Feed me

Molly’s been busy lately. Not only has she been interviewing the father of CSS, she’s also found time to put together a table of syndication link locations.

This is in response to the question, "Where is your feed?".

There are a number of issues here. One, of course, is the placement of the link. How visible should it be? What should it look like? Where should it reside on the page; the top, the bottom, the side?

The other issue is how much explanation is provided by the link. Is a certain level of familiarity with RSS assumed? Is the word "subscription" more accurate than "syndication"?

Funnily enough, I’ve been making some changes over the last week to how I deal with feeds on this site.

Up ‘till recently, I only offered an RSS feed for my journal entries. Since becoming a more active netizen recently, I’m now also offering feeds for my Del.icio.us links, my Flickr photos, my Upcoming events and a FeedBurner mish-mash feed.

I’ve listed these feeds under the heading "Subscribe". I agree with Molly that this is a more widely-understood term than "Syndication".

I’ve added a title attribute to each link with the text "copy the location of this link and paste it into a newsreader".

The title text could be easily missed though, so I’ve added another step for anyone who clicks on the links. A little DOM script intercepts the click and cancels the default action (displaying the raw feed). Instead, a pop-up up window is spawned, giving a short explanation of RSS and newsreaders.

This solution isn’t as thorough as simply providing a link to an explanation page but it is nice and discrete. Visitors familiar with RSS will know what to do. Visitors unfamiliar with the format will soon find out.

Have you published a response to this? :

Previously on this day

17 years ago I wrote One Cool Cucumber

Bleeding ears, stiff upper lip… it must be John Simpson:

18 years ago I wrote Paris in Spring

I’m making a flying visit to Paris this weekend.

18 years ago I wrote Web Designer Builds Home out of Flash

It’s funny because it’s true: