We had a good conversation on the merit of full-text or partial feeds on a post recently that I never got to address.
I got a few e-mails on the matter, too, actually. (No surprise they were as conflicted as the comments)
What we all seemed to agree on is that newspapers (or any RSS feed for that matter) are fools to offer no excerpt in an RSS post.
The debate came on how much content should be provided in a feed, though.
I offer only an excerpt in my feed (subscribe, if you haven’t). Many other blogs, though, offer full text, allowing fans to read their content in their feed catcher.
The first method guarantees some clicks if a reader is interested, a model good for newspapers or other monetized sites. It also limits the amount of clutter in a feed reader, the personal preference that informs my decision for this un-monetized site.
The second method is driven by a mentality of link economy, rather than content economy. That is, readers should be able to get their content however they want it. To get clicks, newspapers or others should encourage comment and dialogue.
This is truly a debate in philosophy at this juncture. I’m sticking with an excerpt until I decide it’s worth monetizing this site, and will do so with my full-text feeds. Note, most full-text feeds have advertising. Until then, my feed will remain excerpted. I must say, though, I am not sure I can’t be swayed.
So tell me what you think. Add your comments with the others here, or comment below.
Partial or full-text? Can monetized sites really offer full-text and still get clicks or should they monetize their feeds?
Photo from Bytelove.com.