do you offer a full-text feed? then advertise it!

there has been considerable debate as to which one you should use on your site, a full-text rss feed or a partial-text rss feed. while many people fail to understand the reasoning for why you should use full-text feeds (i.e. there is no loss in page views, and in fact by some measures full text feeds result in higher page views, more comments, and better discussions) many probloggers have embraced full feeds.

the list includes but is not limited to all weblogs inc. blogs (engadget, downloadsquad, tuaw, and so on), all gawker media blogs (gizmodo, kotaku, lifehacker, and so on), and all wired blogs (wired news, compiler, epicenter, and so on). without regurgitating the merits of using full feeds or going into details of how you can offer full feeds while ensuring all the benefits you think you get from offering partial feeds, here’s one thing you absolutely should do if you offer full feeds: advertise them!

you are already going the extra step for the sake of your readers’ convenience so why not let non-subscribers know that you offer the convenience? in fact, most readers prefer full feeds and i wouldn’t be surprised if just advertising full feeds would convert an occasional reader into a subscriber. i know from experience that though subscribers don’t always read your content, they obviously read it more regularly than non-subscribers, and once readers subscribe to your feed, they rarely unsubscribe.

with that in mind, go and advertise the face that you love your readers and offer full-text feeds.

p.s. i offer a full-text feed.

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9 thoughts on “do you offer a full-text feed? then advertise it!

  1. Avinash

    I completely agree with you that full text feeds result in higher page views, more comments, and better discussions. About advertising your feed, it depends on how popular your blog is. 🙂 My blog isn’t at the stage where I can start advertising my feed.

    I’ve been offering full feed since the day 1. I really don’t see any point in forcing your subscribers to manually visit and read your blog. How is the RSS feed useful then? Seriously, even big bloggers need to understand the main purpose of RSS feeds.

    People subscribe to your RSS feed because they can’t visit your blog all the time just to check if you’ve posted new articles or not. Partial feeds only annoy your feed subscribers when they realize that they can’t read your full articles.

    In my own case, I recently unsubscribed from Mashable ’cause most of their blog posts (in the past few weeks) have been lists and they started forcing subscribers to manually visit their blog and read the posts. For the record, Mashable was @ #2 in my most-frequently checked RSS feeds list.

    I’ve also been a long-time Smashing Magazine feed subscriber. These folks receive much more comments and diggs than Mashable but they’re still offering full RSS feed.

    In the end: If your article makes your subscribers think, they’ll certainly stop by to leave a comment on your blog.

    Reply
  2. Andy Beard

    The most annoying thing for me is email comment subscriptions that don’t contain the comment information and expect me to click through to see if the comment was in some way related to what I wrote.

    Reply
  3. Josh

    I generally will not click on the “view rest of entry” links when I’m not given a full entry. I assume the point of the partials is the whet your appetite so that you’ll go view the full site (and the ads, etc).

    I actually have no problem with a small ad at the end of the entry, but the partial ones as it stands just causes me to not really want to read what someone has to say unless the intro is *really* good.

    Btw, thanks for having a full feed 🙂 And I’m here commenting, so it’s clear that you’re right that you’re not losing page views!

    –Josh

    Reply
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  7. John Chase

    Where is this full-text RSS feed for Wired.com that you referred to in the article? I’ve been trying to hack a way to do this for a while and haven’t fully achieved it.

    Reply

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