Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 7:25 AM

Where's Circa's RSS feed?

I was reading an interesting story on Circa earlier today and thought that I should try adding their news to my river. Unfortunately they don't appear to have feeds. They have a myriad of other ways to follow them, but RSS is not one of them. I looked in the HTML source, in case the option was there, just not offered through the UI. It wasn't.

Why I want it

To me, subscribing to a feed is a commitment, but a small one. If the feed provides too much uninteresting stuff, it's easy for me to unsub. So when I see an interesting source, I usually will add it to my input flow and see what I get. I did that the other day with the New Yorker, when they dropped their firewall. I often do it for blogs I find an interesting post on.

Why it's good for them

I often point to stories I find interesting in my Twitter stream, and in my linkblog feed. I don't have a huge number of followers, compared to some, but a good story could get a few hundred reads from people who follow me.

However if I never see the story the chances of me pushing a link to it are close to zero. The only way I saw the link to today's story was by chance in the flood of stuff that comes at me via Twitter.

I wanted to up the level of commitment to Circa from near-zero to something not insignificant. Their answer was sorry, we can't let you do that. (I infer this because there's no way a tech-informed pub like Circa never considered having RSS feeds, they must have decided for whatever reason not to have them.)

I think they're overlooking something that's almost no cost to them and has a significant upside.

Response from Matt Galligan

Matt Galligan is CEO of Circa. He wrote a post, on Medium, that explains why they don't have feeds, at this time.

My comments

I think he's over-thinking it. An item in an RSS feed is an ad that says come here and read more if you're interested. Earlier today I never would have known they had an article about a blogger being jailed in China for "rumor mongering" if I hadn't seen it linked to on Twitter, by Circa. Once I knew the article was there, I clicked and read it. If they have added stuff to it since I would have no way of knowing because Twitter, where I read the link, doesn't have that ability. Which is exactly how RSS works.

If they're ready to share links via Twitter, then imho they're ready to share them via RSS. We've been doing this so long, I don't believe that some magic answer is going to jump out that's going to make all the things Matt wants to do with RSS obvious how to do. It's basically Twitter, without the big company in the middle. Keep it simple.

Also, please get a blog, and use it. Why are you driving traffic to Evan Williams' site?

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By Dave Winer, Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 7:25 AM. So, it has come to this.