Lots of debate today over the good old ‘full feed vs partial feed’ question. Robert Scoble responds to a post by Duncan Riley who accuses Steve Rubel of ‘not getting it’. Kent Newsome say’s that Steve ‘Does Get it’ and Nick Wilson agrees with Robert.
Every other blogger and his dog seems to have gotten in on the debate in the comments of all the above blogs and there’s a whole heap of chest beating (politely done in most cases) going on.
A few readers have asked what I think and you know what?
I see good arguments all round.
My thoughts are these (and be warned they are are not overly logical and will contradict one another).
- I ultimately blog because I want to communicate something and I want people to read my content. As a result I think full feeds are great as they put all my content into anyone’s hands who wants itI’m sick and tired of finding others publishing my feeds in full – quite often with no attribution to me as an author and quite often with no link back. Partial feeds solve this problem – at least ‘partially’.
- I’ll be honest and admit that part of me likes the idea of people actually coming to my blogs to read what I have to say. While I agree with Robert that this might not be very forward thinking it is an egotistically driven desire I have I guess. I get over it and ultimately it doesn’t matter – but it must impact my decision on some level.
- I personally prefer to read partial feeds. I follow hundreds of blogs daily and full feeds are quite overwhelming. Whereas Robert only subscribes to blogs with full feeds if I’m given the choice I’ll subscribe to a partiaone
- My experience of RSS advertising is that it does not convert. I’m sure it’ll improve but to this point it doesn’t sm to.
- Some argue that partial feeds help the bottom line as that you get more people to look at your blog. I guess this is true but quite honestly it’s not something I think much about. I guess some must be making the decision for partial feeds based on this thinking but it’s not been a big motivation for me.
- On most of my blogs the majority of readers don’t use RSS at present so it doesn’t really matter what type of feeds I run on some levels.
- Having said this I tend to agree with Robert’s in that I’ve long suspected the those readers who do follow my blogs via RSS are key readers in that they often either have blogs or are journalists. This makes them key readers in the sense that they have the power to link up and se traffic.
- On the question of making money from blogs (which is part of the argument) I wonder whether the decision for full or partial feeds might also depend partly upon whether you’re trying to make money directly or indirectly from your blog. If it’s indirectly then perhaps full feeds are better because you want as many people to read your content as possible to help build your profile. If it’s a direct think then maybe partial feeds are better (especially if it’s advertising conversion that y’re after).
- As I said on Robert’s blog in comments, ultimately ‘if your content is good enough and you give people a reason to read your blog – they will…. I find this is the case on my blog with some readers who tell me that I am the only partial feed they follow.’
My own decision to this point has been to go with partial feeds on every blog I own.
Having said this – in the past few weeks I’ve been seriously considering saying ‘stuff it’ to those who continually steal my content and moving ProBlogger to full feeds mainly for the reasons outlined in points 7 and 8.
ProBlogger is never going to set the world alight in terms of generating massive advertising income (although it has improved quite a bit of late). Rather it’s about the indirect methods I talked about a few posts back. Perhaps it’s time to test full feeds.
Having said that – I know that quite a few of my posts are LONG and I worry that full feeds might overwhelm readers and do more damage than good.
So – I’ll throw it open for some discussion and put up a ‘poll of the week’ for you to vote on. I’ll test whatever is the final winner for a month or two and then make an ultimate decision.
Should ProBlogger have Partial or Full Feeds?