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RSS usability sucks : Scoble

Robert Scoble rightfully posts that RSS usability sucks because there’s no consistency in this industry on how to subscribe to RSS feeds.

Some sites use RSS icons. Most that I visit use the orange XML icon. But other sites don’t have any icon and instead use words like ‘subscribe’ or ‘feed’ or ‘web feed.’

Even others, like many Blogger sites, don’t have any icon or word with a link at all. For those you’ve gotta know to simply add ‘atom.xml’ onto the end of the URL. Aaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh.

And then there’s sites like Dare Obasanjo’s. He’s a geek. Works at MSN. But look at the right side of his blog. He has four DIFFERENT icons for RSS. One for Yahoo. One for MSN. One for Bloglines. One for Newsgator.

Scoble’s advice? Stick with the orange XML icon because it sticks out.

I disagree, at least for now. Most people already using RSS don’t even know it. They use MyYahoo, MyMSN and the like. Put a simple set of buttons for RSS/XML, Bloglines, MYYahoo, MyMSN etc. That way new RSS users just click and pick up feed to their aggregator of choice.

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