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This day’s portion

Why organisations should have an indieweb publication strategy (or: why ITFC should have an RSS feed)

Here’s an example of indieweb principles becoming important in the real world, to mainstream media outlets (in this case a football club) and people who want to read their news.

As you may have noted, Twitter has failed in two major ways today:

  • You now have to login to read tweets
  • It launched a DoS attack on itself as non-logged in users caused the service to repeatedly request newly-gated posts. In response, it limited logged-in users to an absurdly low limit of reading 600 posts a day, 300 for new, unverified users. (Aside: gating posts and limiting views make for interesting marketing and advertising strategies.)

Followers of the world’s greatest football team often get updates, videos and reports from the club’s Twitter account. My son refers to it on matchdays an hour before kick off to get the team news as it’s announced.

What happens when Twitter begins to die? When fans want to get updates from elsewhere?

Done with that place now [Twitter], first the ‘for you’ tab kept feeding far right stuff, so moved on to following tab, the 2 times I looked back in the other side out of boredom I saw 2 graphic deaths. Now this. Anyone know the best way to get alerts for ITFC announcements?

TWTD – “Rate Limit Exceeded”

Of course, you could go the club’s Facebook page, Instagram etc. instead, but that presupposes your fan has an account, or is willing to create one. And then what happens when that service brings the shutters down, enshittifies and dies?

It’d be nice if ITFC opened an account somewhere in the fediverse, or better still, set up its own instance. But assuming that’s not going to happen, the only answer to the what’s the best way to get alerts for ITFC announcements? question is by subscribing to the ITFC website.

Alas, the ITFC website has no RSS feed, so subscribing isn’t possible. It should do, and it should be promoting it on the news page in order to provide a means for fans to be able to get canonical updates, regardless of what’s happening to Twitter et al. Conversely, the club doesn’t have to worry about Elon Musk finally laying Twitter to rest.

Not everyone will understand/bother with RSS – although one could see this as a means of repopularising the format – so the club could follow another indieweb principle by POSSE-ing website updates to other services. Unfortunately, enshittification means this is no longer free to automate, so you’re either going to end up paying eyewatering sums or will have to post manually. Regardless, any organisation that’s relying on a privately owned company to get updates out to its followers should have alternative plans in place. It’s not as if it’s difficult setting up an RSS feed.