I had made a couple of small changes to my RSS feeds over the past couple of days and was about to write up something about those feeds when I got my first complaint. Now, some people might say that the choice to add comment information to ones’ RSS feeds (inside the body of the post, not as a seperate feed) should lie with the author of the blog. However, I believe, especially in the case of this blog, that it would depend on the consensus of the readers. Here is the problem.
I had elected to add a comments link along with the number of comments already posted, inside the body of my RSS feed. I was not sure whether it was illegal (code) and whether it would be accepted well by the community. I seem to have gotten my answer, at least from one reader who voices their concern.
…please remove the Comment option and the slashes out of the RSS feed. They make stories pop up several times with a number of RSS readers who go after unique and/or updated stories.
Now I have
two three questions for my readers. They might be related, they might be unique, depending on your perspective.
- Should the comment links be removed from the RSS of this blog?
- Should we offer a full feed (with the comment link and everything else) and an “excerpt” feed with none of the frills?
- Is there a place (more of a general question, blog ethics) for comment links, or even a short list of recent comments in the main feed? (note that there is a seperate feed for comments already)
And while on the same thought, what about sending your whole feed as an image? I have seen feeds where the comments link is made up of a PNG that has been crafted using a dynamic image generator script. The image stands out and is quite out of place in my opinion, but does it belong there at all?
These thoughts and questions are on a more basic level. However, in being technical, do any of the feed formats solve this problem in a semantic manner? Am I missing the boat completely?
I use feed readers quite often. As a matter of fact, I have been using FoF frequently as of a few weeks ago. I really like the product and personally prefer to see feeds that are relatively complete with most of the information about a post being available through the feed. Many bloggers like to get people to click through their blogs by providing a “teaser” in their feeds for each post. I used to do the same, unknowingly of course and this has been rectified in this recent set of updates/changes.
In spite of all of this hoopla, I still prefer to visit all of my “reads” through a browser at least once every few days when I get a few minutes. It sure beats any feed reader out there!