I don’t want to go back there!

This morning, I read a post by Ruth John, aka @Rumyra, about how she used IFTTT (If-This-Then-That) to inject the content of a RSS feed into the Pocket read-it-later service. This stuck me as a good idea, so I started with a Yahoo Pipe that took my OPML, and merged all articles into one feed, and I inputed that into IFTTT, and chose Pocket as the target. Sadly, that didn’t work so well; IFTTT has known issues with Yahoo Pipes RSS feeds. Next option: just do it myself!

A couple hours later, I now have a working web-app that I used to import my list of feeds (in OPML format), that I can use to manage my feeds list, and that will automatically post new articles to my Pocket account. It even works with the existing RSS Subscription Extension (by Google), so I can easily subscribe to new feeds too.

Interested? Try it yourself at http://rss-for-later.pommepause.com

Walkthrough:

  1. Enter your email address to create an account. The email address is not really used for anything right now; it’s just a way to link an account to a real person.
    You will receive a secret URL that you will need to bookmark, as this will be the only way for you to manage your feeds later.

  2. Import your OPML (exported from Google Takeout, or any other RSS client), or manually add new feeds.

  3. Click “Connect to Pocket” to authorize RSS-For-Later to send new articles to your Pocket account.

  4. There are no step 4. :) Just wait for new articles to start appearing in your Pocket account.

RSS-For-Later is now available on Github, for anyone to install on his own server/host, or to improve (submit pull requests).

Suggestions & comments are welcome.