An RSS Reader With Filters

By Forrest Smith -

I’ve been using my RSS Aggregator for several years to follow websites that interest me, but I’ve also used it to find new projects and work opportunities by having it automatically search and compile job postings from craigslist and other job boards. In both of these cases, but especially the latter, there can be quite a few posts that get retrieved. Many of those results aren’t that great. It would be nice to be able to apply some filtering to the mass of posts that end up in my RSS Aggregator.

With Strymr, I’ve been slowly adding in the ability to filter posts. The goal has been to have numerous filtering types so I only get the information that I want. Recently I implemented some of this functionality, so I can now decide which posts to show based on the following criteria:

RSS Reader Filters

1. A post doesn’t have specific keywords
I noticed that many of the hiking, backpacking, and adventure websites that I follow often do gear reviews, which I never really read or find too helpful. I’ve set up my filter for these sites to not show any posts that have words like “gear review” or “product review”.

3. Based on article quality score
Recently I’ve started working with a quality score ranking for posts. I’m still working with the exact algorithm to calculate a score, but my current incarnation does a pretty reliable job of picking out the articles that I want to read. While not fully implemented yet, I’d like to utilize this as a metric for filtering RSS feeds as well, so only the best posts show up in my feed.

3. Stars for posts that have specific keywords
It’s also helpful if I can choose to show posts only if a keyword exists. Since I have so many posts that get compiled within my “Jobs” topic, I’ve found that it would be nice to highlight the best opportunities for me. I recently added the functionality to highlight posts if they contain a keyword. For instance, many job posts will put “remote ok” in the text if a job allows remote work (which is mainly what I do), so for these I’ve set up my RSS Reader filter to highlight those posts that contain that phrase.


Feed/Website Based Vs Topic Based Filtering for RSS

Currently filtering is only set up on a topic basis, so all website feeds that are tagged with a specific topic are filtered with the same set of words. In the future I plan on making it so individual website feeds could be filtered.

RSS reader filters are incredibly helpful, and since I use my RSS Aggregator for also finding me work, they save time and money filtering out posts, so I don’t have to.  Many RSS readers out there offer some level of filtering, but if you can’t seem to find one that works well for your needs, feel free to give Strymr a try.