Strong opinions, weakly held

A new formula

Someone needs to come up with an algebraic formula that includes the number of posts in a weblog’s RSS feed, the number of days in a row that all of the old posts in it show up as new, and the amount of mental effort it takes to unsubscribe from the feed to calculate how long a feed can stay broken before users unsubscribe en masse. I wonder if other people are like me — I generally unsubscibe without letting the person know that there was even a problem.

This is also a good reason to subscribe to your own feeds. I sometimes even consider subscribing to my feeds with more than one tool just to be absolutely sure everything is going OK. These days I think that feed usability is even more important than the usability of the actual Web page where your weblog is published.


  1. Yeah, the f*[email protected] Gawker properties are legendary (in my mind) for this problem — every so often, every single post in their feeds will revert to new. I even went so far as to post about it back in ’04, meriting a reply from Nick saying that it shouldn’t keep happening, but keep happening it does.

    Between that and the inane commenting policy on Gawker properties (you have to either belong to an elite group of people, or know someone in that group who can invite you, to be allowed to comment), it’s getting harder to stay a fan…

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