Occupational thoughts

Covering life on the home front.

RSS etiquette

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I’ve noticed that some of my feeds only release posts at regular intervals. This is really most prominent with my subscription to Socialist Worker. It’s a newspaper operated by the Socialist Worker’s Party.  It’s been pointed out by Andriy among others that it publishes on Thursdays but is dated for distribution on Saturdays or Sundays. Putting aside it’s amateurish paper distibution; it’s even worse at distributing internet content. Last Tuesday it published 6 articles in one go. Two things to note about this are that some of the events discussed in said articles occured over a week ago but were not published on the web due to a time gap between a print and web edition of the newspaper. Secondly I check my feeds nearly every day and don’t like reading several long articles (I leave that for a newspaper). I rarely read all 6 articles in one go – it would be unreasonable to expect me to. Instead I pick the most intersting and ignore the rest.

If they released one article a day I would read one article a day.feeds

This also happens with DowningStreet’s youtube feed. Except they often release totally unrelated videos from their archives along with relevant videos from the present day. It’s annoyingly difficult to tell these two categories apart.

Something much more widespread across my feeds is to only present the first line of an article in a feed; forcing a [human] reader to click on the title to read the rest. Dear web designers I cannot implore you further: do not ask poor humans to unnecessarily follow links to content which could easily all fit on one page. Whenever I see the phrase ‘follow after the break for more’ it gives the reader a choice: ‘carry on reading this, or read something else?’. It turns people away from your content and annoys over-emotional angry internet entities like myself.

I don’t think I have any control over how feeds show my content as it’s all automatically converted by WordPress. Nevertheless: bad design ideas should not hinder the user from getting content.

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Written by Pierre

June 25, 2009 at 15:08

Posted in Uncategorized

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