Wednesday, March 9, 2016

RSS feeds for multi-reddit searches


I knew that you can subscribe to Reddit searches via RSS, but I just realized that you can do the same for search terms among multiple subreddits (multireddits)  In other words, you can set-up an RSS feed for searching a key-word among a specified collection of specific Reddit boards, without even needing a Reddit account. OK maybe this is old news to some, but it's pretty cool and new to me, and shockingly powerful when you consider the possibilities.

For example, let's say you are lonely in Seoul. Sure, you can subscribe to r/Seoul, but it's pretty dead and you'd love to be automatically updated whenever "Seoul" is mentioned on a few particular subreddits, like say r/r4r (the Reddit personals board), r/penpals (because you want someone local to strike-up a keyboard conversation with), and just for the heck of it, r/aww (because, hey, you're lonely).

  1. Just stick those subreddits together in the URL to make a multi-reddit like so:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/r4r+penpals+aww/
  2. Do a normal search, limiting the results to these threads, for the resulting URL:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/r4r+penpals+aww/search?q=seoul&sort=new&restrict_sr=on
  3. And then, manually add ".xml" after the word "search" like so:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/r4r+penpals+aww/search.xml?q=seoul&sort=new&restrict_sr=on

Boom, instant and supremely customized RSS feed. Of course you can cut out those other steps and just edit that final URL yourself with as many subreddits as you want:

https://www.reddit.com/r/SUBRED+SUBRED+SUBRED+SUBRED/search.xml?q=SEARCHTERM&sort=new&restrict_sr=on

Just take a moment to consider all the possibilities here. You could create customized RSS feeds for automatic updates on any type of Reddit content. 
Subscribe and forget! Then see the update when/if your dream guy ever posts, or when/if you can "maybe, see you, at a movie, sneak preview" in Osaka. 

I'm really blown away by the level of RSS support Reddit provides. They even updated their feeds recently to increase compatibility. It's hard to argue these feeds are a "drain" on Reddit resources, since 90% of the time I end up clicking back through to Reddit to engage with the community, and the beauty of these feeds is that I'm engaging with content that I likely would have missed since this is search content and not always from my subscribed subreddits. 

So cheers to Reddit for this support, and of course you can even further customize your Reddit RSS subscriptions inside Inoreader with its Filtered Feeds settings which, good lord, are such a time-saver.

Happy Redditing.

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