RSS Hugger: Innovative Idea or Same Old Scam?

A new website has surfaced that wants to connect the RSS feeds of millions of bloggers with the people that want to read them. But is this a great idea whose time has come, or a beta test of a project whose forward momentum will be stymied by apathy and exploits?

If you use a news reader program to keep up to date with all of the various blogs and websites you may be interested in, chances are that after a while you you might start to wonder if there are other news feeds out there that might be providing better information.

If only you knew where to look for them.


A new website has surfaced that tries to tie the RSS feeds of millions of bloggers with the people that want to read them. A collecting point for news feeds, all grouped by category where people can browse and bloggers can submit their feeds to gain new subscribers.

In the beginning...

If you've never heard of Jeremy Schoemaker's shoemoney.com story, Schoemaker was one of the early pioneers of "monetizing" a blog and managed to bring a lot of traffic to his site. So much so, that his biggest Adsense check from Google was for almost $133,000.00. Once other entrepreneurs saw that you could make serious money selling advertising online, copycats quickly exploded onto the scene. Schoemaker is basically one of the biggest reasons why the web is filled with literally millions of blogs (usually nothing but spam) all clamoring to show you how to make money on the internet. (Gee, thanks Jeremy!)

Last year, Schoemaker and another blogger (who makes money by telling people how much money he makes online) got into a friendly competition to see who had the most subscribers to their RSS feeds.

Somewehere along the way, entrepreneur Collin LaHay got the idea to create a directory source for RSS feeds so that people could find them easier.

Enter RSS Hugger - a new website that attempts to connect bloggers with the people that read them. They claim to be "the first ever quality, spam free, and viral rss directory strictly for bloggers. "

Collin's plan is pretty straightforward: people sign up to have their blog listed in the RSSHugger directory. Then as the website claims, "tons of visitors" will be sent to your blog, where they will (we're assuming here) click on all of your advertising, allowing you to make thousands and thousands of dollars, retire early, live on a yacht off the coast of Monaco and drink Dom Perignon out of the belly button of the supermodel of your choice.

OK, did anyone see the rather large jump in logic there? Simply by submitting a blog to their directory of other blogs, you will get "tons of visitors?"

Alright, Collin, I think the idea has just the slightest bouquet of manure to it, but I'm really hoping you prove me wrong.

To keep the list of blogs fresh and visible to potential feed subscribers, each month there is a "Top 100" list that shows the most active news feeds and how many subscribers they've received that month. Each month, the list resets so that other blogs have a chance to make it in the top 100. Right now, there are only about 750 blogs signed up to the list, and spread out over about 91 different categories, but with over 112 million blogs in existence, and 175,000 new blogs starting up every day, if Collin can get the word out well enough, this site has the potential to be a really busy collecting point for RSS feeds, and a really good resource for people looking for new feeds to read every day.

However, while the site is still very early in its launch phase, I already see a few bugs to this little project of Mr. LaHay's:

To submit a blog to the database, they want you to generate a review of their website, whereby someone (presumably LaHay) will review the site manually (to keep the spammers at bay) and add it to the directory in the category the submitter chooses. However, the blogs may not always fit the category they claim for themselves.

For example one blog described itself as "Conservative, libertarian, free market, capitalist, pro-defense commentary from a flyover country Republican." But the site is listed in the "Movies," "Sports," and "Healing" categories. I visited the blog and sure-enough, in all of his blog entries - stretching back five years - there isn't one post about movies, sports or healing.

I am sure that building a huge database of legitimate, content producing blogs is a noble and sound idea, but if the site isn't going to live up to its claims to categorize and actually analyze the websites submitting the information, RSS Hugger will soon be nothing but a huge collection point of spam blogs (called "spblogs") that are just cut-and-paste plagiarisms of other, more legitimate blogs in existence.

However, if RSS Hugger can work through the bugs and work HARD to prune the lists, weeding out the copycats and get-rich-quick schemers, this might be a site worth visiting again.

3 comments:

Myku said...

I took a peek. The categorization of blogs is seriously messed up like you said. Might be worth poking around though.

The Judge said...

its got potential, but it needs some TLC

Chris Schaffer said...

I've pretty much written it off as another junk site. The idea is good, but the reason for the creation of the site is to sell it off later as an advertising cow.

Bummer.

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