Reading Indie Blogs Right

Loren put out an interesting post on why he prefers not to use an RSS reader:

I was missing out on the full indie blog experience by relying solely on a read-later app. These bloggers put time and effort into making their websites – the design, the “About Me” page, the Archives. In an app, all that disappears, replaced by a sterile, uniform layout.

But that’s not all. When we read through read-later apps, the bloggers themselves miss out. Their website traffic and analytics don’t reflect the actual readership they’ve cultivated.

I did a post a few weeks back about why I’d actually prefer if you read my posts in RSS than the website itself.

Firstly, it’s my content that changes the most, not the layout. So if you’ve seen my website before (most likely when you got first the RSS feed), you don’t really need to see it again. If I do make a major change, I’ll probably do a post on it, so you can see it then if you wish!

Following on from that, I’d much rather have a smaller readership that dips in now and again to my stuff, rather than a large readership who visit the website once. When I returned to LinkedIn briefly a few weeks ago, I did get a dopamine hit from drive-by readers who clinked on a link I promoted, but it quickly evaporates and it’s just exhausting to keep feeding those algorithms.

If I want to draw the reader’s attention to other related articles I’ve written, then I just link to them in the text (like I’ve done a couple of times in this post). If you read this in RSS, you have a choice of visiting my website to delve into more if you wish. But if you don’t, that’s OK too.

On the consumption side, I have about 600 feeds in RSS, and around half are personal blogs. I do find myself clicking through to the original website when the blogger has something particularly interesting and I want to find more of what they have to say.

I do like looking at blog designs (the design of my site was heavily influenced by another blogger). I always take a note when I first visit their site to get the feed. I read their About page and anything else that jumps out.

But after that first acquaintance, I’m generally just interested in their content.

Read more on this topic . . .