‘where we place our RSS links’


Nice post by Nick Wilson:



“I’m talking about where we place our rss links.


On the right, you can see a map that was produced as part of the EyeTrack 3 study written up by Steve Outing last year. It shows you how people’s eyes move over a web page, particularly, a news page, which in our case, as bloggers, is pretty damn relevant.


So, if that’s how people view a page, and a subscription to our blogs feed is truly gold, why the hell do we insist on burying our feed links down at the bottom of the page?


Yup, it drives me mad too Nick. This blog’s template has the RSS feed link (Atom and Email) at the top right hand of the page. The last place anyone looks according to the study. Fortunately, I don’t want you to use it. I want you to use the RSS feed linked to on the left hand of this page (provided by Feedburner – more usable, more options). Problem is I don’t know how to replace / remove / move the one at the top. Good news is, no one will find it 😉

Comments (3)

  1. David Emery says:

    Except, on 1024×768 at least, your rss link to the left is below the fold, so according to that diagram no-one sees it 🙂

    I think top right is actually quite a good place for it with this template – certainly better than right down at the bottom where most people have it.

  2. MSDNArchive says:

    You see, there’s always someone cleverer than me reading this blog. In fact just about everyone 🙂

  3. J Wynia says:

    Personally, I think the whole need to have a series of RSS/XML/Add to YYY links is something that’s not going to stick around all that long. Once I reached a point where my bookmarklet to subscribe to RSS got put into my toolbar, I don’t even look for the icons when I want to subscribe. I just hit my button and my preferred action happens. At least as long as sites include the machine readable information like yours does:

    link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="http://blogs.msdn.com/alexbarn/rss.aspx"

    Right now, all of the RSS aggregators: My Yahoo, Bloglines, My MSN, etc. all are trying to get the blogs themselves to include links. However, since there are so many of them and visitors might be using any one of them, it becomes a mess of links or you risk losing out.

    If, instead, those services just provided a "drag this to your personal toolbar" link that just said "Subscribe to This Site" or "Add to My MSN", which fits with what lots of other things do online, all you need is that header information and you don’t need to worry about where they’re looking.