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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

RSS Feeds continued...

Ever since I got into RSS feeds last week, or whenever it was, I've been using Bloglines for my web-based RSS viewing of favourite websites. You can see the sites I keep up to date with this way by looking to the left there. 'My Blogroll', powered by Bloglines, is auto-created and udpated by Bloglines to show those sites I keep up to date with via RSS.

The way it works is like this... I visit the Bloglines website, where I've got bookmarked those sites I want to keep up to date with. When those sites are updated, it shows me the updates on the site, as well as linking to the entries on the actual sites. I also have a notifier in my system tray (down where the clock is) that lets me know when a site has posted an update. It's been very convenient to remain updated on when any of my favourite sites post a new entry.

Bloglines also has the facility of 'sharing' your bookmarked sites so that other people can see them. I've used that facility to create the menu on the left. Every time I automatically add, edit or remove websites from Bloglines (and the automation is very easy), the blogroll is automatically updated on my site. It's been great!

However...

A small problem I've discovered is that if I stick to this, then it means that I don't actually visit those favourite websites. How are those authors going to know I was there?

They don't. In fact, as far as they're concerned, I've just stopped visiting their site! It's often easy for them to know, because many good blogs have a 'sitemeter' which tells who has visited and from where. I've gotten a lot of visitors to my site simply from the referral list on other sites' sitemeters, so I know that a good way of increasing traffic to your own site is to visit other sites yourself.

Ever since I started using Bloglines, I've had traffic to my site drop from 30 people a day down to about 11 people a day. And I've only been using it a week!

So RSS feeds is a good idea if you don't have your own blog, and/or you don't care about bringing traffic to your own blog. But if you do care, then you need to make sure that you continue actually visiting your favourite websites, just so they know you're still there, and you're still interested in them.

So I'll continue using Bloglines as a way of maintaining my blogroll, but from now on I'm going to disable the RSS notifications I get and just use my blogroll to visit those sites manually again. The blogosphere, the community of blogs and bloggers, needs me to visit them. And I need them! :-)


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Posted on 9/20/2005 08:17:00 AM Backlinks


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2 Comments:

Blogger PC said...

" But if you do care, then you need to make sure that you continue actually visiting your favourite websites, just so they know you're still there, and you're still interested in them."

Quite right, Alan. Hard to do when you're pressed for time, though. :-)

Hope the flu's better.

9/20/2005 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Alan Howard said...

Hi PC. Yes, very true indeed. RSS Feeds are great if you have little time - or a lot of feeds to go through! I read the other day that the most feeds known to be subscribed to by a single person were 1,400. How do you deal with 1,400 RSS feeds?! That's just amazing.

The flu is pretty much gone; many thanks for asking!

9/20/2005 04:56:00 PM  

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