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RSS, Atom, and Feeds – Let Us Know if You Change it

While tech pundits love love love to proclaim the DEATH of [insertwhateverissupposedlydeadthisweek], as a way to have something to write / talk about or as a way to drive traffic to their blog, the majority of the users on the web continue to ignore that [insert name of] is dead and continue to use it or they have never understood how to use and don’t as a result.
If you have a blog, your blogging software most likely provides a subscription feed, be it RSS or Atom, or you subscribe to a service like Feedburner which produces a feed of which you can then track the statistics on.
Depending on your blog and readers, folks may find your subscription feed(s) easily and use it or they are baffled by how to use it or are indifferent. Some bloggers have actively pushed an email or twitter subscription as an alternative to their RSS or Atom feeds.
I have now been blogging for 8.5 years here at BlackPhoebe.com and my logs show me that I have more folks accessing my feeds (RSS & Atom) than Google Analytics says I have regular returners who access the blog via a direct link. The grand majority of the folks who subscribe to one of the RSS or Atom feeds to this blog and don’t use the Feedburner one. Other bloggers may have a different experience, but I write from mine.
As a regular reader of blogs via their feeds*, it drives me nuts when a blog I like changes their feed URL with no warning. Much of the time it is when a blogger changes from one blogging CMS to another and in the stress of the move doesn’t think about how the change in feed URLs will affect their feed subscribers, or other times it is during a redesign or a big re-arrangement of files and blogging structure.
Regardless of how the feed URL gets changed, I would like to encourage all the bloggers using a CMS that generates a subscription feed to pre-think any architectural changes and warn your readers before it happens, as well as keeping the old feed open for at least 2 weeks after the move/redesign/cleaning/change with a last post on the feed that tells folks where to find the new feed URL.
Be kind to your faithful readers.
* I am a fan of Sage light RSS feedreader Add-on for Firefox.