I’ve always made my preference for full feed clear, yet I am still reading your partial feeds, Duncan Admittedly, it’s mostly scanning nowadays, I just don’t take the time to click and go to your site that often – in this respect I take Robert Scoble’s side.
Dave Winer adds his preference for full feeds, but notes that excerpts are OK, if they are intelligent summaries, not the first x words auto-truncated. My sour point, exactly: I don’t mind taking the extra step and edit the summary, but my blogging platform does not allow selective use of excerpts / summaries / full text the way I like:
- Full post in the RSS feed
- Auto-created excerpt (say, first 100 words) on the Blog Main Page, with manual override option
- Hand-edited 2–3 line summary that other blogs can use in the trackback detail.
John Roberts votes for excerpts, since he likes to scan fast, and only occasionally read full posts. Well, yes, but that’s what RSS Readers are for: as James Robertson explains, use one that shows summaries in one pane, full downloaded text in another – Tom Raftery joins in, and so do I.
At the end of the day it comes down to why we are blogging. Those of us who want to share our views, want to be heard on certain subjects and look at blogging simply as a way to carry out a conversation, will likely prefer full feeds. I am in that club and simply think that in this world of infoglut either you make reading your blog convenient, or expect to lose readers who will just move on to others serving up similar content in a more convenient way. That said, I fully understand bloggers whose primary reason to blog is revenue-generation; content is secondary, just a means to attrack readers and get the click the ads. Of course they will always want readers to come to their site, thus only providing a partial feed. For them, it’s a business after all.
Update (12/8): Excerpted Feeds are Evil
Update (12/30): Post full feeds. Please. (WeBreakStuff)
Update ( 2/21):