RSS Everywhere, Blogging as Social Media, and More

Today’s post is about blog tinkering.

Some people tinker with their cars. Others customize their home automation systems or fiddle with the designs of their flower beds. As an urbanite I don’t have a yard, or a car, or a woodworking shop. What I do have is a website, and an interest in making it work for me.

I’ve slowly been moving toward a one blog to rule them all approach where I put all of my online activity on a single blog. That means this site includes regular blog posts, a mix of personal and professional writing, plus my social posts, which includes things like reads and listens and photos.

The tricky thing about a one blog to rule them all approach is that your home feed can get quite busy. And it’s possible that readers may want to read only a slice of your blog, not all of it. So I’ve been doing some tweaks to make it easier for readers to customize their preferences. While I appreciate you hard core blog buddies who are willing to read MAXIMUM CHERI I know that my main blog feed is getting more crowded. Chris at Boffosocko, who uses a similar approach, refers to his main feed as the fire hose.😋

RSS Everywhere & Blogging as Social Media

Here are some of my latest blog tweaks:

RSS Everywhere – Every Category and Post Kind on my site has a unique RSS feed. Thus if you want to subscribe to only certain categories on my blog, like my writing life posts, you can click on that category anywhere and be taken to a page that’s a listing of that category’s posts, with an RSS link right up top.

Blog as Social Media – My blog has a row of social icons up top. (On mobile devices, it’s in the sidebar.) I added an Instagram-esque logo up there, and by clicking on it you’ll get my photostream. I’ve been using this for a while, if someone asks me if I’m on Instagram I sent them that photo-only link. And if they ask if I’m on Facebook I send them my social-only link. This won’t satisfy people who won’t take the time to visit a link outside of a social media silo, but that’s okay. I’m happy to make things as easy as I can within the boundaries I’ve set, and for me, one boundary is that I don’t do Facebook.

A screenshot of the header with the photo icon circled.

The trickiest part about adding these under-the-hood features is that most people won’t notice they’re there, or understand how they work. But I suspect that my RSS-loving peeps will get it.

Modified Syndication to Book Sites – I’ve also begun using category specific RSS to tidy up some of my syndication. I share my blog feed to Amazon and Goodreads via RSS. But a typical fan doesn’t want to see my non-bookish blog posts when they go to Goodreads or Amazon, so instead of sending my full RSS feed there, I now syndicate only my book and writing posts to those sites. Custom RSS for the win!

IndieWeb Additions

Along with those tweaks, also been adding some IndieWeb-friendly customizations to this site.

H-Card – My footer has an H-Card now. An H-Card is kind of like a business card for bloggers. You can read more about them here.

Reply Posts -I have a new post-kind called Reply, which is a way of organizing blog posts that are replies to other blog posts. I’m still a bit hazy on how to get the formatting correct, but I’ll be trying a reply post sometime soon. Jason of Jason Journals recently wrote about WordPress.com’s reblogging function. My understanding is that an Indieweb Reply is simply a formatted post that says “this post is responding to that post” and it’s similar in practice to reblogging or quote-blogging.

That’s all for now! If you have any ideas for making blogs more social or more interesting, feel free to drop me a comment, or if you’re feeling fancy, a reply. 🙂 Have a good day, all.