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Add / Subscribe

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A person wants to subscribe to the content of another person and read it in an environment of their own choosing rather than at the source site.

Google Reader allows users to bring in a large amount of subscribed content and organize it the way they see fit.

Use When

  • Use the pattern to allow users to consume content wherever they want.
  • Use this pattern to allow content to be brought in from other sources.


When presenting dynamic content, like regular blog posts, forums or photo and activity streams, provide a call to action for subscribing.

flickr allows users to subscribe to a person’s photo stream.

Use the standard RSS / Subscribe icon.

A variety of sources for consuming a subscription should be offered to the user after they select the RSS or Subscribe link.

When the user selects Add or Subscribe, present options for where they can consume the feed.

Present the URL for the feed, which allows the user to cut and paste into their favorite feed reader.

Additionally, offer a range of choices for automatically adding the feed to a list of reader services like My Yahoo! or Google Reader.


Allowing users to consume content where they want encourages readership. Forcing the user to only consume at your source imparts a rigid, monolithic attitude and ultimately may drive readers away.

Related Patterns

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