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commit c28903aecced7d2832423d4053f46ed1ce91965d
parent 1084e4b29a68a37dda7fdb1a52e373d8076288f6
Author: Jake Bauer <jbauer@paritybit.ca>
Date:   Thu, 18 Jun 2020 19:35:12 -0400

Finish draft of new post

Diffstat:
Mpages/blog/how-to-create-an-rss-feed-for-your-blog-1.md | 104++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-----
1 file changed, 98 insertions(+), 6 deletions(-)

diff --git a/pages/blog/how-to-create-an-rss-feed-for-your-blog-1.md b/pages/blog/how-to-create-an-rss-feed-for-your-blog-1.md @@ -4,7 +4,7 @@ [//]: # "main.min.css" -[//]: # +[//]: # "Background; Accessibility; Ease of Use; Privacy and Security; Efficiency; Increasing Readership; Conclusion" <div class="byline"> <b>Written By:</b> Jake Bauer | @@ -12,12 +12,104 @@ <b>Last Updated:</b> [DATE] </div> -If you have a blog then you should be syndicating your posts through an RSS -feed. If you're not using a platform such as Wordpress or Write.as which create -them for you, then you'll probably have to find a tool to do it for you or do it -yourself. For this blog, I create all of the RSS feed entries myself, though I -have written a script that does it for me when I publish a new blog post. +If you have a blog or run a website that posts content regularly, then you +should be syndicating your posts through an RSS feed. If you're not using a +platform such as Wordpress or Write.as which create them for you, then you'll +probably have to find a tool to do it for you or do it yourself. For this blog, +I create all of the RSS feed entries myself (though I have written a script that +does it for me when I publish a new blog post). This is the first post in a +series of posts which will cover the hows and whys of creating your own RSS +feed. +### Background + +Version 1.0 of RSS was released in December, 2000 and quickly grew in popularity +in tandem with the rest of the Internet. In 2002, RSS 2.0 was released and has +been the version in use for nearly two decades now. Atom feeds were created as a +competitor to RSS which supposedly has several advantages, but RSS 2.0 has +remained the dominant format on the Internet thanks to its hand in making +podcasts possible. You can read more about [Atom +feeds](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom_(Web_standard)) or [RSS +feeds](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS) on Wikipedia. + +Here are several really important reasons why you should have an RSS feed for +your site: + +1. Accessibility +2. Ease of Use +3. Privacy and Security +4. Efficiency +5. Increasing Readership + +### Accessibility + +The number one reason why you should have an RSS feed for your website is +because of accessibility. One of the advantages to using an RSS feed reader to +read the posted content on a website is that users can use whichever feed reader +program they wish and set them up however they wish. Although your website +should already be following the WCAG (web content accessibility guidelines), +providing an RSS feed would allow, for example, someone who uses a screen reader +to cut away all of the rest of the stuff on a website and focus on the content +or someone with poor eyesight to use a client with super high contrast—even +higher than what you may already have on your site. + +### Ease of Use + +For some, an RSS feed reader is easier to use and fits better into their +workflow than a web browser. Nowadays, web browsers are slow, bloated, +privacy-invading platforms which can be difficult to run for those with older +hardware (third-world countries are a thing). RSS feeds are just a single file +which is much easier for those on weaker hardware to work with. + +For someone like me, who tends to spend most of his time on the command line or +in text-based interfaces, a web browser breaks from the keyboard-driven +environment that I love and, on top of that, checking every site manually is +tedious. Using a command-line RSS feed reader allows me to read articles and +updates from people without disturbing my workflow. I can also set up my reader +to display content in just the way I like it (for me that's a large font with a +screen width of 72 characters). + +### Privacy and Security + +Unlike having someone sign up for your mailing list, using an RSS feed allows +someone to periodically download the feed and read it in their feed reader +without the bother of any other Web-related technologies like HTML, Javascript +or cookies. This means that the user doesn't have to worry about being tracked +by whatever invasive analytics platform you might be running on your site and +you can avoid having to put the work in to make sure that you are securely +storing and handling users' contact information because there's no contact +information to store. + +It's a win-win for both you and the user. + +### Efficiency + +Viewing a website is expensive. Not necessarily in terms of money, but in terms +of its environmental impact. [Every byte that is sent over the Internet +contributes to global +warming](https://dannyvankooten.com/website-carbon-emissions/). If a user can +check for and read new posts on your website by downloading a simple, easily +cacheable file, you can not only reduce the environmental impact your site has +on the planet, but also potentially reduce monetary costs if you pay for the +amount of bandwidth your site uses. + +### Increasing Readership + +You might be surprised to hear this, but there are millions of people still +using RSS every day. Nowadays it's mostly through apps like Feedly, but the +underlying technology hasn't changed. All of the above reasons to have an RSS +feed culminate in your site being more convenient for your readers to read. The +more convenience and the more options you provide, the more people you will +attract to your platform. If the only option you have is an email newsletter, +you might be driving away hundreds or thousands of people who don't want to sign +up for yet another newsletter or are privacy-conscious. Not to mention, nobody +wants to have to check every single site they like manually every day for +updates. + +### Conclusion + +I hope that's convinced you that you should have an RSS feed for your site. As +you'll see in the upcoming posts, it's not even that difficult to do. In the next post, I'll go over the basic structure that your feed should have as well as some of the content posting decisions you will have to make. In the post