Mon 29 Jan 2018 7:44AM

Using RSS Feeds as a Loomio reader

D Darren Public Seen by 20

At times I've found Loomio a bit difficult to use from mobile and/or with a poor/slow network connection. I've also seen a number of other people from different groups I'm in commenting on this.

I've been exploring alternative ways of interfacing with Loomio and discovered that there are RSS feeds from Groups and Sub Groups (add .xml to the end of their URL - like this) which feed the context posts of new pubic threads that are started, Also public threads have their own feeds.

I've tried the Android app Feeder RSS, the most regularly updated RSS reader on Fdroid, and it works pretty well. I think with a few, hopefully simple, modifications to the feed and/or Feeder it would make a really good Loomio reader for Android. I'm wondering what people think about us taking this on. or maybe someones got some other ideas for something similar, to give our members a different Loomio option? Do you agree this would be useful?

It would also supporting Loomio as well as other groups organising with it.

If there was lots of enthusiasm from some one/folks with appropriate coding skills and/or from us to pay someone, could potentially build up to create a fully featured Loomio android client - adding ability to post and vote.


Nathan Schneider Mon 29 Jan 2018 3:46PM

While the Loomio RSS is nice, it doesn't seem to me to add significant advantages over Loomio's already excellent email notification/digest system, which (in single-email mode) is at least interactive, allowing replies. What I would much rather see is an open-source browser container app (similar to FaceSlim or GApps Browser) that is optimized for the Loomio web app, with notifications, etc. Perhaps there are ways to build in some caching to enable Loomio in particular to load more quickly than it currently does. Does that direction make sense?


Darren Mon 29 Jan 2018 10:11PM

I should start by clarifying that I do not code , and while I do have a bit of an understanding about how the web works, I couldn't really begin to fathom how Loomio does.

I imagine that something like you describe would be useful, but also would take a fair amount of development time, while also having to pull a fair bit of data to render pages.

What I'm thinking is a few, potentially quick, modifications to make this something that works a little bit better as a fast and dirty Android Loomio reader (it only works for public threads) which already has notifications easily configurable for individual threads and groups.

The advantages of RSS are that it pulls very little data, and everything subscribed to is available offline. handy if you have to walk up a hill to get a data connection (I'm often located in remote locations)

Loomio thread on Feeder

I agree the Loomio email stuff is very nice, but sometimes its not so easy to follow conversations, particularly over longer periods or when multiple threads/groups get busy. (as a side note I recently realised I've been missing votes because I've been reading the email notifications of individual posts and not bothering with the digests.)

Feeder has a very useful tag feature, if you tag threads with the name of their group it makes everything easy to follow - as an example see this image - threads are at the top tagged into their groups, feeds from groups below - untagged

Feeder screen shot

When you look at a group feed and then goto a thread context post you can press the Feeder logo top right add xml to the end of the URL thats pre filled, add a tag for the group and it keeps everything nicely organised.

Thinking some minor modifications to the feed and/or Feeder could make this work much more smoothly. eg adding a RSS element to feeds from threads containing the group name and getting Feeder to auto-fill the tag field with this.

Also if there was alternative feed from Loomio where the element for threads had the RSS URL.

Combine them and subscribing to threads from in a group feed and keeping them organised would be nice and easy.

Think theres probably some other easy wins too.

Even as it is presently, its quite cool/useful. I'm going to write up a how-to for using Feeder with Loomio and add it to the social.coop wiki anyway :-)


Nathan Schneider Mon 29 Jan 2018 10:13PM

Sounds good:) I'm pretty happy with the email notifications, but if this is useful to you, all the better!


Darren Tue 3 Jul 2018 1:49PM

Just noticed if you have the rss feed url of a group or subgroup saved to your firefox bookmark toolbar if you click on it, it gives you a list of current threads in that group. Quick handy way to get to where you want to be :slight_smile:

Going back to the subject of Loomio experience on mobile. I've found its pretty frustrating to use the website, even on quite powerful Android phone. Many people use much less powerful devices and I expect it just wont for them.

Another group I am part of that organises on Loomio, which has members with a wide range of tech skills. Often has people complaining about ease of use and calls for us to move to use another platform to facilitate our discussions (I'm thinking maybe Discourse as I've found it nice on mobile)