SoloSub is for button addicts

October 06, 2005
web

solosubYou may have noticed that I've had this solosub button on my site for a while, I launched the solosub service about a while back 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 MyYahoo! 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 mymsn button, and hey lets not forget about the pluck button - 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: http://solosub.com/sub/http://YOUR_RSS_FEED_URL
  • 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.

Feedback welcome.


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Comments

Daniel, take a closer look at it. SoloSub doesn't host your feed like feedburner does. With solosub you still control your feed hosting.
Great service, but I hate the way you implemented "Remember My Selection". Once having checked this, there is no way to get back to the page to change the selection, short of deleting a cookie. Every time I go back to the page, it jumps ahead to the remembered feed reader.
Cameron, If you goto http://solosub.com/ it should allow you to change your preference.


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