After three weeks of offering only partial content in my RSS feed, I’ve decided to switch back to providing full text. After seriously considering it, providing a partial RSS feed defeats the purpose of a site like this even having one, really. The site is devoted to reading, writing, and talking about Web design, development, accessibility, usability, and anything else that might come up. Limiting the choice to read the content wherever you want really serves no benefit to me personally.
I can absolutely understand why certain authors would choose to offer partial feeds, but any reason that makes sense for them can’t really be applied to this site. I want to make anything I write available to anyone at any time in any environment they choose. Prevention of content scraping doesn’t outweigh some of the reactions I’ve heard to partial feeds. I’ve also noticed a loss in activity around the site, which I absolutely want to avoid. I can’t say for sure whether or not my feed structure caused it, but if people did stop visiting due to partial content in the RSS, hopefully I won’t lose any more readers.
Thanks for Expressing your Reactions
The number of intelligent responses to the original article really helped me to take everyones views into account. There were a lot of people who wrote about how they use RSS and how partial content can effect that. The fact of the matter is that everyone can use RSS in a different way, and full content helps each person use the content in any way. I thought the quality of comments in response to the article was great. Many times irrelevant comments will be posted in response to various content, and they provide absolutely no value. Sometimes it’s hard to sift through the garbage comments and get to anything worthwhile. The reactions to that article were invaluable not only for myself, but for others contemplating partial feeds.
I’m hoping that any potential conversation isn’t avoided simply because the comment form is a click away — but from what I’ve read, that really isn’t an issue for many people. If someone feels compelled to write a thought or two in reaction to the post, they’ll do it. If the post seems like there might be some interesting conversation following it, the reader will check it out, if they want to. Thanks again to everyone who took a second to include their thoughts regarding partial content versus a full RSS feed. I hope my offering full content proves beneficial to anyone wishing I never switched in the first place.