Feed Styling Alternative and some Traffic Analysis

 

Recently I wrote about how you can customise some of the elements in your RSS feed for correct display.

Feed Styler
I just found out about another alternative for those comfortable with CSS called Feed Styler. It allows you to apply CSS to various page elements automatically, effectively using 2 style sheets, one for your blog pages, and another for your feeds.
It achieves this by automatically adding inline CSS styling to various page elements.

Some purists might argue (and they do in the comments) that RSS Feeds should be free of all styling, and that if someone subscribes to a feed, they do it to avoid visiting the site, to get just pure content.
Unfortunately a lot of RSS readers don’t have even basic styling for HTML elements such as blockquotes, so I can see a need for this even if you are not looking to add more complicated styling.
In my opinion, most readers are not purists – they subscribe because they don’t want to have to navigate a long list of bookmarks every day to see if there is something interesting on their favourite sites. It isn’t a question of looking at the content unformatted, but of receiving the content they want to read automatically.
It is true that readers could somehow hack Firefox to apply custom styling to Google Reader, but most are not that technically capable.

I have downloaded the plugin, and it is another thing to add to my very long “todo” list. I haven’t tested it, so if you do, please let me know how you get on.

Also of note, Devlounge are having a refer-a-thon offering a free link in their sidebar for the site that sends them the most traffic. I think a much better option is just to subscribe to the blogs that send you traffic, and maybe write something about them if you see something interesting. This seems a very insular approach.
Their 100K unique visitor day is in total since they launched, as it seems (based on dubious Alexa data anyway), that I already receive as much traffic as they do.
You could look at it as a success until you read their full announcement and a previous post celebrating 400 subscribers.
The uniques are most likely unique by IP per day rather than cookie based uniques.

For me the most important statistic of all is subscribers, and to maximise the number of subscribers I gain from different traffic sources.

Sometime in the future I plan to add some subscriber only content

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the interest in the plugin. I hope it works out for you.

    I’m not sure how Devlounge tracks visitors. I know AJ uses Mint, so that filters out a lot of the bots and spiders.

    Again, thanks for the mention.

  2. says

    I don’t know that I would call myself a purist, but one thing that hits me right off is that I use my own style sheets for reading feeds. I’d prefer to read them my way, and come to the blog if I want your styling (you and your in the general sense of course). Though I doubt it’s enough of an issue to get me very worked up at all over it.

    …On the mention of thinking about prociding subscriber only information on your blog…

    Here is the dead simple and highly effective way to do so.
    Mark Edwards created a simple little plugin called hidethis. using the plugin anything you place between <!–hidethis–> and <!–/hidethis–> will only be displayed to registered, logged in readers. You can find the plugin at:
    http://edwards.org/2006/03/12/hidethis-v10-plugin-for-wordpress/

    Additionally I rewrote the plugin to do the opposite; Show anything between <!–showthis–> and <!–/showthis–> only to readers that are NOT currently logged in. Obviously this allows you to tellthem that there is hidden content, and they need to log in or register to see it, without having to display the notice to your logged in readers.

    This is a nice way to offer subscriber only content without turning your blog, or sections of your blog into a membership type site. Just pop the content in where it makes sense and wrap it in show or hide tags.

    http://danemorgan.com/plaintext/showthis.php