Skip to main content

What Is RSS? Avoid These RSS Feed Syndication Mistakes

Many blog publishers have put up RSS feeds to gain more readers. The importance of readers is that they are returning users of a blog. They read content, social-bookmark it, link to it, and tell their friends about it. They create the wagon for your blog to progress smoothly. But making mistakes with RSS feed delivery can alienate your readers. Here a few of them.



What Is RSS?

Thanks to my reader, Renee Lemley, who put in great effort to create the following presentation describing all aspects of RSS syndication. You can view her comment as the first below. Here is the presentation:




Here are the mistakes of RSS publishers:

1. Not Providing Full Feeds

Readers hate to read a summary and click on the link to reach your ad-rich slow-loading blog to read the full article. So, first step in alienating more than half of your readerbase is providing summary feeds.

2. No Email Subscription

Many readers don't know of RSS. They may find that reading the updates in email is convenient. Don't provide an email form and subscription button, if you wish not to tend to these readers.

3. Not Knowing Your Feed's Condition

If you yourself don't track your feed's availability and health, then who else will? Subscribe to your feed both in a reader and in email. In FeedBurner (FB), you can track the feed's health from FeedMedic in Troubleshootize tab in dashboard.

4. No Frequent Updates

Don't update daily or at least thrice a week, if you wish to get rid of your readers. A pretty good option for the bloggers who don't like reviews and criticisms.

5. Don't Describe RSS

Many readers know of 'subscribing', but they don't know of RSS (Really Simple Syndication). So, don't give a description of what RSS is, and you will successfully keep half of your blog's users at sea.

6. Create a Really Tiny RSS Feed Icon On the Bottom of the Blog

Create tiny RSS icons and email subscription forms, with little or no description, at the most insignificant part of your blog. Don't provide large RSS subscription banner in every post. Don't even tell them that if they subscribe to the feed, they will get updates daily automatically.

Conclusion

If you can share any such mistakes that can really drive your users away, please share them.

Comments

  1. The RSS feed is so incredibly (and IMHO critically) important to content management of both the casual web surfer and the avid online Internet addict. There is SOOOOO much content out there and we all need to consider the best ways to organize and consume it efficiently and practically.
    I have also come to find that while techies, wanna-be-techies and the like are all too familiar with the RSS feed, the masses are not.
    Your post raises many important points, but I can't help but hone in on #5 as mission critical.
    If someone isn't familiar with what an RSS feed is and one hasn't explained it somewhere on one's blog, why would a visitor subscribe via RSS?
    To answer this question, which I am STILL asked so very often, I created a powerpoint deck that explains what an RSS feed is and why it's so important and posted it to slideshare.
    It's great now to be able to refer clients, friends, peers, etc, to the deck for an explanation. (If I may, http://www.slideshare.net/usegraymatter/rss-sos-a-how-to-guide )

    I would recommend that ALL bloggers who are writing to a non-techie audience provide an explanation of an RSS feed on their sidebar or at least give link to an explanation (so many are available across the web).

    I think RSS feeds are the best kept secret on the Internet. I say it's time to make sure we're all doing our part to let the cat out of the feedbag.
    :)

    Good post.
    Best,
    Renee

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Renee: Thanks for that elaborate comment. It's sure taken much of your time. I visited the presentation, and it's done wonderfully well. It's so useful that I added it to this post. Look!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lenin,
    Thank you so very much. I have followed your blog for quite some time and value your insights. I'm on a big RSS education kick right now (as you can probably tell) as more and more non-technical people are entering the socialwebs and the blogosphere. I poll people regularly on whether or not they use an RSS...your post has inspired me to create a poll on my Linked In profile. So thank you for generating in my mind another way to raise RSS awareness and usability.
    Best,
    Renee

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated very strictly

Popular posts from this blog

What Is the Difference Between Hardcover and Paperback?

Today, my reader, Rahman contacted me with a doubt:

Dear Lenin, would you explain why there are two types of books: hardcover and paperback?
This is quite a simple affair and there are explanatory articles to be found at various places on the Net. Here is my addition.

Hardcover

A hardcover aka hardback is a book bound with thick protective cover, with usually a paper or leather dust jacket over the main cover. The aim of hardcover is protection and durability. These books are mainly for long-term use and collectors’ editions. Hardcover books last far longer than the corresponding paperbacks. They do not get damaged easily thus making them perfect for reference guides, great literary works, etc.

In addition, there is a difference in the type of paper used to print hardcover books. The paper used is long-lasting acid-free type. Acid-free paper has a pH value of 7 (neutral) which makes it highly durable. The papers are stitched and glued to the spine.

Hardbacks are prepared for commercial …

En Dash, Em Dash, and Hyphen

We have three types of dashes in use: The hyphen, En Dash, and the Em Dash. In this post, we will see how to use them all correctly.

Hyphen (-)

The hyphen is the minus key in Windows-based keyboards. This is a widely used punctuation mark. Hyphen should not be mistaken for a dash. Dash is different and has different function than a hyphen.

A hyphen is used to separate the words in a compound adjective, verb, or adverb. For instance:

The T-rex has a movement-based vision.
My blog is blogger-powered.
John’s idea was pooh-poohed.


The hyphen can be used generally for all kinds of wordbreaks.

En Dash (–)

En Dash gets its name from its length. It is one ‘N’ long (En is a typographical unit that is almost as wide as 'N'). En Dash is used to express a range of values or a distance:

People of age 55–80 are more prone to hypertension.
Delhi–Sidney flight was late by three hours.


In MS Word, you can put an En Dash either from the menu, clicking Insert->Symbol or by the key-combination, Ctrl + Num…

What Is the Meaning of the Word 'Ghajini'? Story and Trivia of Aamir Khan's New Film [Special]

[Special Entry]



Aamir Khan's latest film is titled a little weirdly for the taste of Hindi filmgoers. 'Ghajini': They have never heard of such a name, and such a word never existed in Hindi or in any other Indian language.

The name Ghajini is the name of the villain of the film. In Tamil version, the name of the villain was Laxman.

As a Tamil moviegoer, I have already watched Ghajini and know the story in full.

So, What Does the Title Mean?

In Tamil, the title of the film is inspired by the story of Mahmud of Ghazni, an ancient invader of India. This person was so persistent in invading India that he continued trying after several failures. In the film too, the protagonist is such persistent in finding out and killing the villain of the film, who had killed his girlfriend, Kalpana (played by Asin). Aamir's Character (named Sanjay Ramaswamy in Tamil), is a short-term amnesiac, who cannot remember anything more than fifteen minutes.

You may ask then how the Ghazni became…