Thu, 19 Feb 09

Please Publish Full Content in Your RSS and Atom Feeds

Just a polite request to those that publish only partial content in their feeds. Please don’t do it.

I used to read my feeds offline in Google Reader. Partial feeds are frustrating because they suck me in with a teaser and then leave me hanging until I get back to an Internet connection: where I’ll often forget about the feed and leave it forever. Alternatively, I’ll visit said page offline, bookmark it in delicious (firefox extension) with a to-read tag and still never read it1.

I now tend to read feeds on my G1 (still in Google Reader). Switching between interfaces on the G1 isn’t quite as seamless as switching between tabs in a browser: It disrupts my flow. I think the same argument applies to google reader in a standard browser: I’m happily reading things that look the same until I come across some partial content, click a link and go blind because someone’s decided that white on black in easy to read.

So there you have it. The evidence2 supports the fact that you should publish full content in your feeds. Now go do it.

1 This is worse because I end up with a whole bunch of bookmarks that say ‘page could not be loaded’, or similar, and I then have to worry about fixing them up to make them pretty (I’ve been doing this for over a year so just imagine how heavy this is on my shoulders right now).

2 Fact.