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Say It Right Series

RSS Feeds - how should they work? How are they working for you?

Posted by lostinasia May 30, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: RSS, RSS feed, newsreader, Netvibes, Netnewswire, Mac, V4 bugs

Before beginning the constructive criticism, I just want to say that ChinesePod's done a great job with the transition this time. Pretty much none of the core functionality has been lost, and the font size issue was resolved very quickly. Thanks!

That being said... (and apologies if these are addressed elsewhere, but I can't find anything about them):

Er, what's going on with RSS feeds? I assume the following are bugs (I'm on a Mac, principally in Safari, using Netvibes and Netnewswire as feed readers):

  • "My" conversations feed and "All" conversations feeds are identical. Shouldn't "My" just be the ones that I've contributed to? The "Extra" and "Glossary" conversations also seem to be the same thing, which can't be right. (I'm assuming Glossary conversations will be when someone comments on a glossary definition--a great idea, when it starts working. The web will finally have a place for discussing Chinese movie names in Klingon.)
  • The links don't work for the feeds. I click through on them and I just seem to wind up at the "Me" page (a page that I may find a use for, but currently it just gets in the way because the recent lessons I want to study are buried under pages of Qing Wens)
  • The RSS feed doesn't give me any information from the new post--it only repeats the original starting post. So, for example, I know that something's been added to the Detroit conversation, but all my newsreader shows me is the original spiel about "Take a ride with ChinesePod". So unlike before, I need to click through to read content, and also unlike before, I CAN'T click through because I wind up in the the "My Limbo, er, I mean lessons" page.
  • The RSS links for individual conversations do seem to be working properly. That's a great addition--thanks.
I guess I'm once again looking for a "bug progress" thread--a place where different issues are acknowledged, and users are told "We know, and we're working on it."
Unrelated to RSS feeds: as others have said, please just make a page somewhere with a big list of all the lessons by name. Ideally make it a database format where you can sort by name, level, and date. There are way too many clicks to get into the lessons that I want. At 10 lessons per page, casual browsing through all the lessons would take forever--and that seems a pretty good way to discourage new users.
I do wonder about how much this is an issue for new users--with each update, I wind up redoing bookmarks and RSS feeds, and basically setting myself up so I can SKIP lots of intervening pages. I realize those pages have lots of explanation value for new users, but don't they also get in the way?

 

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