Per a reader request, the RSS feeds are no longer excerpts but rather now provide full entry content. I haven’t debugged them, so who knows what javascript hijinks or images or so forth will do. Not that I’ve been including any of that of late.

And a request: will the knowledgeable among you please direct me to RSS metrics and tracking resources? The downside to full RSS is that it’s no longer a carrot, directing readers to the site, and instead offers the traffic benefits (if I may characterize them as such) to the aggregator rather than the author or publisher. For content providers that use ads to offset hosting, that’s a reasonable argument against providing a full feed.

I don’t use ads, of course, but part of my theoretical justification for this site is to keep current on thinking about internet publishing. As such, I’d like to be prepared with the answer to the question, ‘how can we provide RSS in such a way that it provides a measurable benefit to our business goals’?

Won’t you help?

2 thoughts on “Full RSS update

  1. Assuming we’re discussing a technology company scenario, you are more likely to be read by the uber-geek crowd with a full feed.

    Now, I’m no uber-geek (‘da Nile), but I do spend about an hour a day with my aggregator. That’s just enough time to slog through the unread items. I’ll click through on a dozen or so a day that really grab me so I can read them in context or post a comment or view images.

    If the item is truncated, I rarely click through to read the whole item. For a subscription that has several new, truncated items per day, I rarely “read past the fold,” unless the topic really grabs me. If the item in the feed is full, I’ll go ahead and read the whole thing.

    Call it laziness.

    So, for anyone, business or otherwise, who is in this subscription/comments/trackback game for the conversation, posting a full feed is a much more effective way to reach your audience.

    If bandwidth is a concern, then drop the number of items in your syndication file from 15 (the Moveable Type default) to five or to the maximum number of new items you might post in a day. Most people who consume your feed run their aggregator every day.

  2. sure, I follow – it’s the clickthru rule of navigation. In theory, though, I think I’m trying to get you to come here (there) so I can… um… sell you something or otherwise convert the words into capital, right?

    As a writer, I guess more venues means a greater audience, and therefore broad distribution is inherently beneficial. But why would a mom-and-pop shop want to provide the RSS then?

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