Sixteen months ago, I accepted partial RSS feeds as a necessity for Web metrics. The only question in my mind was how much content should be shared in the summary feed. By last fall, I was transitioning to this self-hosted version of my site and was starting to accept the reasons that convinced me last week to turn the feed of my content here to full-text wherever it goes.
I haven’t totally flipped. I maintain — for now — the stance that, until sponsorships or other ways to monetize full-text feeds are in place, NEast Philly and Technically Philly, as we announced in October, should keep their partial feeds. It comes down to this duality I see.
(1) If you’re trying to monetize content then, by all means, make me click through. Offer summary enough for me to decide if the story or post is worth my time, but I understand accurate metrics of on-site traffic are vital to sell against advertising and other engagement-driven sponsorships.
(2) If monetizing your content is not a primary objective, then, chances are, you’re more interested in accruing, growing and retaining the largest audience possible. That means you need to limit the obstacles.
So, in feed readers and e-mail blasts and on mobile devices, content on this site no longer requires you to click through to the site. I just hope you’ll read.
Perhaps what would bring you through to click would be to comment or, yes, to “like” the story with the new Facebook integration that even I’m toying with. Admittedly, this site is less about engagement than sharing thoughts, but I thought I’d try to wrap my mind around the power of the universal Facebook tool.