@colinwalker the problem with the subscribe buttons have always been workflow. For non-nerds, it was not apparent what to do with it. Sometimes it would even just load the XML, or try to save the RSS file - and now browsers have dropped what support they did have for RSS.
@colinwalker The thing with RSS is what happens after you click the button. In Chrome, you get the XML feed. In Firefox a "Choose your reader" dialog. That's too difficult for casual visitors and non-tech people. Facebook/Twitter made it easy. Yay for silo-thinking on that part!
@frank @canion Absolutely! There needs to be a better, easier way to use the buttons before they become popular again. Social networks let you write and consume in the same UI, that’s why m.b works so well even though you are subscribing to a feed when following someone.
@vasta It’s such a shame. There has to be a better way.
@vasta @colinwalker Google's initial attempts (i.e. when it was still in love with RSS - Reader days) did try to solve that. Especially Feedburner provided an easy to understand and follow interface.
@colinwalker do you mean something like this boffosocko.com/2016/12/1... from @c
@mrkrndvs Not so much, more like what happens when you actually click on the subscribe button. As @canion said, now that feed support has largely disappeared from browsers many don’t know what to do with them.
@colinwalker @mrkrndvs Remember when all the apps supported RSS? Browsers, email clients, everything!
@mmarfil Are you sure you want users to make a choice between Feed readers? Most of them don't even know what they are, that's why RSS failed in the first place. I'd opt for a in-browser or in-phone solution. Kind of like Podcasts on iOS now.
@mmarfil You're right, we need the support from the big boys. My experience with RSS has been that even explaining it makes it hard to start, understand ánd keep the usage up. I've written countless articles and gave presentations and workshops on it but it didn't help.
@mmarfil @frank The only problem is we went through all this before, browsers got on board and various solutions were created only to be dropped when 'social’ became the new shiny. I'm not convinced the major players will want to retread old ground.
@colinwalker The major players can go play with themselves, for all I care.
@colinwalker @vasta thinking about this, an obvious solution is to support a cross-browser in-browser RSS feed reader that one links to on our sites instead of just dumping the RSS feed link. The more universal its use gets, the easier for non-geeks to get used to 'subscribing' to feeds.
@colinwalker @vasta the alternative is that m.b makes a browser app that lets people subscribe to any feed. If someone feels like commenting, a popup comes that says, "you can make a free account on m.b to comment, which allows 20 free original posts per month, and paid after that" But is that fair to m.b?
@nitinkhanna That would work. 🤔
@colinwalker are we thinking along those lines now? I bet Manton isn't!
@nitinkhanna I was talking about the in-browser solution.
@nitinkhanna @colinwalker @vasta Interesting discussion! I do want to see improvements here. I thought the rel subscribe idea might be the basis for something too. (Micro.blog sites include a link for it.)
@colinwalker the in-browser solution can be very easy. We just need to agree on an in-browser app that we all can then direct traffic to. Losses? No sync, no mobile, some have fallen out of development, etc.
@manton I see the rel subscription on Aaron's site, but it seems very hacky. Perhaps it works perfectly with RSS readers? But like I said to Colin, it would be infinitely better if that button were to work with microblog, or an in-browser RSS reader.
@nitinkhanna @colinwalker @vasta In lieu of that, as an interim solution I'm wondering if the way with the least friction is to have a Feedly subscribe button that'll automatically add the site to their feeds (and/or set up a new account via their web RSS reader). I prefer Feedbin but I suggest Feedly since it is free and seems to have the tools to make it easiest for users to use/subscribe to on the fly. (P.S. At the moment the Feedly subscribe button is reporting an error, I've reported it to Feedly as I know it's worked earlier).
@nitinkhanna I would imagine a new service specifically designed rather than a current solution.
@manton Hmm, I’ll have to take a look at that, I wan't aware it was a thing. Thanks.
@colinwalker I have half a mind to put up a rather lame PHP tool that would let you use that rel-subscribe thing and pull feeds on the fly...
@solari my problem with that is exactly as you mentioned. Should it be feedly or feedbin or some other? Why not have a page called "Follow me" with all these links on it? I removed everything like that from my WP blog because most people who know RSS have some way to quickly get to my feed. I know it's a bit of a cop out.
@nitinkhanna I only suggested Feedly because of that easy to use button, it's free, and it uses their Google/Facebook, etc. account (if preferred) to set up a new account on the fly and has decent web-based reader and apps. I'm thinking what is the least friction to get them in the door?
@nitinkhanna That would be interesting to see. I need to dig in to how it actually works.
@solari good point! Yeah, we need to reduce fiction as much as possible!
@nitinkhanna @solari It might be worth investigating an agreed-upon widely-used page template for indie blogs that both gives the reduced friction option and the option that involves more work (i.e. reading about RSS, seeing the links to the feeds). There could even be a link to a website that acts as the source of information for this page template; something like how Derek Sivers got the whole Now page idea moving.
@simonmumbles hmmm. So like a simple English page for the Indieweb wiki? // @solari
@nitinkhanna @solari Yep that'd be a good place for it.