A change to the RSS feeds

I wanted to call this out on its own, since I know it’ll be controversial with some of you. I decided that now was a good time to make a change and I’ve gone from full text of all articles in the RSS feeds I’m now going with partial feeds for longer articles. Anything shorter than 250 words should come through complete, but the longer articles will be truncated. 

This is going to upset some folks (I’ve already gotten one complaint), but now, as I’ve just started rolling out some major changes to the site and making a fresh commitment to better content it seems like the best time to make this change, as my readership is probably as low as it’s going to get (at least, I hope so!) and it’s best to do something like this at the beginning and not down the road after I’ve started posting content and the audience starts building again.

Why do this? Two reasons: one is the growing problems with spam sites and scraper sites that steal and repost content without permission by sucking RSS feeds just to populate sites aimed to suck page views by stealing content.  But the other is that I feel that as the size of the article grows and there’s more complex formatting and the images and other media I’m planning on using that it becomes more important to see it within the context of the site design and styling. 

I have grappled with this one a lot. I understand the arguments on both sides. But you know what I finally realized? I’m just not that desperate to have people read me, and I’ve come to believe that there’s a value in the design and styling of the site that gets lost in the RSS feed and so I’m just not going to keep pushing my long-form content out that way and make it easy for the scrapers to steal it. 

If you aren’t’ willing to click through to read my article (one click and one page load) is too much hassle for you, then well, it’s been nice. 

This entry was posted in Working on Web Sites.
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  • MacRat

    My only gripe with having to click to the site is that your content is the LAST to load on the page. The header, right nave, footer and Disqus all load first.

  • Evan Robinson

    I am complaining. I hate following links to original content from my viewer. It’s a high bar.

  • Tim Cooper

    I don’t have a problem with partials in general. But however your site is doing the partials, it also doesn’t load images, links, or paragraph breaks. Which makes RSS essentially useless.

    • http://www.chuqui.com chuqui

      I’ve run into that problem before with wordpress. Let me see if I can track it down. It’d help if you could tell me which feed URL you’re following.

  • Mike Rodriquez

    I’m not complaining, but it’s a fact I very rarely click through to the full article on my partial feeds.

    It’s not you, or the other partial feeds.

    What it is is too much info to chase it down.

    Now, rarely, one of my partials will post something so compelling I click over, but usually?

    Usually I just hit the space bar and move on to the next article.

    So it’s your choice, but I will ask that you not do this.