inessential by Brent Simmons

Wall of shame for RSS feeds?

I get bug reports every day about feeds that don’t display correctly in NetNewsWire. At least 99% of the time it’s because the feed is invalid, but not so invalid that NetNewsWire gives up on it.

Most of the time I encourage the person who submitted the bug report to report the bug to the feed producer. I have no idea how often that happens—at any rate, it seems to have little affect. Some feeds (some popular feeds, even) stay broken.

Somebody suggested creating a wall of shame for broken RSS feeds. (I apologize: I don’t remember who suggested it.)

Part of me loves the idea. I’d create a weblog where I and other people could post reports of broken feeds.

But I don’t really like the idea because it’s so, well, negative. The big picture is to encourage syndication, not play syndication cop.

(Imagine a site saying that they took down their RSS feed because the syndication police kept bugging them. It would happen.)

Anyway, in short—wall of shame, no. But I’m still thinking about ways to boost the quality of feeds.