RSS: Full text vs. Excerpts


This is exactly how I feel about RSS feeds.

…full text feeds actually does lead to more page views, though understanding why is a little more involved. Full text feeds makes the reading process much easier. It means it’s that much more likely that someone reads the full piece and actually understands what’s being said — which makes it much, much, much more likely that they’ll then forward it on to someone else, or blog about it themselves, or post it to Digg or Reddit or Slashdot or Fark or any other such thing — and that generates more traffic and interest and page views from new readers, who we hope subscribe to the RSS feed and become regular readers as well. The whole idea is that by making it easier and easier for anyone to read and fully grasp our content, the more likely they are to spread it via word of mouth, and that tends to lead to much greater adoption than by limiting what we give to our readers and begging them to come to our site if they want to read more than a sentence or two. So, while many people claim that partial feeds are needed to increase page views where ads are hosted, our experience has shown that full text feeds actually do a great deal to increase actual page views on the site by encouraging more usage.

via Why Full Text Feeds Actually Increase Page Views (The Freakonomics Explanation) | Techdirt.

Salon, Freakonomics and other blogs have all been dumped from my Google Reader subscriptions because they truncated their feeds to a blurb. I often read articles on my phone or page quickly through them in Google Reader. I don’t want to sit and jump between tabs and then jump to another tab to read an article. Figure out inline adverts for your RSS feed and give me an entire article. As a note here, I am currently trying to find ways to keep my videos so that they actually continue to appear in feed reader displays so that my posts that do contain video make sense.

Where publishing abstracts to your RSS feed make sense is when a large amount of mid to high resolution images are the norm for your blog, website, publication. Even then, auto-thumbnailing may make the most sense.