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Readers Hungry? Redirecting your RSS Feed

Feed Me: Redired your RSS Feed

This great graphic came from a blog called Marketing Coffee & Pretzels

Have you ever thought about moving your blog? For many of us as our blogs grow, we think about moving to a different URL or to a self hosted site (like using wordpress.org which allows you to use the wonderful framework and blog designs of wordpress while having your own personalized domain) if we are not already self-hosting. But if your blog has been housed at one location for a while, how do you move it without losing your feed subscribers? This is a question a lot of people don’t ask until they are faced with the issue.  So if you are asking this question then you have likely moved your blog and discovered that your subscribers are no longer getting their RSS feed.

When I moved my blog from smcubedconsulting.com to laurenmacewen.com I spent a lot of time looking into redirecting the URL.  I was concerned that people who knew my web address would have difficulty finding the site. Plus I did not want any outside links to unlink because I moved my blog. Eventually I chose to do a 301 redirect. What this does is when  you go to the old URL it takes you to my new site automatically. Using the 301 redirect I don’t lose the SEO work I have done, page ranking I have gained in search engines and people would still be able to easily find my blog.  However, that 301 did not seem to work on my RSS.  Now that is strange.

The research that I did indicated that it would. However, though some feedback from subscribers I found this not to be the case. That is because I was using feedburner to manage my RSS. Apparently the 301 redirect does not affect the feedburner feed because that feed is through an outside source and you cannot redirect a feed that is not your own, though if you are not using an RSS manager the 301 will work perfectly well.

Thankfully, there was an easy fix. I grabbed the feed URL for my new domain name and replaced my old feed URL with the new one. This then solved the issue of my existing subscribers missing out on my feed. Now my new website is feeding to the new feedburner RSS and the old one. So new subscribers and existing subscribers alike will be able to read the feed.

 

 

Facebook: Becoming a Blog?

Facebook is always trying to find new and interesting ways to promote content and make it more easily accessible. Social share features have increased the reach of Facebook, by integrating them with websites and encouraging people to share sites on their wall and on their friends’ walls.  To further increase their reach, Facebook has announced that they are adding a new feature: RSS feeds for fan pages.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is usually reserved for blog posts. It’s what allows you to receive updates in blog readers like Google Reader, where you can easily see all posts by their headlines.  Many people use RSS readers for their favorite blogs, so they can keep up with them without having to go to the blogsites. Some readers allow you to receive blog posts in your email, sending you the contents of the posts. But why does Facebook want to add an RSS feed to fan pages?

Facebook RSSIn theory this will let someone essentially subscribe to a fan page. Not only will you be able to see updates in your news feed, you will also be able to receive posts in your RSS reader. This is good for people who need to monitor certain pages, like politicians or large corporations.  If you are closely watching what a competitor is doing with their social media, this creates an easy venue in which to do it. However, the RSS feature is not likely to be valuable to people who are not using Facebook for professional reasons.

Some of you may be thinking: Facebook had an RSS feed for pages already, so why is this news?  You are right, they did. But recently Twitter and Facebook quietly removed their RSS feeds. Now Facebook has added it back in, along with a link on fan pages to subscribe. Will Twitter follow suit and bring their feed back? Good question. I think they will. An RSS feed provides another way for people to consume content, and ultimately that is key to social media social media success.

My RSS Feed is Gone!!

cartoon man sitting on a bench reading an oversized magazine with an RSS symbol on the coverI was doing some basic maintenance on my blogsite and suddenly realized that my RSS feed subscribers dropped down to zero.  You can imagine my “WHAT THE F*%$!!!!” reaction.  Once I got a grip, I decided to leave it for a day to see if maybe it was just some horrible dream.  So I came back and checked and nope, it was real.  All of my subscribers were gone.

I checked my RSS address and it was no longer registering my RSS feed, which was totally confusing and frustrating.  I actually had to go into my wordpress site and eliminate my custom feed.  Then I deleted my feed on Feedburner and reclaimed it. THEN I had to assign a new feed url and redirect my wordpress to the new feed address! Thankfully I did not have many subscribers…

Ok, wait, not really –  I am thankful for every subscriber!  What I mean is that I just offered a subscription box on this site, so I hadn’t yet gathered many subscribers.  But for people who have been managing subscribers for a long time, having your feed url get tanked could be devastating!

I hope that by fixing the RSS feed the subscribers I had will find me again.

Of course after I did all this I started doing some research on feedburner, specifically for this post.  I originally wanted to talk about what feedburner counted and what they didn’t, and why it is not always the most accurate form of traffic stats for blogs.  I found out that Google has been doing some algorithm adjustments and my RSS tanking was most likely because of this.  A post was written talking about feedburner possibly being one of the sources to people having RSS issues. Apparantly Techcrunch and Mashable both had issues with their feeds because of this update.

If it can happen to Mashable, it can happen to me! and you!

So go out and check your feed and make sure that all is well in your blogoverse.