RSS Club for All

This is a special RSS-only post! Read more about RSS Club.

I’ve used RSS for years, but had shied away from it after the disappearance of iGoogle (that’s right, I never relied on Google Reader, instead just the dashboard view Google had for a while) as I didn’t have a good replacement. Well, really it was just I didn’t know what a good replacement was.

But people who know me know that I like reading and hyperclicking on the web. Big Social Media is more of a get in and get out type place with regard to links (or more likely skimming a headline, pressing a like or angry face, sharing it with a highly-likely-to-be-irrelevant opinion of the article you did not read, and scrolling to the next headline).

As such, the days of RSS, blogrolls, and webrings still have a special place in my heart. While not perfect, I’ve wanted for a while to incorporate those ideas into my site (and side projects). At about the same time as I was refocusing on RSS and newsletters, I happened upon a post on Dave Rupert’s RSS feed about a so called RSS Club. An idea to write posts specfically for those who subscribe to your RSS, and connect together unofficially through these feeds. He proposes three rules:

  • 1st rule of RSS Club is “Don’t Talk About RSS Club”.
  • 2nd rule of RSS Club is “Don’t Share on Social Media”.
  • 3rd rule of RSS Club is “Provide Value”.

Love it.

I have a Jekyll setup similar to Dave, and since so he outlined his implementation details it was a low barrier for me to join. I’m making an additional change to my article templates (Dave still gives these special posts a URL, just only links to them through RSS). In an effort to make them a little more secretive, I’m going to minimize the searchability with a robots meta tag in the head:

{% if page.rssonly %}
<meta name="robots" content="none">
{% endif %}

This is the best practice way to do this now right? Instead of robots.txt?

I have a few special posts that I might post here in advance for a week or two before releasing at large. I also have been sitting on a prototype for my sequel to Path to Palindromes for almost two years that I will probably talk about here to (maybe?) inspire me to finish it out. This might also be where I talk about how I’m adopting IndieWeb principles (and how that fits in with my Jekyll setup) and the hiccups I encounter. Not sure, but it’s fun to have something new to try…