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January 25, 2006

Blogger Beware: How to Lose my Attention

After cleaning out a bunch of superfluous RSS feeds in my Bloglines account, I'm now down to tracking just 54 feeds. Although it's still two screens full of stuff, this seems to be a manageable number. A partial list of my feeds can be found in my blogroll on the right.

In the course of flushing the least valuable feeds, I discovered a pattern. Here are four five ways to dramatically increase your chances of getting kicked off my RSS feed list:

  1. Post every ten days, or less frequently if you're feeling especially dangerous.
  2. Only syndicate the first paragraph or X characters of your posts. This really drives me bonkers. Imagine you called me on the phone and I told you 25% of what you needed to know, and then said that if you wanted to know the rest, you'd have to come over to my house. I realize you're just trying to drive traffic to your blog, but please, find a better way to do it. Maybe post a whitepaper or something and tell me it's downloadable or visible in the nav bar (like I did by mentioning my blogroll, above).
  3. Write paragraphs longer than five sentences and use bullets sparingly.
  4. Turn off comments.
  5. Underdeliver. Just post links to stories with little or no commentary. Go nuts.

I won't put up with item number five for long. But if you have something interesting to say, I'll humor you on points one through four.

Updated at 8:38 a.m. EST

2 comments:

Zach Wilson said...

I agree with the point about cutting off part of your blog...come on, don't make me go to your site to read this story because most likely I am not going to! NYTimes is a great example! Sorry guys, but I am not going to boost your advertising dollars by clicking on links. You're a headlines only blog for me ;)

Ben said...

Yeah, I really don't appreciate the truncated feeds, either.