Improve subscription links

So, say I want to promote NewsBlur to my website’s visitors. I can give them the below URL, and they’ll either see a small subscription window with my website in the bottom corner if they’re logged in; or just the NewsBlur front page if they’re not logged in.

I’d be way more comfortable (and incentivized) to promote NewsBlur if the on-boarding experience of these links could be improved a little. For example, the below mock up shows the default tagline “bringing people together to talk about the world” changed into “follow ‘ RSS Title Here ’ and all your favorite websites” when using a subscription link. (For example, I just did a tiny change; but it could maybe show the favicon and preview the latest headlines to the right instead of showing the iMac.) If a user logs in or signs up, they should then be subscribed to the referring feed automatically. Think of it as a referral bonus for websites linking to NewswBlur.


With the current design, users loose the subscription data in the URL when they’re not logged in or don’t already have an account. That isn’t a great user experience.

Here is a small tweak to the existing dialog (when using a URL, nothing wrong with the existing dialog when it’s not opened using a URL) for logged in users. It’s placed on the middle of the screen (as the context isn’t opening it from a button in the bottom left corner anymore), and add a dismiss button to cancel, and show the feed’s title (like on the front page mock up).

When testing this, it took me a few tries to even realize that the dialog opened in the bottom left corner. I clicked elsewhere on the page first so it was dismissed. Bringing it to the middle of the screen when using a subscription link makes it more visible and is a more logical place for it to appear when using a link whose purpose is opening this dialog.

PS: The links on the goodies page should be updated to HTTPS.

I hope you find these ideas useful. I tried to keep the scope small, but as I don’t know anything about the back end it was kind of hard to keep this manageable.

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That’s an interesting idea, but that’s a whole lot of work to support a pretty infrequent workflow. In fact, I don’t see this feature being used more than a handful of times. As you might have noticed, NewsBlur is not exactly growing. RSS is a shrinking market, so I’m not incentivized to work on features that support new users as much as I am working with existing and long-time users.

As for the add site popover, while it is in the bottom left, you can add a site directly from the dashboard. And I use a background gradient that goes from dark to light to push your eyes towards the bottom of the page when you open that Add Site popover.