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Make Your Feed URL More Prominant

Big Orange Feed Icon

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I had a disaster in Las Vegas wherein the 450+ feeds I subscribe to were corrupted. The result — because I don’t backup regularly — is that I’ve had to re-subscribe to feeds.

It’s actually been fun, and a good way to find the feeds I actually want and read, not just the never ending stack of ones I “should be reading.”

One thing I’ve noticed in re-doing my subscriptions is that a surprising number of pages make it difficult to find their feed URL. Now that I use desktop aggregator instead of FeedLounge or bloglines, I have to cut-paste feed URLs instead of clicking a “Subscribe” bookmarklet which automatically hunt down the feed URL for me.

That is: I have to find the feed URL, copy it to the clipboard, and then add it to Vienna.

Unfortunately, find that feed URL can be difficult. To cite a prominent example, see the Technorati developer blog. Where’s the big, orange feed icon? Not in this commercial!

Granted, as all of the pages with ellusive feed URLs do, the Technorati developer blog uses the de facto standard of the <link rel=”alternate” …/> in their header, but you either need to use an auto-magic “Subscribe” bookmarklet button or view source and copy the URL out for that to “work.”

My point is this: if you have a blog, make sure you have the big orange button on your page, linked up the feed URL. It’ll make my life easier, and anyone else who wants to subscribe to you. I’m not suggesting you only do that at all: you still need the auto-magic <link/> fairies in there.

And, yes, I realize I live in a glass-house here. I’ll be making my subscription link better placed than it currently is (hidden in the sidebar): probably putting a link/icon in the header somewhere.

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Categories: RSS.

Comment Feed

4 Responses

  1. I just need to figure out some way to automate it…

  2. 1. keep feeds as a separate OPML file
    2. good for the soul -:)

  3. In Safari’s preferences, you can choose Vienna as your default RSS reader. You can then click on the feed icon in Safari’s address bar (if the page has the rel=”alternate” thingie) to add the feed to Vienna. No need to copy-and-paste URLs.

  4. Eric-Oliver: thanks for the tip. I use FireFox, so I’ll see if it has that option.