RSS the changer!

A recent post about blog architecture by Chris Pearson over on his blog Pearsonified and a look over my stats got me thinking.

On average reader visits three pages on my blog. Something I am pleased with. Of course I would like to see more visitors but so long as those who visit take the time to have a brief look around and perhaps enjoy some posts I am happy.

But Pearson’s post highlights how RSS is changing the way people access information. Even blogs are being changed he argues. To round up what he says in a few words, RSS and feeds mean that listing your information and posts by date is redundant and even worse by doing so you miss a prime opportunity to retain the reader who has visited your blog. Pearson suggests that you offer your best articles and blog posts beside your most recent post rather than a chronological listing. And, to an extent, what he says makes sense to me.

On the other hand I can see how tags and categories could be important to guide readers to content they choose rather than pushing content on them in the way Pearson suggests. Not that there is anything wrong with pushing content or being proud of your own work. It is simply that the variety of searches that result in many of the random/new visitors this site gets would make a concerted attempt by me (or anyone) to predict the interests of a visitor unlikely t succeed and in any case impractical.

I admire Chris and his ideas though and I suspect that in large part his thinking is correct. There is little doubt that the wider adoption of RSS and feeds will change the way we blog and organise our sites and information. It remains to be seen for certain if what Chris suggests is the best way to move with that change.

5 thoughts on “RSS the changer!

  1. I know a lot of people use them, but I don’t like feeds. I like seeing the whole site at once, not an excerpt. And so I just click through my blogroll once a day or so and go directly to what’s new.

  2. That’s a huge commitment and one that really impresses me. I love feeds. They help me so much! My blogroll is only a portion of the feeds I read daily so sucking up the feeds into an aggregator and scanning it for items that I like the look of is really useful. In general I will leap to the site from the feed though so in many ways it’s a filter more than a reader.

  3. That makes a lot of sense — using the feed as a filter for sites you don’t read regularly. And now, if I could just choose among the many aggregators. Any tips?

  4. I love feedreader! It’s lightweight and you download it to your desktop which is ideal from my point of view. That way I treat it like e-mail and check it when I want to and have time. If it was an online service I would be checking it whenever I was online, which is always when I am working.

    It also supports pretty much every feed type there is.

    The only hassle is actually gettng the feed link. I have generally just copied the link and pasted it into the new feed line which has worked very well.

    You can download it here:
    http://feedreader.com/

    I really dislike all the online readers except google reader I don’t use it though as it is slow!

  5. You’re using WordPress, yes? What plugins are you using for recent comments and popular posts and recent posts? Or is this built into your template? (Or do you do this manually?!?) I’d like to do these lists, but don’t know where to start.

  6. Hello J.D.
    I use the inbuilt sidebar widgets that wordpress provides for the recent comments and recent posts.
    For the popular comments I simply check my stats regularly and write links into a text widget and call it whatever i want. its a slow process and I am fairly sure if I knew more I could do it a hell of a lot easier but thats what I am doing.

    If I am not clear send me an e-mail and I can send you some more detailed descriptions!

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