Is your blog set up properly that I can use one click subscription with it?
As more and more people start using aggregators to follow their favorite blogs, many of them are using easy services like Bloglines or a tool build into their browser.
Yesterday for example, Microsoft showed at Gnomedex how their Internet Explorer 7 will read RSS feeds and make it subscribeable right out of IE.
Well, so far, nothing overwhelmingly new, because many tools are available to subscribe to RSS feeds. But the new thing with IE is, that suddenly a lot of not very tech savy people will discover the fun of subscribing to blogs and websites. They will get use to just hitting this new “subscribe” button and expect the blog to be in their IE favorites then and be updated automatically.
And will get disappointed at many blog sites, because the blogs are not “ready” for this. Will they be disappointed by your blog, too?
In order for the tools to auto-subscribe to your blog, your web page needs to deliver the information on how to do that in a special part of your website. Today, most of the RSS users know how to get around this, if a site does not offer autodiscovery (although it is annoying when the page does not provide it).
Unless the following snippet is presented in the web page, none of the ‘magic’ can happen. If you have a bloglines account, you can use their easy subscribe bookmarklet (info page here) to test it on your blogs. If you use Firefox, you might have wondered what this little orange icon at the lower right is – that is working autodiscovery.
How is autodiscovery implemented?
In the <head> segment of your html code, check if you have a statement like this in it:
<link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml”
title=”Insert a title for your page” href=”link to your feed” >
If this is available, any autodiscovery tool knows what to do: Take the link given, put it into the favorites and do it under the title suggested.
If you offer different feeds (for example for different categories), you can duplicate those line and just adapt it to your needs. In case you can’t edit the templates for your blog – this might be a good time to think about changing to a software where you can. :)