Updating the Longevity Meme RSS News Feed

I will be updating the format of the RSS news and commentary feed at the Longevity Meme within the next day or so. I've been pondering this for a while, since my feed is a little non-standard in its present configuration. Most RSS feeds use the <link> element to point back to an article at their own website, while the <description> element is an except of that article. In my case, I am using the <description> element to carry commentary on an article on another website, and the <link> element to point to that article. What this means is that while it's all perfectly clear to human readers what is going on, automatic aggregators tend to assume that my comments are an except of someone else's article. Once the aggregator has stripped and reformatted my posts, links back to the Longevity Meme and correct attribution has been lost.

I've been aware of this problem for a while, but I rather like my way of doing things. Up until recently, aggregated Longevity Meme content hasn't been all that widely used, and I've been able to politely ask webmasters to give correct attribution when it did show up on a popular site. Unfortunately, it's now getting to the point where that strategy is too time-intensive for me - it's easier just to change the feed format.

I'm fiddling with some ideas now, but my primary concern is to make it the change easy on my human readers (as opposed to my devoted machine hordes, spidering the site on a daily basis). I don't want to confuse people or make you take an extra trip back to the Longevity Meme when you just want to read the article I'm commenting on. So I'll let you know how it goes, and I'm always prepared to feedback and good ideas on the topic.


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