How to decide in less than 5 seconds whether to keep or kill a feed: Charles Arthur


Charles Arthur, Technology Editor, The Guardian

Technology Guardian Editor Charles Arthur has some good tips on how to deal with the modern malaise of feedcreep (key points highlighted in bold):

Kill if:
* daily content consists of “today’s links:” followed by links and no new content.
* posts consist of no new content that I couldn’t find elsewhere, or just think of myself. (Musings on the crack in their living room wall or the new curtains they bought don’t count.)
* Haven’t updated the blog for more than 30 days (a “dinosaur”, in NNW’s parlance. Though I kept Tim Berners-Lee’s blog.)
* feeds are partial. Listen, don’t try to tempt me to come to your site to read your fantastically insightful things. There are very few organisations that can manage that, and of them, most are newspapers or very high-flown analysts of a sector. I just don’t bother with partial feeds any more. Apart from anything, most people can’t (a) write a good teaser (b) come up with any sort of analysis that makes it worth clicking through. Your overall traffic will surely be higher with full feeds. I’ve made this site full feed from day 1 because I couldn’t see any benefit from making people come to it. Yes, a few sites do deserve a clickthrough. But even then, it’s a barrier to reading. Barriers online don’t help.

Keep if:
* they’re in a sector where I want to hear the authentic voice of the user or programmer or problem solver
* they’re consistently able to throw new light on things I’m interested in
* they have a track record of telling you about things before they get big
* they’ve got a full feed.

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