Sunday, November 21, 2004

Small fish, very tiny pond

Regular readers may have noticed that I began offering syndicated feeds in the last couple of weeks. For those unfamiliar with RSS (really simple syndication), that's what those XML and +My Yahoo! buttons on the sidebar are about. While it is certainly late in the game considering that this weblog will be out of business in less than a month, two factors motivated me to learn something about syndication: 1) the new Firefox browser has integrated RSS through a feature called Live Bookmarks and 2) the new My Yahoo! allows you to have syndicated feeds from anywhere on the web on your personal pages.

All well and good, I've added some RSS knowledge to my blogging repertoire; but then I happened upon something rather surprising. It turns out that on My Yahoo! you can search the web for feeds to put on your page and they are listed by the number of users who have previously syndicated them on My Yahoo! (this last part is actually an assumption on my part, but I'm fairly certain I'm correct). So what happens if you search for chess? [Note - this link probably will not work unless you are a My Yahoo! member currently logged-in]

2004 boylston chess club championship is ranked 10th on the list! Now I know something about the size of my readership and there is no way that I could have a large number of "syndicatees"; in fact, it is hard to imagine that I could even have ten. What explains this?:
  1. There are very few chess-related weblogs
  2. Many of these don't currently offer syndication
  3. The interested readership for chess weblogs is rather small and therefore my visitor stats are actually quite competitive with other sites
I certainly feel no shame in being ranked behind Mig's Daily Dirt, WaPo's weekly chess column or, but don't you think I could beat out a discussion board on 3-D chess? So if you are a My Yahoo! member, why not try syndicating this site. Let's see what we can do to those rankings.


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