Saturday, January 19, 2008

Full length post feeds thanks

I've noticed some of the blog feeds I read have started to use only partial posts or have had it for a while. For whatever reason you do this it makes me hesitate to read the full post having to do the extra step to go to your site and read the rest. Unless you have a good reason like Through the Interface has.

"Firstly I should apologise to those readers using RSS to access this site: I've been playing around with the configuration, to integrate FeedBurner but also to switch from publishing entire articles via RSS to publishing introductions - my posts are just too long, which seems to cause a problem for some RSS readers."

But other blogs that only offer a partial feed consider offering your reader at least the option to get a full length feed. It's a waste of time IMHO to go through the extra step and it will not make me visit your site more often. Better ways to get me visit your site is to link back to an old post or give me some other reason to visit the site.

Another reason why I think full length posts are good is that I often search among old posts in Google Reader and it only finds what is in the excerpt and thus makes harder to find what I look for.

Offer something like this:

Please share your thoughts. Would you like a feed with excerpts for this blog? Why do you think a partial feed is good?

1 comment:

  1. Restored comments
    Scott Sheppard said...

    I happen to use full posts. My blog is hosted by TypePad. TypePad does a good job at providing info about how many hits a blog article gets via HTML. It has nothing for RSS. :-( I am guessing that some bloggers want to get a sense of just how many people are reading their posts, so they are trying to encourage the HTML route by providing a partial RSS feed. It's all in the name of metrics.
    January 19, 2008

    JTB World said...

    Using one or more feedburner feeds would solve that and remove the TypePad feed from being auto-discovered.
    January 19, 2008

    MikePerry said...

    Hi Jimmy

    Full feeds all the way for me.

    Personally I find partial feeds a little annoying / frustrating for the most part.

    With partial feeds, unless the post title and excerpt are truly engaging (spark my interest) I will not! waste my time clicking through to read the full post. Plus I am much more inclined to remove such feeds from my feed reader when I get round to spring-cleaning duties.

    At this time I can think of 2 reasons why a blogger may wish to use partial feeds:

    1. Click-through numbers are important (visitors / page views), probably due to advertising streams. Though I think such an approach has major flaws...

    2. The vast majority of posts tend to be long in nature.

    Scott, there are a number of free and paid Web Analytics tools available that allow bloggers to see data from "real" site visitors and RSS readers (subscribers).

    Take care, Mike
    January 20, 2008

    MikePerry said...

    Oops! I almost forgot.

    The current trend with blogs, especially amongst blogs run on WordPress is to go with post excerpts (at least on the actual Home page of the blog).

    More and more WordPress blogs are moving to "Magazine" style themes / layouts. "Magazine" style blogs tend to favour post excerpts on the Home page.
    January 20, 2008

    JTB World said...

    Mike, post excerpts on the home page is something I've actually considered and I think it makes sense. I had this in mind writing this post but posponed it for another post.
    January 20, 2008

    Melanie (Stone) Perry said...

    I agree with you, Jimmy. I am a lot less likely to click on one of those partial posts, and it's not something that will make me come back more, it's a pain trying to search for something, as you say.
    January 22, 2008

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