Should the term ‘RSS’ be used on a blog?

Readership of blogs have been increasing in the past couple years as more people get online and get connected to each other. As that number of people grow, you have to start looking at how your blog and website are presented to the audience. I’m not talking about content, since you can really write whatever you want, and its the people’s choice to read it or not. But if you’re not writing garbage and actually want to keep readers coming back, will they understand how your blog works, mainly involving your RSS feed.

Its been commonplace to assume that everyone knows what an RSS is, and if they’re reading your blog they’ll know what it does. But as our online readership expands, we’re getting beyond the ‘average’ internet user and into older and younger and less internet savvy people browsing around. When it comes to this I picture what my Dad will see and think when you just put a link saying ‘RSS’ or the customary RSS icon. Probably over his head. He’s getting very internet savvy, but this lingo that has been around for a long time is new to him. So when you’re putting a link on your site that just says ‘RSS Feed’, are you just assuming that EVERYONE knows what that means?

So what can we do? Without adding a link to the Wikipedia explaination of RSS is there a better way to show a button/link to your RSS feed other than saying RSS or displaying an icon (which this site has. yes hypocrite here.)? Could you just say “Follow my Blog”or ‘Add to your Reader’ or more directly, ‘Add to Google Reader’?

I understand that just knowing what RSS means is easier to post. It only takes up three characters. It has a sweet icon. But with grandmas and people who haven’t been on the blog scene before, this could be a negative to your blog.

So where do we go from here? A simple ‘Enter your email here to be emailed blog updates’ could work. Then you’re fully taking out the use of readers. Or maybe put a direct link to Google Reader with the description ‘Add to Google Reader’.

What do you do, or think you could do, to make your blog more reader friendly when it comes to an RSS feed?

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