Thursday, June 26, 2008

For you Feed readers

I know a fair number of people follow this blog through feeds. I've set the feeds to give you the headline and the first paragraph of each post, making it easy to see if the post is anything you want to read. Blogger offers the feed in two formats: Atom and RSS. As it turns out, the RSS feed here has a bug so it will only give you the headline and nothing else.

So, any of you using the RSS feed should probably consider switching to the Atom feed instead. The link at the bottom of the blog front page is for the Atom feed, and you can change your RSS feed link by simply removing the "?alt=rss" bit at the very end. Most or all feed readers handle Atom just fine nowadays and it's a better publication format so for most of you there's no real reason to stay with RSS.

As an aside, a couple of people have wondered why I don't offer each entire post as a feed, not just a small excerpt. I have two reasons: first, I really dislike full post feeds myself, especially for the kind of longwinded, wordy and redundantly descriptive posts that I write, with images taking up lots of space on top of it. I follow a lot of blogs, and in my feed reader I just want to get a quick overview to select the few posts that I actually want to read. A long post published in its entirety defeats that.

The second reason is that I like to keep an eye on what posts get read and what does not. I can't collect that information on posts read through feeds, though, so making people go to the actual blog helps me get feedback on what people find interesting. It's still not perfect since visits to the home page does not count towards any individual post, but it does give me an indication. FYI, what sells here are posts about visas, the Cup Ramen museum and population statistics. I can agree with that priority order.

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