Is there any way to turn off global shared stories? I don't really care about what other people want me to read, just what I want to read..

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Nope. And it’s a small feed list item, so it doesn’t even take up much space. But it’s part of NewsBlur and while you may not like it, plenty of other people do. I don’t want to furhter complicate preferences by allowing you to selectively turn it off, either.

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I’m sure plenty of other people do, I don’t think that was my point, certainly your product and your choice what to support or not support. My bad, should’ve checked before I subscribed. Between that and not being able to default text view, really isn’t what I’m looking for, so I’ll just use it until I can find something that’s better. Thanks for reply.

You can default to the Text view, it’s just per-feed/folder.

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shart, (!)
You could also use a client like ReadKit if you are on a Mac and you will only see your own feed subscriptions.

While I don’t use them, I don’t mind the social features of Newsblur … for the most part.

My only concern is that for the social stuff to work, I’m assuming that Samuel’s algorithms are looking at and tracking what I’m reading. And I don’t especially like that. It’s why I don’t use Google’s “free” services. No matter how much I trust Newsblur and Samuel, I’m automatically wary of anything that is keeping track of what I do online.

Yeah, but isn’t it kind of convenient that NewsBlur remembers the items you’ve already read? Tracking what you’re reading is what feed readers do. And Samuel prides himself in keeping that stuff private, since NewsBlur is primarily a paid service. Therefore he doesn’t need to reveal that data to sell ads.

To put it more bluntly: If you’re afraid of algorithms, maybe you should keep your fingers off of information technology in general. You always have to invest a certain amount of trust to make proper use of it. So, the question isn’t whether or not your activity is tracked. Instead, do ask more concisely what is tracked by whom for which purpose(s) exactly.

Sure, readers inherently track reading data. But most stop there - additional parsing, processing and sharing of meta results to a community are hardly bread-and-butter RSS reader functionality.

As I said above, I trust NB and Samuel. But I’m also cautious about anything that I turn data over to. Not distrusting, just inquisitive. Everyone should be so. Which sounds like what you’re saying too (in your last sentence above).

NewsBlur is also open-source, so you can confirm for yourself that I don’t track anything beyond what I need for unread counts.