Delayed Blog Feed Available

By stretch | Friday, March 25, 2011 at 2:09 a.m. UTC

One of the drawbacks of blogging as a platform is its dependency on chronology. When a reader comes across a new blog and decides to begin following it, he or she typically reads only new posts from that point on. Some may peruse the past few months worth of posts out of curiosity, but few if any will start from the beginning (unless, of course, the blog is still fairly young).

This isn't a problem for the author as much as it is a lost opportunity for the reader: If you just found this blog today and decided to add it to your RSS aggregator and simply follow new posts, you've missed out on three years' worth of information. Granted, maybe only a small portion of it is of interest to you, but that's still a good deal of potentially beneficial reading.

This has bugged me for some time but it wasn't until today that I set about implementing a solution. I've created a secondary RSS feed which essentially republishes blog articles on their three-year anniversary. As an example, if you were to view the feed on June 1, 2011, you would see articles published June 1, 2008 or earlier. (Blog articles from the delayed feed are tagged as such to avoid confusion.) The idea is that newcomers can subscribe to both the normal live feed to follow new articles and the three-years-delayed feed to gain exposure to older articles they've missed. This allows the reader to digest older posts at a casual pace.

feeds_timeline.png

One issue with this, as you might have guessed, is the handling of outdated articles. For example, you're probably not interested in reading about three-year-old IOS vulnerabilities (though to be fair, this would be of benefit to more than a few organizations). To avoid this, I've excluded posts categorized as news, announcements, rants, or opinion. This, presumably, leaves only objective technical content with a much longer shelf life.

The delayed RSS feed is available here. At the time of writing, the feed is still blank: The first article, published March 28, 2008, should appear Monday. I'm writing about it today to see what people think. Is it a decent idea? Not so much? How would you tweak it? Let me know!

Posted in Announcements

Comments


chucho21
March 25, 2011 at 2:47 a.m. UTC

it's a great idea, I followed you like an half year, and sometimes and looking for something interesting to read, but when I see a lot of information, I don't know from where to start. Thanks for shearing your knowledge, it's very helpful in order to take my ccna exam.

Greating from Mexico.


pl (guest)
March 25, 2011 at 2:54 a.m. UTC

Love the idea! This should be an option on every blogs!


drudge` (guest)
March 25, 2011 at 3:02 a.m. UTC

bad to the bone!


tkrause (guest)
March 25, 2011 at 7:08 a.m. UTC

It makes sense on blogs like this, where the content is not THAT heavily based on the things going on at the time being. But on blogs whos content is nearly outdated after a year or two, there it would not be an appreciated thing.
To put it in a nutshell: It wouldn't make sense on ALL kinds of blogs.


neilobrien
March 25, 2011 at 8:11 a.m. UTC

A clever "outside-the-box" idea.

Nice.......


Anon (guest)
March 25, 2011 at 12:38 p.m. UTC

So what happens two years down the road when someone discovers the secondary RSS feed? they've missed 2 years of historical blogs. I think a more standard way would be to repost some of the more interesting historical blogs from in the main blog, this would be especially good when business is slow and the blog needs updating.


Marcos (guest)
March 25, 2011 at 2:28 p.m. UTC

I agree with 'Anon'.
Instead of repost you can make a new post with a single subject with links to previous post. For instance:

Looking for OSPF stuff? Check here and here.

Maybe with a sentence explaining what one can find in each one.

Regards.


Killian (guest)
March 26, 2011 at 1:02 a.m. UTC

I would like an RSS feed that's 6 months into the future.

Thanks for the blog anyway it comes (seriously)


stretch
March 26, 2011 at 6:08 p.m. UTC

@Anon and Marcos: That would get really old really fast for regular readers. Besides, I think the blog categories and search function have that aspect pretty well covered.


mokum von Amsterdam (guest)
April 21, 2011 at 7:51 a.m. UTC

... interesting concept, but if the readers interest, fueled by the content of 'today', does not automagically makes her|him wonder what the author wrote before then nothing will. Not even force feeding older content.
What I'd like|do is to give the reader a more optional and 'timeline based' view of the articles and 'tempt' them to actually take that tour. Graphically something like time machine's interface, since we all know 'keywords' don't work anyway.
With the current volume of excellent content available and even RSS reader's firehose levels of 'new' material, only the fewest of all blogs|sites warent reading it all. That content I would be specifically looking for and thus make me suck it up no matter what the rss feed of today would be offering.

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