RSS Mistakes people make

I’m listening to Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes talking to a group of the world’s top marketing executives in Cancun, Mexico. He’s running a panel on marketing ideas and strategies for big companies on the Internet. Also on the panel is the CMO of Siemens, the VP of Marketing for Symantec, the Director of Brand and Marketing Communications for DHL Express.

Anyway, I just subscribed to Rich’s blog feed and immediately noticed a mistake I think he is making: if you read his feed in an RSS aggregator (I’m using Google Reader) I can’t tell he’s the publisher for Forbes!

Look at his post in my link blog. Can you tell he’s any more important than any of the other people?

As more and more people move their reading behaviors to RSS aggregators we need to rethink our online branding.

If I worked at Forbes I’d include a Forbes logo in my RSS feed. I’d also include the words “Publisher, Forbes” after his name.

Oh, and let’s not even start talking about the lack of SEO on the Forbes blog. Look at the title tag there. It doesn’t include the words “Forbes” “Publisher” “Blog” — think about how people are going to use Google to find Rich’s blog. It sure won’t be by typing “Digital Rules” into a search box.

Why does what Rich say matter? Cause Forbes claims to be the #1 business site.

What about you, what mistakes do you see people making on their RSS feeds?

27 thoughts on “RSS Mistakes people make

  1. Perhaps Rich wants “Digital Rules” to become a recognized brand? Perhaps it is intended to be the title of his next book and he really wants to get the name recognition for “Digital Rules” firmly implanted before he publishes and goes on his big book tour. Well, if that isn’t his plan, perhaps he ought to consider it.

    Heather Flanagan
    http://www.visualizepossibilities.com

  2. Perhaps Rich wants “Digital Rules” to become a recognized brand? Perhaps it is intended to be the title of his next book and he really wants to get the name recognition for “Digital Rules” firmly implanted before he publishes and goes on his big book tour. Well, if that isn’t his plan, perhaps he ought to consider it.

    Heather Flanagan
    http://www.visualizepossibilities.com

  3. P.S to my comment above (#5), when I look at the list of feeds that I subscribe to, the best example of a meaningful feed name is Darren Rowse’s Problogger blog. The feed is called: ProBlogger Blog Tips. No guessing what that blog is about and you can bet most of the readerbase is interested in better blogging and not much else.

  4. P.S to my comment above (#5), when I look at the list of feeds that I subscribe to, the best example of a meaningful feed name is Darren Rowse’s Problogger blog. The feed is called: ProBlogger Blog Tips. No guessing what that blog is about and you can bet most of the readerbase is interested in better blogging and not much else.

  5. #7: unsubscribe and resubscribe to my feed. That should clean up my name.

    #8: You had me going until you got to Long Island Iced Teas. This is Mexico. Pass the margaritas!

  6. #7: unsubscribe and resubscribe to my feed. That should clean up my name.

    #8: You had me going until you got to Long Island Iced Teas. This is Mexico. Pass the margaritas!

  7. Conference whores, vacationalization Cancun’isms, talking to themselves, ego-puffing on supposed marketing ideas and strategies. Blah blah blah, and pass the Long Island Iced Teas. No deep dark secret recipe, the best marketers, are the one that work the hardest, know their products, are more than advertising mouthpieces.

  8. Conference whores, vacationalization Cancun’isms, talking to themselves, ego-puffing on supposed marketing ideas and strategies. Blah blah blah, and pass the Long Island Iced Teas. No deep dark secret recipe, the best marketers, are the one that work the hardest, know their products, are more than advertising mouthpieces.

  9. “What about you, what mistakes do you see people making on their RSS feeds?”

    In short – “All links, no content”.
    If I subscribe to your newsletter / RSS feed I’m looking for a shortened version of your new content, not a short blurb with no info and a tracking link to the content.

    My second pet peeve is spelling mistakes. In the world of spell checking in almost everything (even web browsers), how can people possibly have a reason to spell anything incorrectly?

  10. “What about you, what mistakes do you see people making on their RSS feeds?”

    In short – “All links, no content”.
    If I subscribe to your newsletter / RSS feed I’m looking for a shortened version of your new content, not a short blurb with no info and a tracking link to the content.

    My second pet peeve is spelling mistakes. In the world of spell checking in almost everything (even web browsers), how can people possibly have a reason to spell anything incorrectly?

  11. In Google Reader, at least for me, your feed is still titled
    from Scobleizer – Microsoft Geek Blogger by Robert Scoble

  12. #1 mistake..pimping a person over other peeps and Robert, as much as I respect you, I hate to say thats exactly what you did when you say..

    “Can you tell he’s any more important than any of the other people?”

    Firstly, He’s not more important then other people or others that publish via RSS.

    The rest of the topic.. yeah I agree with the points of logo etc etc..

  13. #1 mistake..pimping a person over other peeps and Robert, as much as I respect you, I hate to say thats exactly what you did when you say..

    “Can you tell he’s any more important than any of the other people?”

    Firstly, He’s not more important then other people or others that publish via RSS.

    The rest of the topic.. yeah I agree with the points of logo etc etc..

  14. Marjolein covers most of the points we see when users monitor feeds via ZapTXT.

    The most glaring mistake we see is feed naming, following by pubdate. Not naming feeds is just a tragic mistake to make from a marketing stand point, especially for those sites that have multiple RSS feeds for different topics or sections of the site. We often see sites that have a host of feeds that are ‘auto-discoverable’ from the home page of a blog or site and all of them have the same name.

    Folks also need to be pay special attention when using .rdf for a feed as Forbes has on the blog you point to, Robert. In IE 7, if I click on their XML button (rdf), I’m prompted to download/save the file. Whaaa? You just lost a huge portion of mainstream users right there. And I imagine, Forbes has quite a few of those!

  15. Marjolein covers most of the points we see when users monitor feeds via ZapTXT.

    The most glaring mistake we see is feed naming, following by pubdate. Not naming feeds is just a tragic mistake to make from a marketing stand point, especially for those sites that have multiple RSS feeds for different topics or sections of the site. We often see sites that have a host of feeds that are ‘auto-discoverable’ from the home page of a blog or site and all of them have the same name.

    Folks also need to be pay special attention when using .rdf for a feed as Forbes has on the blog you point to, Robert. In IE 7, if I click on their XML button (rdf), I’m prompted to download/save the file. Whaaa? You just lost a huge portion of mainstream users right there. And I imagine, Forbes has quite a few of those!

  16. Odd problem 1: Some feeds have the wrong times on their articles, making them come from the future, or always at 12:00 midnight.

    Odd problem 2: Some feeds mark their 10 most recent items as “new” every time one new item is posted.

    The symptoms can vary depending on the feed reader being used.

  17. Odd problem 1: Some feeds have the wrong times on their articles, making them come from the future, or always at 12:00 midnight.

    Odd problem 2: Some feeds mark their 10 most recent items as “new” every time one new item is posted.

    The symptoms can vary depending on the feed reader being used.

  18. The most annoying feed publishers in my book are those who don’t respond to polite requests to fix their feed, although I must say most of them are usually very grateful for tips that help them to improve their feed.

    Improvements I typically suggest are:
    - add or fix the pubdate element
    - increase the number of items in the feed
    - validate the feed
    - improve the name of the feed
    - start offering keyword/tag/category-based feeds (especially for larger blogging networks)

    A very stubborn feed publisher is Resourceshelf: remarkably enough and apparently through some auto-insertion mechanism their feed gets updated twice daily with a ‘new’ post called “The URLs for the ResourceShelf and DocuTicker RSS Feeds”. Obviously there’s no news in the blog post to which this feed item links…

    Should you wonder: of course I requested an explanation for this by email, never to receive any response…

  19. The most annoying feed publishers in my book are those who don’t respond to polite requests to fix their feed, although I must say most of them are usually very grateful for tips that help them to improve their feed.

    Improvements I typically suggest are:
    - add or fix the pubdate element
    - increase the number of items in the feed
    - validate the feed
    - improve the name of the feed
    - start offering keyword/tag/category-based feeds (especially for larger blogging networks)

    A very stubborn feed publisher is Resourceshelf: remarkably enough and apparently through some auto-insertion mechanism their feed gets updated twice daily with a ‘new’ post called “The URLs for the ResourceShelf and DocuTicker RSS Feeds”. Obviously there’s no news in the blog post to which this feed item links…

    Should you wonder: of course I requested an explanation for this by email, never to receive any response…

  20. Simple: no full article feeds. I’m lazy, your site better be real good if I have to click through to read the rest of your article.

  21. Simple: no full article feeds. I’m lazy, your site better be real good if I have to click through to read the rest of your article.

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