The debate continues over full feeds or excerpt feeds. Robert Scoble is de-listing Chris Pirillo and Chris Pirillo tells him (in an indirect way – along with everyone else who has de-listed him) to kiss his ASCII.
I run 20 blogs which between then have thousands of RSS subscribers – all who’ve signed up to feeds that are unashamedly excerpts (they always have been). In two years I’ve had just a handful of complaints about my excerpt feeds. Today I started to wonder why this is – when others seem to be under attack.
Part of it is probably that Chris has a lot more subscribers than I do – the more there are the more individuals that there are kicking up a stink.
Another reason that I suspect is coming into play here for Chris and others making the switch from full feeds to excerpts is that they’re changing things mid stream. In my experience this is always a problem and is something that needs some change management.
Don’t hearing me as critiquing them for changing their feeds – I understand their reasoning and support them in it – however there are consequences of doing so and this is a lesson worth learning for the rest of us.
I mentioned this the other day on my should new blogs have ads post where I argued that one of the downsides of adding ads later is that you run the risk of disillusioning your loyal readers by changing the rules mid stream.
Of course – every blogger has to change the rules at one time or another – it’s part of the nature of bloggers to tweak, change, experiment – but I guess it’s worth keeping in mind that every choice we make not only has the potential to impact us and how we operate our blog – but those readers we are in relationship with.
Perhaps we need to learn more about change management and helping to bring our readers along for the ride? Perhaps its about creating a climate of change for our readers which helps them to not only accept but expect the changes of direction we take. Or perhaps we just need to learn to be a little more stable and make less spontaneous changes that will unsettle readers?
I’m brainstorming here – what do you think?