Feedless bloggers frustrate

It’s very interesting watching someone use an RSS Aggregator for the first time. Maryam finally got interested in it after hearing me talk for the past three years about how much more productive it is to read people’s blogs in a news aggregator.

She just frustrated me asking “how come I can’t find a feed on Anita Rowland’s blog?” I answered back “if your feed reader was decent it should just tell you that there’s a feed there.”

But, personally, I hate blogs that don’t have an orange icon to explain they have a feed. Here are the two icons you should have on your page if you have a feed (choose one — I like the “old-school” XML icon, but that’s just me — the trick is to have at least ONE of these on your page so that visually your readers will know instantly that you have an RSS or Atom feed to subscribe to): 28 by 28 pixel feed icon [XML] 

The BBC goes with an “RSS” orange icon, which is OK with me, since it’s still simple to figure out. I LOVE how they handle the icon (far better than how I do it on my blog). They put a “What is RSS?” link next to the icon. I should do that here.

Anyway, Maryam finally whined enough to get me to pull up Anita’s blog in both IE and Firefox, looking for a freaking feed. NewsGator and Attensa can’t find one. I can’t find one.

Blogs without RSS feeds piss me off. But now I remember why I don’t read Anita anymore even though everytime I’m at her blog I like what she writes about.

Non-English bloggers have another problem: they might have a feed but their feed might break RSS News Aggregators. For instance, this Persian blogger’s feed breaks Apple’s Safari, which is how Maryam is trying to subscribe to various feeds.

If you don’t make your RSS feed easy to find and use, you’re losing readers.

Oh, and please do subscribe to my feed.

82 thoughts on “Feedless bloggers frustrate

  1. Luv my browser (IE7 Beta2) auto-discovering the feeds available on the page.

    No lap-lapping the whole page to search for one. I’m a lazy moron.

  2. Luv my browser (IE7 Beta2) auto-discovering the feeds available on the page.

    No lap-lapping the whole page to search for one. I’m a lazy moron.

  3. And that’s somewhat counterintuitive, since feeds are probably more useful in some ways and extend beyond blogs.

    I would like to see one development. Feeds that can be filtered. Some sites allow users to set up queries which can then be converted into feeds. I find these most useful. Perhaps RSS 3.0 can include this in the standard?

  4. And that’s somewhat counterintuitive, since feeds are probably more useful in some ways and extend beyond blogs.

    I would like to see one development. Feeds that can be filtered. Some sites allow users to set up queries which can then be converted into feeds. I find these most useful. Perhaps RSS 3.0 can include this in the standard?

  5. I think the problem is that feeds are still not as popular as blogs. And feedreaders are not as popular as browsers. Feeds are still in the tech zone probably, while blogs are household names.

  6. I think the problem is that feeds are still not as popular as blogs. And feedreaders are not as popular as browsers. Feeds are still in the tech zone probably, while blogs are household names.

  7. Ole – autodiscovery on the BBC website does work … my Firefox definitely shows the RSS icon in the address bar when I look at the BBC News website …

  8. Ole – autodiscovery on the BBC website does work … my Firefox definitely shows the RSS icon in the address bar when I look at the BBC News website …

  9. I like sticking with orange symbol also. And I would also suggest, as you alluded to your wife, that one should setup the autodiscovery tag in their sites.

  10. I like sticking with orange symbol also. And I would also suggest, as you alluded to your wife, that one should setup the autodiscovery tag in their sites.

  11. Symantec has a security “blog” but it didn’t have a feed forcing you to visit the page each time you wanted to read it (by design I imagine as well). Never subscribed and I gave them some pointed feedback as well. I will consume your content in the way that best suites me – not you! Now they have a feed link but it is still not intuitive. It just links to other RSS feeds that are “site wide.”

  12. Symantec has a security “blog” but it didn’t have a feed forcing you to visit the page each time you wanted to read it (by design I imagine as well). Never subscribed and I gave them some pointed feedback as well. I will consume your content in the way that best suites me – not you! Now they have a feed link but it is still not intuitive. It just links to other RSS feeds that are “site wide.”

  13. Brian, thanks for the link to copyblogger. It’s just what I was looking for. Robert, thanks for the motivation. I got my RSS cleaned up and presented nicely, with a bow on top, after stumbling across your article. :)

  14. Brian, thanks for the link to copyblogger. It’s just what I was looking for. Robert, thanks for the motivation. I got my RSS cleaned up and presented nicely, with a bow on top, after stumbling across your article. :)

  15. I settled on:
    - the icon
    - “Subscribe to my feed”
    - “Learn about Subscription, Feeds, RSS, Podcasts” link

    I removed all the service specific icons as thought they just create clutter but not sure if that’s the right move?

    If you click on my feed icon/link FeedBurner serves up a web view + explanation of RSS and all those service specific icons. That’s nice as I remember doing that & getting xml, till I read about RSS wondered what it was all about.
    I’m doing a presentation on Blogs/RSS in a couple of weeks so the comments here are of interest.

  16. I settled on:
    - the icon
    - “Subscribe to my feed”
    - “Learn about Subscription, Feeds, RSS, Podcasts” link

    I removed all the service specific icons as thought they just create clutter but not sure if that’s the right move?

    If you click on my feed icon/link FeedBurner serves up a web view + explanation of RSS and all those service specific icons. That’s nice as I remember doing that & getting xml, till I read about RSS wondered what it was all about.
    I’m doing a presentation on Blogs/RSS in a couple of weeks so the comments here are of interest.

  17. i downloaded desktop sidebar and your rss feed was already in the newsroom and I added a few of my own feeds and it’s great

    have you ever thought about changing your times new roman font, i hate it – good thing you have an rss feed

  18. i downloaded desktop sidebar and your rss feed was already in the newsroom and I added a few of my own feeds and it’s great

    have you ever thought about changing your times new roman font, i hate it – good thing you have an rss feed

  19. Here is a quick story that has been happening to me since I started my blog, and only figured it out a few days ago.

    Problem was that indexing sites such as Technorati were not taking any notice of my blog’s pings to them (the blog is a standard WordPress, nothing fancy). Hard as I looked and tried things, I just could not get it to work. I even got thinking it may have been the .am domain block being in some known spammers list.

    It turns out that the theme I picked for the blog had *no* RSS feed at all. It was simply not implemented, not even in hidden tags on the HTML header. I edited my sidebar to show the icon and feed link, I also added hidden links to the feed in the header, and voila! – instant index in Technorati.

    Lesson learned: check your feeds, and check your templates!

    Sorry if I pissed you off during the time I had no feed up :)

    Regards,

  20. Here is a quick story that has been happening to me since I started my blog, and only figured it out a few days ago.

    Problem was that indexing sites such as Technorati were not taking any notice of my blog’s pings to them (the blog is a standard WordPress, nothing fancy). Hard as I looked and tried things, I just could not get it to work. I even got thinking it may have been the .am domain block being in some known spammers list.

    It turns out that the theme I picked for the blog had *no* RSS feed at all. It was simply not implemented, not even in hidden tags on the HTML header. I edited my sidebar to show the icon and feed link, I also added hidden links to the feed in the header, and voila! – instant index in Technorati.

    Lesson learned: check your feeds, and check your templates!

    Sorry if I pissed you off during the time I had no feed up :)

    Regards,

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