RSS accessibility - no excuses

Modern time web development is often approached with device agnosticistic mindset - meaning that you will ship data to a multitude of clients and it should work for them all in a dynamic and flexible way. Whether your visitor is on a laptop, a tablet or even a TV, your presentation should adopt and work for them.

On the web this has been popularized by responsive web design and great progress is being made all the time. But I still feel there is one old timer we keep forgetting about - the RSS feed.

You have people subscribing to read your latest news via RSS, from the comfort of their personal RSS reader. Myself I like reading up on my favorite sites on the way to work, using my mobile phone. But every now and then - and this is surprisingly common - the feed misses half of the articles. And not half as in two of four article, but all four articles are literally cut in half!

The reason for this is often ignorance. It is the default delivery method in some systems and if you do nothing about it you will inadvertently end up shafting your users.

But then in some cases it is by design. And a poor one at that.

I want to gather all my traffic on the site so I can track it.

Bullshit! There is not reason you can not track it via RSS and there is even ready made services for doing so.

I want to maximize our number of ad impressions.

Guess what - you can show ads in RSS feeds just as well as on the web.

I want to leverage the momentum and convert more visitors to repeat customers.

You mean you want to push annoying shit up your users’ faces? That is one very good reason people are using RSS to begin with. Go take a lesson from Seth Godin.

There are no valid excuses - let me read the full stories in my RSS reader or I will not read them at all. Lose-lose or win-win?