Something is happening… Part 2 or Who am I subscribing to?

I continue to try and figure out feeds and why many of my subscriptions at Google Reader point to a newsisfree URL.

I went to Doc Searl’s blog and checked what he is advertising as feeds (both in the source html link tag and from the ‘XML’ button on his blog page).

XML button:

http://partners.userland.com/people/docSearls.xml

Link tags:

http://doc.weblogs.com/xml/rsd.xml
http://doc.weblogs.com/xml/rss.xml

These look legitimate.

If I subscribe directly to Doc’s blog from my Bloglines account, it uses the first listing (from XML button) for a feed. All is well.

But if I use the Bloglines Toolkit (1.6.0 and latest) extension contextual menu for subscribing, I get different feeds and only one of the feeds seems directly associated with Doc’s blog.

Here are the feeds:

http://doc.weblogs.com/ [http://xml.newsisfree.com/feeds/85/1185.xml]
http://doc.weblogs.com/ [http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheDocSearlsWeblog]
http://doc.weblogs.com/ [http://doc.weblogs.com/xml/rss.xml]

(And here is a screenshot of the Bloglines subscribe page.)

Now obviously I could pick the third one if I pay attention but I often just check off the first one in the list without looking closely and in this case at least, that results in the newsisfree feed which seems to toss ads at me occasionally (see my previous post). (My subscription to Global Guerillas is also a newsisfree link and often tells me the post has expired.)

This is a mystery to me I hope someone can fill me in as to what’s going on. Worst case scenario is some kind of hijacking is going on that both Bloglines and Doc are unaware of. I don’t want to think that Bloglines is doing some kind of hijacking to add (unwanted) ads but I guess it’s a possibilty. Or maybe everyone’s terms of service cover this.

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