Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

Killing Ads in RSS Feeds in NetNewsWire

I don’t like advertisements in my RSS feeds. I just don’t. It’s not that I begrudge the authors the ability to monetize their content; that’s their choice, and I can certainly understand the need to pay for hosting and bandwidth costs. The day might even come one day when I am faced with the same issues here on this site. Even so, I don’t like ads in the feeds. After all, if it’s a good site, I am very likely to visit the site anyway, even with full feeds, so that I can comment, view others’ comments, or see related posts.

So, when ads started showing up in my RSS feeds from a variety of sources, I looked for a way to kill them. I came across this article (at least, I believe it was this one—I’m not entirely sure) that suggested the use of userContent.css to block ads in NetNewsWire. It works like a champ!

Basically, you have to edit the NetNewsWire stylesheet to include a reference to your ad-blocking code, like this:

@import url(../userContent.css);

Then put the userContent.css file of your choice (apparently there are many; I think I pulled down one of the files linked to in that article) in the ~/Library/Application Support/NetNewsWire/Stylesheets folder, restart NNW, and away you go! No more pesky ads in the RSS feeds.

In addition to ads, the “FeedFlare” functionality offered by FeedBurner irks me as well. If I want to digg it, bookmark it with, or whatever, I’ll do that—I don’t need links in the content of the feed to help me. I suppose that functionality is useful to some readers, and probably helps increase readership and visibility of the site, but I still don’t like it. Fortunately, that is easily blocked using this same technique. You only need to tweak the userContent.css to include the additional URLs used by FeedBurner to add the FeedFlare content. (By the way, this is not a knock against FeedBurner; I use FeedBurner too. I just don’t like FeedFlare.)

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