inessential by Brent Simmons

Jon Udell on easy RSS subscribing

Jon Udell: What RSS users want: consistent one-click subscription.

I agree with Jon, which is why I added feed-scheme support to NetNewsWire. Other newsreaders already support this method, with more to come.

But before this becomes truly useful, three things are needed:

1. There isn’t a standard graphic yet. There should be something that’s as much a standard as the orange XML graphic.

feed graphicI asked Bryan Bell to make a graphic that says FEED, since it’s the feed URL scheme. But then it was suggested it really should say SUBSCRIBE, so it’s more clear what you’re doing. But then that would make the button quite a bit larger, out-of-step with other buttons... and there I set it aside for a while.

A standard graphic is still needed.

2. More newsreaders need to support this. Though a bunch do, with more on the way, they’ve not all announced support for this convention.

Philippe Martin added an important piece of the puzzle (on OS X) by adding an easy way to set your default newsreader by using his free IC-Switch app.

If you’re an OS X developer, and you have questions about how to support the feed URL scheme, I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

3. People with websites need to know about the convention. People who create default templates for weblog publishing systems need to know about it. This is straightforward evangelism: explain the benefits of it, give people a cool graphic and an easy howto, and ask them to add it.