Friday March 18

RSS-only blog

I've been thinking of a new kind of concept in blogging recently -- an RSS-only blog. It's not because of browser security issues. Nor is it because I'm some kind of nutcase RSS evangelist.

  1. I like the privacy and intimacy of an RSS-only blog -- because the concept is quite novel, there will be only a small number of readers for the RSS feed compared to the larger untamed masses viewing HTML
  2. Right now, only other geeks would read an RSS-only blog which is fine for me since that's my market
  3. I would be able to maintain two kinds of completely segmented readerships -- geek and non-geek -- and this would allow me to tailor content
  4. Feedback from comments would have to be separate from the content in the form of a separate forum
  5. Search functionality would also have to be separate from the content -- it would be maintained on third-party sites like bloglines.com
  6. An RSS-only blog requires a reader to make the active decision to leave the blog and to take the action to unsubscribe from it -- so it is slightly more difficult to lose RSS readers compared to HTML blogs
  7. An RSS-only blog has no URLs -- so no one can link to individual entries and no one can make cross-references to earlier entries
  8. The RSS feed would have to carry the full content -- no more "more" links
  9. An RSS only blog lets you focus far more on content and neglect appearance -- this would put a premium on thoughtful posts and not on frequency of updates as it is with HTML blogs
  10. RSS-only blog can be quite attractive for bloggers who have bandwidth problems because it has no bloat
  11. RSS-only blogs will make it difficult to track readership since counter scripts cannot be embedded into them
  12. With upcoming RSS advertising models, you can still make money off of an RSS-only blog
  13. The only thing stopping me right now is that search engines don't index RSS feed content... yet
  14. Readership gain would rely almost completely on the reputation of the author and the brand of the blog because the content would not be as accessible as regular HTML blogs
  15. RSS extensions like feedview would be really useful as one way of previewing the content of a RSS-only blog
  16. Readership gain would crawl unless word of mouth spreads -- and that might very well happen because of the novelty of the concept
  17. Stronger brands will gain readers faster on RSS-only blogs so if Microsoft or Google started one, they would corner the market and draw attention to the concept even if they enter the concept late

News blogs on topics that get outdated and nearly useless quickly and therefore don't need archives would be better suited for an RSS-only blog. If the blog content is opinions and commentary or requires feedback, it might be better not to be RSS-only.

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