Stop Treating RSS Subscribers As Second Class

Know what I hate? Today I hate bloggers who don't blog very nicely for their RSS subscribers.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is a specially formatted http link on many web pages that lists some or all of the recent content generated at that website. The idea is that a RSS Reader can poll that link on a regular basis, and then inform the user of that RSS reader that there is new content. This means that the user can get on with the reading without having to manually visit each site.

For people who have a lot of websites that they want to see content from, it is a huge timesaver. I have 187 subscriptions in my Google Reader right now, and it would be prohibitively time-intensive to manually check that many sites. My old method of checking, which was to separate all links by topics and then open each topic into separate tabs once per day and then go through them during the day, would not scale with this many links.

Authors need to realize: RSS subscribers WANT their content.

However. Periodically I get an article in my Google Reader that is clearly incomplete. I'm going to pick on Star Stryder today simply because he's the straw who broke the camel's back. Star Stryder's latest offering ends, in my Reader:
But…. well… Let the pictures tell the story. (Not all mine.)
[IMAGES COMING - I'm on a connection that doesn't let me get images uploaded]
Wait, what?

If the images are part of the post, and the images are not attached to the post, then DON'T PUBLISH THE POST YET.


Because once your article is read, I'm probably not going to see it again if it gets updated because of the way that Google Reader works. I'm not going to keep a history of your posts active in my reader because I have 187 feeds, and keeping that kind of history for 187 feeds becomes unmanageable.

So your article, which is intended to impart some information to me, comes across as a tease: I'm going to have something really cool here but you won't get to see it sucker.

I've seen this maybe half a dozen times this long weekend, and this particular one just tweaked me off.

Please. Don't post until you are ready. Some of your readers won't come back to see what you've done, and if you keep doing it, your readers are going to drop you.