A few days ago Frank Meeuwsen wrote a posting only available through his RSS feed, not otherwise easily visible on his blog. His RSS only postings do still have URLs of course and can be directly accessed that way. But they do not show up on the front page, in search, or as part of archive overviews. It’s open secret so to say. Public but somewhat hidden.
Limiting Weeknotes to RSS readership
I find this interesting to experiment with, as I am interested in playing with which content is visible to which reader of my blog. Regular readers will follow my writing through RSS, and incidental readers will probably go to my site. This makes the RSS feed an interesting place to share things that I’d like my ‘reader in-crowd’ to read, but I feel are less relevant to have ‘out there’.
Specifically my weekly notes about my activities fall into this category. They are primarily a reminder to self, and also a very good way to casually share with readers who are closer to me what I’m up to, and what I found noteworthy in the past 7 days. They don’t serve any specific purpose for accidental readers, and I’m not particularly interested in having them very visible on my site. Currently, like a range of other postings, I post them in the Day to Day page on my site. That content isn’t shown on the front page, to not confront visitors with ‘firehose’ type of content flows.
So what’s RSS Club?
RSS Club, is a ‘secret’ club of bloggers posting some content only to their RSS feeds (and the URI of the posting itself), but keep those postings otherwise invisible on their site. An overview of bloggers having RSS specific content is kept by Dave Rupert.
As with any ‘secret society’ there are rules, the first one of which is likely familiar to you.
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”.
Don’t talk about it. Let people find it. Make it worthwhile. These rules are completely non-enforceable.
I’m using the Ultimate Category Excluder plugin to exclude content from front page, overviews and search, and only show them in RSS. This WordPress plugin I already use to leave out Day to Day postings from the front page, and e.g. keep my geolocation logins outside of my RSS feed.
I’ll mark the RSS only postings, so that readers know they are reading ‘extra’ material. This does not imply secrecy or confidentiality of the post itself, nor will the ability to comment send webmentions or pingbacks be in any way affected.