2/2/20184

# Comments

Now that micro.blog is open to the public and expanding Manton is exploring various ways to aid discovery of users.

The reason I created the /directory page was to aid in the discovery of others whether bloggers or other micro.blog users who interacted with me via webmention.

The growth of micro.blog, however, means that more people reply to my posts from the service making the list on the directory page unwieldy. As such, I have disabled the option to view that list leaving just the bloggers.

Manton's efforts are ongoing and continue to bear fruit so there is less need for me to show this list. The option is still there should I decide to revert, the section is just commented out in code.

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# Comments

Dave Winer wrote that "Every blog should have a Subscribe button."

Before the mass adoption of social networks you would have been hard pressed not to find a site with some variant of the RSS icon. Now it's just the "follow us here" badges asking you to go to someone else's property.

People got out of the habit of following actual sites so RSS buttons largely disappeared.

I've been thinking about this for a while and wondering how and where to reintroduce a button or link to this effect.

Last night, while remodelling the footer menus (not that you'd actually notice) I added a "Subscribe" link which points to the site's RSS feed. In future, I think this may become a page giving different options but it'll do for now.

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# Comments

There has to be a better way to subscribe to sites.

While RSS readers are making a bit of a comeback in certain quarters there's no doubt that, as Sameer puts it, "subscribing to feeds definitely has fallen out of parlance."

It's not just that sites need subscribe buttons again, but that using them should not be akin to a dark art.

As Dave initially said, echoed by Frank, the social networks have made following easy - reading, writing, following, it's all within the same UI.

That's what makes micro.blog unique, it has that familiar social feel but you are actually invisibly subscribing to people's RSS/JSON feeds when following them. The timeline is a glorified feed reader with integrated posting and social elements.

That's fine within the confines of a service like micro.blog but what about on the open web when hitting "follow" isn't handled for you?

"Remember when all the apps supported RSS? Browsers, email clients, everything!"

It used to be so much better but, even then, implementation differed. Chrome just shows us the XML, Safari lost its "subscribe" feature, Firefox seems more feed aware but it's all still unintuitive.

Some platforms allow you to set your default feed reader to "open in" - others don't - but this still needs you to understand what feeds are, how they are consumed and choose a reader.

There needs to be a way to handle subscriptions on the open web like following a person on a social network. But how? Any solution would require everyone to get on board with compatible options for what most see as an antiquated technology.

Perhaps it needs something new. But what? Are browser developers going to reintroduce native subscription options? Doubtful.

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Earlier I linked to multiple comments on the same post which produced multiple webmentions and, consequently, multiple instances of the "Related Post" listing in the comments.

Not ideal.

When displaying the /directory I cycle through the site comments and add the name of each author to an array. This allows me to check for an existing instance of that person and only display the first.

I have now replicated this check for self-webmentions using the source URL rather than comment author so a related post will be listed just once.

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