Since I’ve been trying AmphetaDesk, I’ve been visiting lots of sites trying to subscribe to their RSS feeds. AmphetaDesk provides a bookmarklet that tries to find the RSS feed for a page and if it can, subscribes you to it. It isn’t as persistent as Mark Pilgrim’s Ultra-liberal RSS locator, but it tries to locate <link> tags on the current page. Now, many sites don’t provide RSS at all, but many that do still can’t be auto-subscribed in this way.
If you provide an RSS feed of your page, do these things:
- Provide a <link rel=’alternate’ type=’application/rss+xml’ href=’...’ /> tag to help auto-subscribers find it.
- Make sure the href attribute in that tag is an absolute URL.
- Make sure your web server provides an appropriate MIME type for that file.
(I couldn’t auto-subscribe to my own site because of #2!)
I agree with Mark Pilgrim’s philosophy that the locator should be as clever and persistent (liberal) as possible. But I also believe that providers should remove as many barriers to subscription as possible, by being as careful and strictly conformant (conservative) as possible.
There’s a pithy classic quote about this very principle, and I can’t find it now (d’oh).