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Irish Media, News Websites to Readers – ‘Don’t Read Us’

Posted in: Clients,Consultancy,RSS,Statistics by Richard Hearne on October 3, 2006
Internet Marketing Ireland

Most commonly used on blogs, RSS is the on-line equivalent of syndication and has quickly become the distribution channel for Internet based content.

RSS is a really great transport for delivering your content to the widest possible Internet audience. Unfortunately it appears that no one bothered to tell Ireland’s top media and news organisations.

Today I spent a couple of hours in a client’s office checking in and catching up. I had previously worked with them re-engineering and formalising their business processes (yep, aside from the SEO I work as a business consultant).

We were talking about lead generation and market analysis and I suggested using a reader to pull in RSS feeds from the Irish newspapers.

I don’t personally read any feeds from Irish papers, but I knew that the Irish Times had a feed. I was pretty sure that Tom Doyle over at 2bscene had pulled this feed into a site he had created and promoted (a solicitors website which I think makes a great SEO case study – in fact so much so that I have already spoken to Tom about using in a forthcoming post).

Anyhow, I set up a Google account, loaded the excellent new Google Reader and set about finding the required feeds.

The Irish Times was the first site I hit, and I was delighted to see multiple feeds for various channels (news, property etc.). RTE.ie offered four news feeds, but the channels were a bit too broad for our requirements. From here on in things went downhill (fell off a cliff actually):

  1. Unison.ie (Irish/Sunday Independent) – NO FEEDS
  2. Sunday Business Post – NO FEEDS
  3. Sunday Tribune – NO FEEDS
  4. Irish Examiner – NO FEEDS

As a last resort I even tried Business World. You guessed it – NO FEEDS.

Disbelief is the only word that I can use at this point. Of all the Irish websites, I really thought that newspapers and media companies would understand the power of syndication?

To be quite honest, I suppose I shouldn’t really be surprised – the more time I spend looking at Ireland’s on-line ecosystem the more I see just how far behind many Irish sites have fallen. (And when I get the latest .ie stats from John McCormac over the weekend I plan on writing up an analysis of just how bad the situation really is.)

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  1. It is a dreadful reflection of the Irish news scene. At least The Irish Examiner effectively does have feeds over at “sister site” breakingnews.ie which I subscribe to (less volume than RTE’s feeds)

    Comment by Conor O'Neill — October 3, 2006 @ 11:01 pm

  2. Hi Conor

    I’ll check out breakingnews.ie.

    Have to say I was shocked when I saw that none of those sites shared their content.

    [OT] I’m going to try out Live Writer over the next few days :)

    Comment by Richard Hearne — October 3, 2006 @ 11:21 pm

  3. Hi

    Did you check/have issues with the feeds on ENN.ie?




    Comment by Ralph — October 4, 2006 @ 3:18 pm

  4. Hi Ralph

    I actually have the ENN in my reader but we weren’t looking for a technology news feed yesterday.

    I presume you’re from ENN? At least you guys have a feed!

    [Slightly OT] Any reason why your pages are so slow to load when accessed from the feed?

    Thanks for the post,



    Comment by Richard Hearne — October 4, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

  5. Interesting — may be a connectivity issue between your ISP and our host? Will look into it…



    Comment by Ralph — October 4, 2006 @ 3:34 pm

  6. Ralph

    The bottleneck seems to be after your page has partially loaded but before the actual text story content hits the DOM. Are you grabbing the actual stories from a differnet server/DB? It could be an external ad-server come to think of it?

    I’m talking 2-4 second delay between the page headline and the story itself.



    Comment by Richard Hearne — October 7, 2006 @ 12:39 pm

  7. [...] Now, I wonder how long it will take Ireland’s main news and media properties to offer us this kind of choice? Share and Enjoy: [...]

    Pingback by Do You RSS? If Not Perhaps You Should! | Search Engine Optimisation Ireland .:. Red Cardinal — October 23, 2006 @ 11:03 pm

  8. Irish Independent do now offer RSS feeds to users see http://www.unison.ie/rss/

    Comment by Ruairi Doyle — December 12, 2006 @ 8:33 am

  9. Thanks for the info Ruairi



    Comment by Richard Hearne — December 12, 2006 @ 8:57 am

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