RSS should be big

I’ve become a bit of a feed evangelist over the past year. I want RSS to succeed. It has so much potential not only as a tool, but as a medium. RSS isn’t just for podcasting, or even just for blogs. I am invested in this. I’ve spent more then a year, with RadioTail, discovering the nuances of the feed and finding ways to optimize and use it in interesting ways.

If you haven’t already, get a feed reader.

If you publish feeds, here are some ideas.

First make sure you make use of XHTML auto-discovery tags. In the <head> of your document you should place something like

<link href="FEED_URL" rel="alternate" title="RSS" type="application/rss+xml" />

This will make browsers like Safari (> 2.0), Firefox, and even the new Internet Explorer (7.0) show a little link in the address bar to subscribe or view the feed. It’s very useful to place on pages where users may not expect a feed. It gives them an extra little hint and direction to discover more and maybe even subscribe.

No matter what make sure you include a very visible and easy to access link to your feeds. Though not necessary, its helpful to use the universal feed icon. If you’re not a fan of the orange and white, has a great collection of editable versions of the icon so you can make something like the icon I have at right. It incorporates the feed icon (a nice and large one) puts it in a prominent place, and even gives the text clue as well.

The main lesson is please don’t hide your feeds. Unfortunately, the default WordPress template, puts the only link to the feed at the very bottom of the page in a tiny text link.

If I had it my way, all pages would have feed links, and they would all
  • incorporate the universal icon
  • be before the fold
  • and be bigger then 16px

I’m not blind, I just want everyone to promote their feeds, thus promoting the feed.

One Response to “RSS should be big”

Eric Smith Says: #

Good ideas. When I initially read the headline wrong. I read :RSS should Blog. Now that’s a neat idea! Someone at RSS should make a blog about RSS. Tentative names: the feeder, kicking aRSS!, or RSS and make-up. These suck as names. You got any good ones?


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