Pete Freitag Pete Freitag

SoloSub is for button overload

Updated on December 05, 2023
By Pete Freitag

Update 2023 - While SoloSub did gain some success, the decline of RSS aggregators has lead it to be shut down as well, it was fun while it lasted, and it even got some press from places like TechCrunch. To see what I'm up to now, take a look at - a tool to monitor security vulnerabilities in your stack.

solosubYou may have noticed that I've had this solosub button on my site for a while, I launched the solosub service while back (early 2005) without telling anyone. I just put the button up on my site, and waited to see if it would catch on. So far I think it has, so let me explain what it is.

What's the problem?

So you have an RSS feed and you want to make it easy for bloglines users to subscribe, so you add one of those bloglines buttons, then you figure hey I better not leave out My Yahoo! so you add a My Yahoo button, but newsgator is also popular so you better also add a newsgator button, but I hear Rojo is picking up steam so add that rojo button, and scoble will rat you out if you don't add a my msn button, and hey lets not forget about pluck - and I could keep going...

Dave Winer calls this the Yahoo! Problem:

Anyway, all those logos, when will it end? I can't imagine that Microsoft is far behind, and then someday soon CNN is going to figure out that they can have their own branded aggregator for their own users (call me if you want my help, I have some ideas about this) and then MSNBC will follow, and Fox, etc. Sheez even Best Buy and Circuit City will probably have a "Click here to subscribe to this in our aggregator" button before too long.

That's the problem.

-Dave Winer

How does SoloSub solve it?

  • Use one button (or text link): solosub button and point it to your solosub page.
  • Your solosub page is:
  • On that page your readers can pick which RSS reader they use, I will keep it updated with the most popular options.
  • Your readers gets a quick definition of what a FEED is, I call them content feeds, not RSS feeds or ATOM, because those terms are hard to market. (feel free to suggest a better definition than mine)
  • Users can set a cookie that remembers what aggregator they use, so anytime they see a SoloSub button they click on it, and they will be redirected to their aggregator's add page.
  • You get stats for your solosub page - I added a simple hit counter to the solosub page, as long as it doesn't slow down page loads too much it will stay.

Here's a screen shot of my solosub page:

solosub screen shot

What other people have already said about SoloSub

Even though I launched solosub quietly it still managed to generate some talk, I have already addressed some of the issues brought up, and make sure you checkout the FAQ. I realize that SoloSub is not for everyone - nothing is, and besides some people can't get enough of those buttons.

solosub rss atom feed xml bloglines rojo pluck newsgator mymsn myyahoo

SoloSub is for button overload was first published on October 06, 2005.

If you like reading about solosub, rss, atom, feed, xml, bloglines, rojo, pluck, newsgator, mymsn, or myyahoo then you might also like:

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