Content Usability in RSS: Hey look, we’re so big now that I’m linking to my own stuff…
It’s been a year since I posted this, and the situation hasn’t gotten any better. Too many people try to be all witty and avant-garde in their post titles and content and, as a result, get instantly passed over or deleted.
I get several of these a day — entries that don’t have enough information in them to help decide if I actually want to read them or not. A lot of them just have a title and a link, and the titles of news articles are pretty ambiguous these days.
Take a look at this entry over at MetaFilter and ask yourself, why should I give a crap about this? What has this author presented to make me care one second about this content?
Notice that the author has to actually include instructions in the post as to how it “works.” Note also that the first commentor graciously takes it upon themselves to tell everyone where the links were going so they can figure out if they care. Another commentor says:
I really dislike this post. Clever, but OBNOXIOUS! I almost DON’T want to click any of these links.
I didn’t even think it was that clever.
Of course, this only matters if you’re trying to get people to follow your links or read your stuff. If you’re just trying to be all black beret, wireframe glasses, and facial hair — well, then mission accomplished.