7 responses to “More Notes to Web Developers: How NOT to do RSS”

  1. codeman38

    My RSS reader doesn’t show embedded Flash. So when people embed a video without also providing a direct link to the video, I see… a big blank space. Which is far from helpful.

    Not that the videos are captioned even when I do load the post in a Flash-capable browser either, of course…

  2. Static Nonsense

    my own rss pet peeve:

    web comic sites or sites that put emphasis on images and then not including those images in the rss feed. thus requiring you to go to the page you were just notified is updated just to see the image, alt text or description, esp. if the only damned thing you’re given is a link to the update. if you’re using an rss reader because you can’t access the site but you want to be able to keep up on your web comics or everyday cute (coincidentally, everyday cute does not do this, though I wish they included image descriptions), having a blank rss update letting the person know the page updated is not helpful. period.

  3. tekanji

    Regarding truncating feeds… I started doing it on my sites because my pages were getting scraped really frequently. My popular posts were being plagiarized and showing up on splogs at a rate that was rather alarming, given that even when it was being regularly updated my blog wasn’t that popular. Switching my WP settings to summary (truncated feeds) was the only thing that stopped it.

    From this post I can see how not having the full text in the RSS is a problem, but being plagiarized when you have no recourse is also a problem. Where’s the balance? I do my best to make sure the themes that I use are accessible (although I still have a lot to learn in that regard) and I certainly don’t want to make my RSS feeds inaccessible, but I also don’t want to go back to when my posts were showing up in full on someone’s site or splog practically once a week.

  4. Ben

    Depending on your own accessibility needs and your workflow, you might want to consider using Instapaper. It’s main purpose is to save articles for latter reading by stripping out all the extraneous images, ads and flash jazz. I’d imagine (though I don’t know for sure) that it’d be very easy to use with a screen reader or other accessibility program. It works quite nicely with google reader and other RSS readers. For instance, you could set it up so that every article in google reader you star automatically gets sent to Instapaper, where it’ll be much easier for you to customize to your needs.

  5. cim

    Another RSS mistake I see often: not giving the feed a descriptive title. I have two different feeds in my reader called “The Blog” and one just called “Home”.

  6. Megan

    I HATE truncated feeds! Bitch started doing it, which just kills me. :(

  7. GallingGalla

    I just changed my feed from summary to full-text. Hopefully I won’t get splogged because hardly anyone knows of my blog’s existence.

    I also note that I need to be more careful to supply alt text for images and titles for links.

    I should know better, as I have problems with many sites myself: I find animated ads to be disastrous to the point I can’t read the page – they literally make me sick. I will never carry ads on my blogs if I can help it (it’s the main reason I jumped ship from LiveJournal to Dreamwidth), cuz I’m not in it for money or page views. I cannot read light text on dark backgrounds, or anything that’s low contrast (I have to tweak my own blog for that, I can hardly see the titles to my own articles), and I absolutely cannot stand sites that use a tiny font in a layout that breaks when you try to enlarge it in the browser.