February 01, 2009

Are We Missing Something By Reading An RSS Feed?

By Rob Diana of Regular Geek (Twitter/FriendFeed)

People that read this blog regularly know that I am a big proponent of the conversation. I blog about what conversation may or may not be. I have written a tool to let you track where in social media people are talking about your blog post or some keyword you want to watch. I do this as a software engineer with no formal training in psychology, sociology or marketing. I do this as someone who regularly engages in conversations each day, as a normal person. In order to keep myself up to date on what other people are talking about, I use an RSS reader, specifically Google Reader.

This weekend I read a post on GrowMap.com regarding a blog review contest. Obviously, this has nothing to do with "conversation". However, there was something said earlier in the post that got me thinking:
Regular visitors to GrowMap are bound to have come across some great ideas in the comments left by Dennis Edell. Hopefully you’ve already visited his main blog DirectSalesWebMarketing.
What is so interesting about that quote? Well, I read GrowMap while within the familiar confines of my RSS reader. I rarely go to the source of a blog post unless I plan on commenting directly on the site. By doing this, I am obviously missing something. I am missing the conversation part of a blog post, the comments. Generally, I do not even know if there are comments on a post if I am within my RSS reader. Yes, I know that many feeds include feedflares that may include a comment count, but how many people look at those unless they want to email, Digg, tweet or generally take some action on the RSS item.

By missing the comments, we are missing part of the conversation. It is a large part of the conversation because it is the one part of the blog post where readers can interact. Are we shortchanging ourselves by not reading the post on the blog along with the comments? How much more intersting would your RSS reader become if it included the comments in the feed? Can somebody work on that?

See Also:
louisgray.com: The Trouble With RSS: I'm Not Involved
GeekWhat.com: RSS Readers Kill Readers’ Involvement?

Image by Photopia
Read more by Rob Diana at RegularGeek.com.