On RSS/ATOM/XML Feeds and Good Links

I use my Google Custom Homepage multiple times a day. I have divided it into four tabs and each tab has between 12 and 25 items. (Particular favorites? Google Docs, Gmail, Sticky Note, and Fuzzy Clock.)

Most of the items on my Google Home are RSS/ATOM/XML feeds. (For the sake of my not having to hold down shift so much, let's call them blog feeds.)

Now, the idea behind a blog feed is that there's a link. And the link takes you to the story you clicked on. Why do this? Well, by exposing targeted content of interest to people you may loose visitors to the homepage, but hopefully you gain visitors to your site overall, especially when you have really good content.

Except the big world of publishing doesn't seem to get it.

Who doesn't get it?

People(TM) doesn't get it. They used to. But now if I follow a link to the wacky wanderings of Jessica Simpson I don't go to the article - I go to the People(TM) homepage. You may have never seen the People(TM) homepage (I certainly try to avoid it), but finding something specific on that page is like finding Waldo. On more than one occasion I have clicked a feed link from People(TM) only to not have the article in question be linked from the homepage at all. Where's Waldo becomes a really hard game to play when there is no Waldo to find! (Not bloggy link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/people/headlines/~3/65290056/) (Is this one the fault of feedburner? Do I care? Shouldn't People(TM) have people who fix this kind of thing?)

Network Computing doesn't get it. Blog links are 404! (Not bloggy link: http://www.networkcomputing.com/showitem.jhtml?docid= )

Webmaster World (who I had never heard of before Google Homepage, and I won't any time soon) takes me to a "buy a subscription" page. Ewwww. Delete! (Not bloggy link: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adsense/3209050.htm)

Coding Horror doesn't get it (or is just broken). (Not bloggy link: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000763.html)

I'm not picking on these four, they are just examples. I also use LiveJournal to subscribe to feeds, and I'm so, so tired of commercial feeds embedding ads into my daily reading, of flooding my blog when they rebuild the feed, or of just deciding to turn off the service and not tell anyone.

Hey, you, Mr. Corporate-Webmaster-For-Big-Publishing-People, fix this! You're making the whole RSS feed thing turn from cool to cruel.

Eventually my family will discover the wonderful world of blogs, and then they will call *me* to explain why the blog links don't work. I don't want that. The, "No I Will Not Fix Your Computer" t-shirt didn't work; don't make me have to explain faulty RSS formatting to them alongside USB ports, Ethernet, and e-mail.

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