Monday, March 28, 2005

PDA-Friendly Blogs

So I've discovered a new personal pastime - reading blogs on my Treo. I have to admit that a year ago I doubted why anybody would want to connect to the Internet for any reason using a PDA, but it's really nifty to check e-mail and read stuff when killing time anywhere you're at.

I normally use Bloglines on my laptop & desktop computers to read, and was pleasantly suprised to find that Bloglines detects that I'm using a PDA and reformats the page accordingly. Either that or the built-in browser on the Treo does a really nice job interpreting the page for the tiny screen.

In any event, I'd say about 75% of the blogs I read include the entire text of the article in it's feed, so I don't have to jump off the Bloglines site to read the article. A few, however, include a snippet of the article, and fewer still only include the title of the article (quit holding out on us Hugh!).

Power Line is one of those blogs that includes only a snippet of the article. Generally it wouldn't be a big deal to click over to the permalink for the article -- permalinks for most sites contain just the article in question plus the rest of the site decoration -- but PowerLine's permalinks are archived by month. Meaning, every article for the month of March is archived onto one page, and it jumps to the article in question using an in-page anchor. Some other sites do this, but I don't see it too often.


Let's see how the Treo likes this, it being near the end of March and all:

Whoa, still receiving after over a megabyte.

Right after this error message the Treo caught fire.

How big can the page possibly be? Doing a "Save As" of the web page reveals:

Holy Moses, Batman. I have a few suggestions:
  1. Don't be stingy. Give us the whole article in your feed.
  2. Make your permalinks link to just the article.
  3. Have a toned-down version of your site available, like Andrew Sullivan's.

UPDATE: Power Line did a slight redesign on the site and "unexcerpted" their feed at the same time this past week. See? I get things done.

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