Monday, May 11, 2009

Let Me Spell it Out for You: R-S-S

All bloggers need this and all blog readers should have this. I'm talking about an RSS reader.


What is RSS? It's "a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it."

As a reader of blogs, it's great to fire up the RSS reader to pull the newest content. It saves me a ton of time from having to check each site and see what is new. Most blogs have the RSS icon in the corner so you can easily subscribe.

For bloggers: You need to have an RSS reader - it should be a prerequisite to starting a blog. Too many bloggers are publishing the same content as other friends on the blog rolls. Ironically, the same bloggers that get pissed at magazine companies are usually the most guilty. No one's perfect, I know I've made plenty of netiquitte mistakes, but we need to do a better job. Taking a quick glance at the SportsCards Unscensored blogroll before you post something doesn't count. They have a great blog roll, but I'm pretty sure everyone is aware of the google blog roll delays.

There are plenty of free RSS readers to choose from. I use the JetBrains Omea Reader, but there are a ton of others. Here's a top 10 list of the free ones you can download. Take a few minutes to check it out, learn it, and start using it.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does ESPN not write a story because SI.com does? No.

It's good to encourage people to be connected with what's out there, but repetition with information reported elsewhere should have nothing to do with providing your take on something.

JRJ said...

And when ESPN doesn't first report the story, they site SI.com.

Anonymous said...

Actually, it's all about attribution -- not crediting who had what first.

If ESPN has no way to verify a story that's out there straight from the horse's mouth, they'll attribute it to SI -- or whomever else reported it if it's deemed to be significant.

It's not about citing who's first -- it's not a constant flow of one-upsmanship and monitoring who's first with a story. That's just ego and salesmanship (right or wrong). It's about citing facts according to the most credible sources for them.

In other words, if someone says Upper Deck says "XXXXX," it makes most sense to ask Upper Deck whether that's the case and report what Upper Deck says.

In breaking news situations, yes, ESPN would attribute something to SI if they don't have it otherwise and need to report it.

But if some story came off a press release -- as 95 percent of all card industry stories do -- it's pretty obvious that the story should get attributed to the organization that sent the press release, not who blogged it first.

It's a fascinating myth among bloggers, though.

Now, if you're monitoring blogs -- not direct sources of information -- to find something to write about? Then, yes, you should probably operate that way.

JRJ said...

Anon - Great discussion and thanks for the responses.

I know, I'm probably idealistic with this because I see bloggers different than I see media companies. When I worked in the media, it was a big deal to be first and be ahead of the other - it meant better ratings, better $, etc.

I view bloggers (myself included) as more of a tribe. We're out there because of our passion for the hobby and to connect with others who share that passion.

I probably have the rose-tinted glasses on, but I view the card/memorabilia blogs as a tribe of hobby enthusiasts... not a corporation trying to one-up the competition.

I get the feeling from reading stuff out there that I may be part of the minority.