20 September 2006

A handy reminder about inclusivity

Followed through from Nancy White's post to Problogger's full article listing nine ways to encourage readership and participation.

First thing for me to check up on are the abbr and acronym tags that one of the commenters mentioned. Even when I'm familiar with the acronyms, I find it disconcerting when the term is not written out in full at least the first time it is used in a piece of writing. They are notorious for having more than one meaning.

Educating users in RSS (really simple syndication) can be a challenge just from the blog itself. I recently conducted a hands-on workshop using Bloglines and I'm sure there were a number of attendees who were motivated to learn about RSS, but despite all the links to tutorials on the web were not ready to dive in until they could have a go with an "expert" to guide them personally and converse with them about ideas for using it effectively. In some ways using the term RSS can be a put-off. Just providing the simple tools for them to subscribe without too much thought about the technical details is an idea. Instead of a link to raw xml, and lengthy explanations about what RSS is - provide some subscribe-with buttons for popular readers, or use Feedburner's animated headline for email signatures with a subscribe to link. Feedburner automatically includes a heap of subscribe-with options.