If I write, and someone trackbacks to it – and trackbacks usually help you to refine and reflect upon what you originally wrote, then where do I next write about that ?
If I write on the other site, I sort of lose my ‘work’, yet if I write here as a followup comment, that also could get lost, so instead, because I’m not sure what the format should be – is there a convention on this ? – I’ll write here, and trackback the entry concerned on the other blog and ping mine. That make sense ? Anyway, first …..
In my last post about RSS (listed below), Michel V (the author of b2 – of which WP grew from) wrote this: “IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sorry, but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see what your problem is. Is it people reading your website from inside an aggregator instead of reading it with an internet browser?”.
Yes, it is, that hits the nail on the head, and I’ll explain again just why.
I’ll use WordPress as an example, though equally I could use MT, Blogger, Pivot etc. Each tool has a set of styles that an individual can use in their initial attempt to create a blog that they feel reflects them, their interests, personality. And each tool has some sort of forum where people ask questions about how to this or that with their code. Most of these questions I would say revolve around the aesthetic presentation of the content – indeed there are some people (I do not count myself among them) who insist that CSS must be used for all matters of design and layout and we answer many many questions on this subject. So we are devoting a considerable amount if time and energy in assisting others – and by modifying our own sites – in making our sites look GOOD.
And what do people do ?
They wander along, and then choose to drag the feed only.
Why bother making it look nice for you ? Why sweat blood over placements that are pixels out of alignment when all you are going to do is read all the content remotely ?
I’ve said before that I believe RSS to be invaluable as a News tool, but I still say that it is not that good for a blog.
A blog is personal. RSS takes the personal, and strips that out, leaving only the ascii.
On argument that anders made was that given RSI, a feed made things easier. I can’t argue with that.
Something mwarden said “I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really see the point in forcing them to use it the way you want them to when it so obviously conflicts with how they want to use it.”. My take on this – and I could be wrong – is that now it’s a question of ownership. The owner surely, to an extent, determines use, and if the owner decides that he would like his work to be viewed in certain surroundings, then surely that right should be respected ? Do we not allow this right to many other forms of expression ? Online news outlets have terms and conditions – some including subscription – for their content, so why, if I choose to remove RSS feeds can that not be called one of my Terms and Conditions ? Or can I not have those being just a regular blog ?
Or is it the case that in this fast moving information age we are so used to just right-clicking and adding a feed ?
On your blog, would you like to look at your stats and see 1 site visitor and 99 RSS pullers ? If you would be happy, then why bother aesthetically ? Okay, so some of that is for you, but a lot of it is also for others to see, appreciate, critique.
You know what I’d like ? For someone to stop and at the very least make a comment when they take your feed. Just something short and polite – a courtesy call – not too much to ask is it ?
One problem I had was the anonymity. Read this here, and the tracker will store various stats, pull the feed and I have no clue. I’ve not been to Bloglines, but I’m led to believe that you can take their feeds – that others have subscribed too – from them. WHY would you do that for a blog ? Now okay, if you are Eric Meyer, or you work for M$, then maybe others will take an interest, but it’s the professional interest they are taking, not the personal.
This blog, like yours I guess, is personal.
Like I said in the entry that Photomatt linked to, you’ll not see any cutting edge entries here, nor any hot gaming news, or hardcore programming snippets. It’s just me, writing about whatever I want to.
I have no agenda here. I’m not trying to impress people by pretending to know everything net-related, I’m not using this to promote myself in any way, I’m not using it as an online diary, I don’t post great links on a daily basis. I just use it as an outlet for whatever is on my mind at the point I login. So part of me wants to know why you actually want the feed – I post something every day !
Having said all that …. the latest WordPress tracker from DElyMyth does track the RSS pullers, so I can see who is reading me – after all, if you are reading me, don’t you want me to visit you ?
Will I lose this position in the end ?
I don’t know, and I certainly do not see it as losing if the feeds are taken.
At the absolute least, I would expect someone who would call themself a ‘friend’ to visit this page, and not pull the feed. Would you not expect the same ?