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RSS – You Know What It Is, Right?

Blogdaddy has written a really interesting post about the ongoing debate over using RSS feeds to read personal blogs. (Not to be confused with the current programmer debates over RSS in general, but I won’t go there.) Is something lost in the translation when you use newsfeeds to read blogs? I don’t think so. Sorry, if I have seen your site 10 times or more, and I pop in to comment, then when I read your posts I can still visualize your site. RSS allows me to read blogs fast and to comment more often. Proven fact. (Well, proven by me. That’s scientific enough, right?)

I noticed a lot of people over there commenting that they didn’t get what RSS is, so I decided it was time for a summer rerun. So here it is – “What is XML? And What is RSS? Why Do I Want It Anyways?” There is more at Scripty if you are interested, including tips on how to set it up, how to set up feeds with comments, and more.

And for those of you thinking that you’re not important enough for anyone to download your RSS feed, you’re wrong. If I even find just one post interesting on a blog and they have RSS available, I will pull the feed in to Newzcrawler. It has truly helped to diversify my reads, which I find to be a really good thing.

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

15 replies on “RSS – You Know What It Is, Right?”

I actually didn’t know what it was, I knew vaguely what it did, but had no clue how to go about doing it. So tomorrow morning, I will go check out the link and (rather) promptly install an RSS feed. I promise.

I would like to argue that you do lose *some* of the translation in RSS – at least for my site. 😉 I try to design each entry to actually go with the text. I also usually don’t include the entirety of my entries (even in my full RSS) because often there are several unrelated items in a single post, and including them all could get confusing. 🙂 For the most part, I’d agree with you, though. 😉

The next discussion is “How does having an RSS feed affect your writing?”

For example, I’m more likely to mention a new site feature/design than I was, as RSS readers won’t see what has changed – but then do they care? It’s all about content… or is it? Hmmmmm

I don’t use a feed now, but I did for a little while. I agree that I was able to keep up with a much larger number of blogs than I can the old fashion way. I still felt I was getting the full gist of the content.

Of course I read for content not layout. If I were looking for design and layout I’d go to the site instead.

and christine, this is the crux of the internal debate i’m having…

these are all rhetorical questions, i don’t have answers and could discuss each one thoroughly:
is sheer quantity actually an issue, or is it a red herring? do i really have a need to keep up with *her* annoying boss that bad, or with *his* trip to the beach, that rather than a casual visit to read about my friends’ lives i need to ‘assembly line’ them, and blast through a few dozen with a news aggregator?

does it all (the sites i read via RSS) coagulate in my brain to form a 21st century version of a multi-threaded TV soap opera?

or am i sacrificing quality?

and if reading through RSS is really so great, why are we doing websites at all? are they just a fossil of the past, soon to be extinct and thought of nostalgically? will we all just publish our weblogs in an XML file soon, and skip the bother of websites?

these are the kinds of questions that prompted me to write the post, i really don’t have answers, and again, i could argue either POV sitting around a table with a few of you.

i know it’s hard for tone of voice to translate through text; i hope you know i’m not being antagonistic here, this really interests me and i am genuinely looking for friendly banter so i might (selfishly) be able to get other’s POV so as to make some new ideas and opinions here myself.

of course, my hunger for intelligent debate is probably fueled by the fact i’m injured and cooped up here in this damn place day after day!

take care, and thanks…


Even though my post today on blogging issues wasn’t a direct follow-up to this one, it was one of the many posts on my mind when I wrote it.

I find it interesting that you say you comment more often because you use a feedreader. Is that just because you have more time?

I have many points to add to what Dave said, but no time right now to compose them all in to coherent thoughts. As to Ginger’s question – yes. I can read blogs so much faster through the feed reader that I can zip over to the individual posts that catch my attention, leave a comment, and move on. It may sound uncaring or something, but really it isn’t. With a reader, I spent one Sunday afternoon catching up on close to 100 blogs on time – 3-4 days worth of posts on each. If I had been going from one site to the next, I wouldn’t have made it through even half as many.

Do I necessarily have to stay on top of so many blogs? No. But in several years of blogging I’ve made a lot of friends, and I like to at least try.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so not technical and hopefully this will make sense to me. Will be reading your ‘tutorial’ later tonight. One of the blogs I read practically reprimanded us bloggers that don’t use it, so I have been feeling kind of guilty lately.

First, I use a reader to see what’s going on with blogs I read, but I prefer to read it on the site. I’m a designer. The presentation is part of the message.
Second, I want you to see my entry the way I’ve packaged it, with the photos or graphics for that day. Further, there’s stuff I add to my sidebar that you don’t get in the RSS feed. So, I still only RSS excerpts. I want the traffic, that’s why I built the site.
Third, I CAN’T figure out where the link to the RSS feed is for Big Pink Cookie, maybe I’m slow, but I’ve looked all over and I’m not seeing it. Directions?

Funny you should mention this. I am just now reading yours on the site instead of on Newzcrawler.

Part of my not wanting to use RSS is the inconsistency in how different blogs behave.

Another is the lack of getting all of them on feeds that actually work all the time.

I do like it since I can read them more easily at work, but I miss visiting the sites. Design is a big part of blogging for me, and I feel I am missing something by not visiting.

Oh, I also thought by being able to visit more, and leave more comments, more people would come to see me, but that has not been the case.

Also, I love to Blogroll jump.

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