Keith Devens has issued a call to action for weblog comment subscriptions. Essentially, if you add a comment to a blog you can choose to be notified when more comments are added to that post. Specifically, you wouldn’t be notified each time a comment is added, just once until you’ve re-visited the post, after which you will be notified again if another comment is added.
It’s a neat idea and one I’m gonna think about (If I built it would you use it?). The same principle could be extended to new blog posts, as well as comments.
Of course the difficult question to answer is, ‘How will you recognize the visitors when they come back to see the new posts?’ Two answers come to mind: a unique id attached to the URL in the email, and a cookie-based solution. Neither on their own would cover all the angles, but with some persuasive text in the email, the id method could work well (guess I could back it up with a cookie).
Talking of such things, I was also going to add a ‘remember me’ feature to the comments. Guess I could do the two at the same time.
Zeldman seems to be having a little moan about syndication, particularly with respect to his own blog and other design-orientated, visually striking sites. I kind of take his point. It would certainly be a loss to go through life without ever having seen k10k, Stopdesign, Mezzoblue or Peterned, instead reading them in text-only format through a feed.
Despite doing most of my blog reading in a text format (actually through AvantGo rather than RSS), I still find myself going back to such sites for a visual fix (something Zeldman is afraid no longer happens). And to prove he’s not too precious afterall, Zeldman is kinding providing us all with an RSS feed of his own, despite his concerns.