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Categories: Internet, Malcolm Coles, Newspapers. Tags: , , , ,

I’m sorry I suggested newspapers turn off their RSS feeds …

July 3, 2009 9 Comments

OK, newspapers shouldn't turn off RSS feeds like I said here.

I was wrong.

I feel better now...

The point I was trying to make was that there didn't seem much point having RSS icons in your header (Express) or by your search box (Mirror), or offering a brilliant RSS mashup feature (Guardian), or having RSS icons by each section of your news area (Independent) etc etc - but not doing anything to educate people about what they could do with all this.

And also that as a way to get people to engage with you, see reactions to stories, and understand a bit more about the story than just a headline, Twitter works much better - so why not replace the RSS logo with a Twitter one? Anyway, I'm supposed to be climbing down ...

Still, RSS is great - I use it. It doesn't run itself as some people seem to think. But it should still be available for people who want to use it, whether to monitor output or to create mashups or whatever.

As such, my headline 'Newspapers: turn off your RSS feeds' was a bit idiotic ... Click on the three links earlier and you can see people violently and quite rightly disagreeing with me. (Although, I wasn't suggesting podcasts should be turned off as someone said.)

So what did I learn?

  • Inflammatory headlines make good link/comment-bait, but they probably don't do your reputation much good ;) .
  • What I still think is a good point - newspapers' failure to educate their users about a feature that most of them show on every page - is going to get lost if you reach a stupid conclusion.
  • Trying to deal with the backlash of something like this can wipe out most of your day if you decide to engage with it. (And to think I turned down a ticket to Activate 09 because I had work to do that day ...)
  • I really need to fix the preview on this blog - I have to publish to see what anything looks like, and people had tweeted this post (bloody RSS!) before I'd even finished reviewing it.
  • I should probably stop writing posts at midnight. Doesn't make for clear thinking...

Right, better go and publish something else to get all record of this debacle off my front page.

You might also like
  1. Newspapers: turn off your RSS feeds
  2. Newspapers on Twitter – how the Guardian, FT and Times are winning
  3. Is RSS dead? Newspaper subscriber numbers now and 18 months ago compared
  4. Google’s reading level scores for UK newspapers
  5. Cervical cancer jab: how the newspapers have learned nothing from MMR

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