Yes, it is more work to subscribe than to follow, but that is OK with me
March 27th, 2014
Fred Wilson, in A Founder’s Notebook, describing how “hard” it is to subscribe to a blog that isn’t on Tumblr but is on the open Internet.
My only complaint is that its not on Tumblr, where it would be an instant and easy follow. It takes more work to follow a blog when its on the open Internet (when you don’t use RSS. i don’t).
Sigh. He’s right, of course, but … sigh.
In the heyday of Google Reader it was the exact same amount of work to subscribe to a blog’s RSS feed as it is to follow a Tumblog on Tumblr. Just one click. But now, with the RSS market so fragmented and waning it has, indeed, become more work to subscribe to blogs on the open Internet than it is to follow on Tumblr or Twitter.
There are initiatives in motion to help with this, but, like so many other great things on the web (see: microformats), they may simply never catch on at scale.
For those interested in how I subscribe to blogs both on the open Internet and elsewhere; I’m currently using Vienna on Mac as my feed reader. I do not read feeds on my iPad (though I used to) or my iPhone. I only read on Mac and filter things into Unmark to read/watch/buy/listen later. For me to subscribe to a blog is pretty painless; copy the URL of the blog, open Vienna, click Subscribe. (I don’t even need to paste.) So it is three steps rather than the one step that Fred needs to take on Tumblr.
I’ll take that hit for blogs I love to be on the open Internet any day.