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Apparently there are real benefits to be found when you syndicate content to generate site traffic according to this post from Ross Mayfield. That got me to wonder how many pople use the RSS feeds here at SDN. Well simple enough to check in Bloglines, each feed you subscribe to there tells you how many people are subscribed. Here is a rundown of SDN feed I use daily and how many are subscribed (at least at here):

Now what is really cool though is you can see who subscribes to those feeds (if they decide to allow it, the totals above include private subscribers as well). Click the numbers above to see who subscribes, the description will give you the RSS feed. It’s a little dissapointing to see how few people are using these, but hey the numbers can only get better. Something tells me anyway that it still may not be widely known that you can subscribe to the forum posts this way. I would note that when you take the RSS link provided in the forums it will work better if you change the link from https to http, some services have problems with login even if they have the capability. I find this so useful to monitor the forums as I’m lurking for questions on a very narrow range of topics. Viewing the posts this way allows me to quickly see what is being actively discussed there and whether there is anything I need to respond to.

Regarding the who, as you can see from the above apparently only http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/weblogs?blog=/pub/u/3294 [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] and myself care what any of you have to say about the posts here. I’m fairly certain Mark reads all the posts and comments here as well… OK, OK, I know he does but even the RSS evangelist and Bloglines user that he is he doesn’t subscribe to that feed.

So I got here from a totally different angle, how many click throughs feeds deliver, it’s really the who I find so interesting though. But hey isn’t that what makes the net, and blogs in particular so great (bias alert: I love tangents). Now I can check out the blogrolls of the other people who already share a common intrest. For example I found this fantastic interview with Henning Kagermann in Business 2.0 linked from Jeff Nolan’s blog, who with 126 subscribers is probably the most popular SAP employee blogger out there. Something tells me there is a lesson here related to locked doors since Jeff’s blog doesn’t require registration. The fact that none of the feeds above other than Jeff’s are indexed by Technorati seems to confirm this.

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10 Comments

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  1. Stefan Klensch
    Hi Marc,
    i subscribed to some forums and the SDN Weblog area some weeks ago, but (as you already mentioned) most RSS readers or at least the readers i tested are not capable to handle Https.
    Even the readers with login features didn’t manage it to work with SDN feeds, the header lines were displayed, ok, but getting the complete content -> no way, please login. So i uninstalled all and started browsing again.
    Do you know a reader (for Windows platform) which works with “SDN feeds”?
    Thanks and regards
    Stefan
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    1. DJ Adams
      Hi Stefan

      Just got time between some time away from the web  and travelling to EuroFOO to reply to this …

      I think perhaps you’re confusing HTTP/HTTPS and full/partial feeds. The URL for the weblog RSS channel is not HTTPS, it’s HTTP:

      http://weblogs.sdn.sap.com/pub/q/weblogs_rss?x-ver=1.0

      So you don’t need an HTTPS-capable RSS reader.

      The fact that the main weblog post ‘content’ is missing from the feed is because the feed itself only contains a summary of each post (the few lines per post that appear in the weblog overview page on SDN). In other words, it’s not a ‘full-content’ feed.

      This full/summary feed question is constantly being debated in RSS circles, and there’s no one answer.

      Anyway, off to pack for Enschede!

      dj

      p.s. I’m giving a little talk there related to SAP: http://wiki.oreillynet.com/eurofoo//csp?HelloSapWorld

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      1. Mark Finnern
        Hi DJ,

        EuroFOO and you giving an SAP talk that sounds cool. Hope you have good weather. Let us know what the people say about: HelloSAPWorld and say hello from the SDN world 🙂

        Would love to be there too.

        Best, Mark.

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      2. Stefan Klensch
        Hi DJ,
        where the hell is Enschede? Anyway, thanks alot for the hints. As i recognized (being a true RSS newbie) i did obviously totally misunderstand something here.
        What i expected (or hoped) to get was a list of recently changed forum topics as a summary (that worked in all readers) *and* be able to open the full content by (for example) double-clicking on it. This final, but crucial step (since i’m lazy and didn’t want to scan the forums and Weblog area for new content) always failed.
        BTW of course you’re right, that the summaries are accessible via http also.

        Enjoy your talk!
        Stefan

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      3. Anonymous
        If you want full content feeds from SDN the SDN Suggestions forum is the place request it:
        SCN Support

        I’m torn personally on that one. Since I’ve eschewed offline readers I guess it doensn’t matter to me anymore.

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      4. Ingrid Fields
        Hi,

        In the two readers that I have tried (sharpreader, ressreader) there is a link to ‘read more’ which should open that blog page in your reader. It does not work for the sdn weblogs feed.

        A ‘read more’ link for sapforums: https://www.sdn.sap.com/sdn/collaboration.sdn?node=linkFnode6-

        A ‘read more’ link for sdn weblogs: file:///D:/pub/wlg/795

        Since ‘read more’ works as expected for the other 30 or so feeds I subscribe to, I suspect that there is something wrong with the weblogs feed.

        I have no idea where to appropriately report this issue.

        Ingrid

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    1. Anonymous
      I’ll have to add that one to my own subscriptions. I hadn’t thought about checking the other community feeds out there, indeed given the size difference I’d say we are not doing to badly. I thought I acknowledged that there are other ways to subscribe that are not tracked here (as some of the other comments even indicate) but I guess I wasn’t very clear about it. But hey, that gets back to what started the post, analysing click throughs from feeds. – Marc g
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