Saturday, May 21, 2005

How does RSS change the rules?

Will furled an article by Mark Bernstein, 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web. He makes some great points, including that we must write for a reason and that we not be afraid to stand up and speak out. His second tip is one that I have been thinking about a lot lateley. He says that we should write often. He goes on to explain that it doesn't mean constantly but that it does mean consistently. He says
If you don’t write for a few days, you are unfaithful to the readers who come to visit. Missing an update is a small thing – rudeness, not betrayal – and readers will excuse the occasional lapse.

If you are inconsistent, readers will conclude you are untrustworthy. If you are absent, readers will conclude you are gone. It’s better to keep religiously to a once-a-week, or once-a-fortnight schedule, than to go dark mysteriously.
The article was written in 2002, a long time ago in terms of the Internet. It is a good article and still has lots of good advice, but I wonder how RSS changes things.

Few people actually go to my blog. (Heck, not that many read it anyway!) If they log into Bloglines or whatever aggregator they use and there is a post to my blog, they might read it. If there is no post, it doesn't even enter on their radar. At least that's how I am with my Bloglines account. I notice that there are some people who haven't posted in months, but I keep them on the list. When someone who usually posts regularly doesn't post for awhile, I notice it, but that is about it.

So I ask you, does RSS change the rules about how often we should post?


Anonymous said...

I'm of two minds about this--on the one hand, I do think that if you have a regular group of readers who have become friends, it's common sense to let them know that you'll be away from the blog for awhile so that they don't wonder or worry. And there are conventions of online etiquette that are important, too.
On the other hand, I chafe at too many "rules" for blogging. After all, it's my choice to have a blog, and I'm not getting paid for it.

Nathan Lowell said...

I see your blog on RSS, Nancy, and even tho it may take a couple of days to catch up, I see you.

And I value the posts, however infrequent.

RSS *does* change the rules because I can always find somebody -- you, Lesley, Sarolta, Marco, Bee -- who has made a post that changes my life every time I check my aggregator.

How cools is that.