Can we talk about RSS abuse?
I have a little complaint about, well, maybe it's not "abuse" in literal fact, but it certainly does not fall into "best practices" when it comes to publishing RSS feeds: post-dating posts so that they stay at the top of people's feed readers.
It seems to happen quite often. As I write this, this post by Richard Morse on Huffington Post has been sitting there for two days -- published on Friday, dated on Monday. Now I'm quite sure that Richard Morse may have just thought he was finding a way to publish his Monday blog post on Friday -- I can't say HuffPo is an "abuser" in post-dating posts -- but this is just one little incident of a posting behavior or tactic I've noticed a lot over the past weeks as I've worked to populate Shrook on a new computer. Personally I find it rather annoying.
People use the same tactic on less robust website platforms that don't have any other way to make a post "sticky." The net result is that the post also sits at the top of everyone's chronologically-sorted feed readers.
I've seen even more abusive behavior -- and this time I really do consider it to be abusive -- from websites that insist on re-publishing the same old content over and over. Everything. Oh hey! Did you manage to see our post about foobar? It's been up since 2004 but we've given it a new date so you're sure to notice it! Aren't we nice!
Ironically, I've seen this the most on "design"-related sites and Apple-related sites. I'm sorry, but designers and Macangelists really oughta know better, don't you think? One Mac tips kind of site would refresh its publication dates on all of its content, every day, so that the same 40 or 50 posts were barging their way up to the top of my RSS reader. They immediately were dropped from my reader. Who has the time to deal with such rudeness?
RSS is a really great tool for keeping up with scores of websites, as I do, but it's not an appropriate method for pushy website owners to, in effect, spam me with the same ol' same ol' rewrapped in a new publication date just to get at the front of the line. (Is there any "appropriate" method for that? Hmmmm ... naw!)