Look like I wasn’t the only one to notice a sharp decline in my RSS subscriber count. Earlier this morning, my subscriber count fell from 115 to 69. According to Darren Rowse, the problem seems to center around the Google Feedfetcher stats not displaying today. These types of errors with Feedburner happen on occasion and to those of you who are freaking out, calm down. The numbers usually return to normal after 24hrs.
After struggling to move my hosted WordPress installation onto my local pc, I have completed the theme edits that I have been wanting to make for some time now. I have moved the Chatter box from the footer of the site and to the top to see if more people will use it. Having it at the top of the site should make it easier for everyone to see if their are any new messages. This is still an experiment and if I discover it’s of little to no use to this site, I”ll remove it. However, I would really like to have some real-time conversations with you, the readers.
I’ve removed the ARTICLE SUBMISSION link from the top navigation area. Last but not least, I have added the FeedBurner Subscriber chiclet to the footer. Since I now have a somewhat respectable number of subscribers, thanks to you of course, I can now display those numbers prominently on the blog. The reason I waited so long before adding the chiclet revolves around human perception. If I were to display this chiclet while it showed a low number, say below 50, this site would automatically be perceived as a piece of trash. But now that the chiclet shows around 100 subscribers or so, people who notice the chiclet may realize that this site is somewhat interesting or worthy of their time considering 100 of their peers already think so.
Feedback on the changes is always appreciated. I’m open to all suggestions and ideas to improve the readability and functionality of this site.
By the way, would anyone be interested in a tutorial on how to install your web hosted WordPress installation to your local PC in order to change themes or text plugins?
The FeedBurner Feedsmith plugin for WordPress which consolidates all of your WordPress RSS Feeds into one, has undergone a small security update. According to Feedburner, older versions of FeedSmith, can be vulnerable to what is called a “cross-site request forgery.” This permits someone to change WordPress plugin settings on your system without you noticing during the time you are signed into your WordPress control panel.
Feedburner recommends downloading the latest version of the plugin, FeedSmith V2.3 as this version ensures that the only person who can change FeedSmith settings is the administrative account that is signed into your WordPress account.
Here are the directions to update your plugin.
- Download version 2.3 of the plugin.
- Sign in to your WordPress admin control panel.
- Under Plugins, locate the current FeedSmith plugin, and click “Deactivate.”
- Copy the plugin file, FeedBurner_FeedSmith_Plugin.php into your default WordPress plugin directory, wp-content/plugins/
- Reactivate the plugin by logging in to your WordPress administration area, clicking Plugins, then clicking Activate at the end of the “FeedBurner FeedSmith” row.
At the end of this process, v2.3 will be active and will use your existing feed redirection settings; there is no need to re-enter them. You will also be protected against any potential request forgery attack.
An interesting debate is taking place on Problogger.net That debate centers around the question of whether or not your RSS feeds should be partial or full. Gina from Lifehacker argues for Partial feeds while Rick from Feedburner argues for Full feeds.
The argument I hear most often when it comes to partial feeds is that, the partial content serves as a teaser and is used to get the user to click on the article link to visit the actual page where ads are waiting to be clicked. Most content authors think that by providing a Full RSS Feed is the same as giving away their content for free which then, can not be monetized because users will never visit their site.
After reading the argument presented for both sides, I am going to have to side with Rick Klau from Feedburner.com He presents a number of points that are really worth considering. Some of the points Rick mentions include:
If you just include a sentence or two of a post in a feed, you’re asking the reader to click through to read the rest of the post – when the actual substance of the post is not at all obvious from those first few sentences.
It should be noted that in feeds who’ve compared full and partial feeds, we’ve seen no hard evidence suggesting that partial feeds alone increase the clickthrough rate.
full posts also contain far richer information within the posts – hyperlinks – that can be exploited by services like TechMeme, Technorati, and other RSS-aware services. Partial posts rob readers (and automated services) of that context, as the hyperlinks themselves aren’t included in the partial posts.
While it’s easy to see which side of the fence I’m on in regards to this issue, it has to be noted that partial feeds make sense for specific situations. For example, some publishers do not have the proper licensing rights to publish the full text of an article.
Most feed readers now a days give users the ability to choose how they want to view their subscriptions. The options are typically Full Text, Partial Text, or headlines only. I’ve always told other users of Feedburner to set their Feed to display the full post which would cater to everyone. Let the user decide if they want to see only a partial post or not.
To read the debate and decide for yourself, be sure to read Full Or Partial RSS FEEDS – The Great Debate
Jason Bartholme has published a list of 45 sites that he has hand picked that allow you to quickly submit your RSS feed to. This is great for blog owners who want to gain more feed subscribers or for those who want to gain even more back links. I spent over 2 hours last night manually submitting my feed to each service. It will be interesting to see what my Feedburner stats say in the coming days.
Check out Jasons List – 45 Working Sites to Quickly Submit Your RSS Feeds