The good old debate seems to have resurrected itself with the acquisition of Freakonomics blog by NY Times. Yes, it has moved, and so have the feeds – from full to partial. Mathew Ingram thinks it is a bad idea and Mike Masnick in fact explains how the full feeds drive more traffic.
I agree, full feeds let a reader get involved deeper. I think that partial feeds do not do the justice, and might drive the reader away if the excerpt does not turn out to be interesting enough. But I have seen that there are two types of readers who use feeds:
- one who reads content
- the other who just wants to get notified about the new content
Partial feeds might work in the second case, but they might in fact be harmful in the first case. Using feed readers is convenient if full feeds are provided, and might help your blog to stay in a reader’s radar instead of getting dropped. As a reader, I use feed readers and visit the site if I find the post interesting or if I want to comment on it. Sometimes I click through if it is about the site’s design or if I feel that the design is as much a part of the content. What I hate is if people send out partial feeds just for the sake for me to click through and increase page views and hits, it is anti-blogging.
Having said that, the only reason I have found that can justify partial feeds is splogging. At certain numbers, avoiding seems more reasonable that taking up the cause with every single one who steals from you.
Will I continue to subscribe to the the Freakonomics blog? Yes, because I value its content. Or I might end up visiting the blog once a week or something and unsubscribe if using the feed reader gets inconvenient because of it. This blog provides full feeds and will continue to do so. I love full feeds from either side of the table. What do you think? Do you provide full feeds? Do you subscribe to partial feeds?