MediaBizTech

Robert Freeman's whole Media, Business and Technology thing. Sorted.

Changing address? Redirect your RSS

with 3 comments

So many ways to choose. Except if your RSS is dead, then you have zero.

The Economist, this means you!

If you move home, you can get the post office to redirect your letters so they come to your new address. If you change your internet address, it makes sense to tell your users where you’ve gone too.

So why do websites make it difficult for themselves by not doing this on their RSS feeds?

I almost never visit homepages, they are generally a waste of my time to flick through and find out what the new stuff is. I’ve even set my browser to come up with a blank page. Like most webusers, I begin with a search, or if I’m using some type of internet news reader software, then I’m using RSS.

If you change the address of your feed and don’t tell me, you’ve just lost me and everyone else who used to read you from that source.

Better still if you’ve decided to retire the blog, tell me and suggest alternatives. Don’t just stop updating. Best practice here from the Financial Times.

And the bad practice award also goes to the FT, as that’s exactly what they did almost a year ago when they moved their Tech Blog from

http://feeds2.feedburner.com/ft/techblog

to

http://feeds2.feedburner.com/ft/fttechhub

This means my feed just hangs on the last entry, 30 Dec 2010, and my tablet/phone/desktop newsreader stops working.

No more news for you

It’s not just news articles. Media downloads or podcasts depend on RSS. I haven’t had a new piece of Economist audio or video on my MP3 player since the end of October! No reason as to why in the feed. It still works, it’s just got nothing new in it.

So I pop over to their multimedia page.  Lots of new stuff on there, so at least they’re still making it. The RSS indicator on the page takes me to http://www.economist.com/rss which oddly mostly contains links back to the main websites, rather than to RSS links and certainly not a working multimedia RSS.

Their (possibly out of date) video portal at http://video.economist.com does have a front and centre RSS link. But that takes me to yet another (possibly even older) list of feeds, none of which is the one I’ve requested.

So, the Economist was making interesting stuff that used to turn up on my MP3 player/tablet/phone.

It’s still making useful stuff, except that now I can only watch/listen when I’m at my computer (which is increasingly irregular).  Or maybe I can get it on a more useful device, except they’re making it really hard to find out how.

If you’ve got a working feed for the Economist’s multimedia output, do let me know in the comments!

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Written by Robert

29 December, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Posted in Media, Mobile, Newspapers, radio, Technology, video

Tagged with , ,

3 Responses

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  1. It would make sense to announce the change of address to a new feed in the old feed. Think about it.

    billbennettnz

    1 January, 2012 at 4:05 am

  2. […] Don’t look for it on their site. Due to their hopeless search and out of date RSS feeds (which I’ve mentioned before) you’ll be taken to an episode from October 2011.  This is a shame, because the programme […]


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