Feed me!

I just wanted to say, and I know this thought is not original

If you’re doing an RSS/Atom feed I’m way more likely to read, comment, ping and in all other ways engage with you, if you offer me the choice of a full feed instead of extracts.

No names, no pack drill.

7 thoughts on “Feed me!

  1. Davi Burn

    Good. For commercial free enterprises.

    But commercial blogs are going to want clickthrough, because content is tied to ad revenue.

    Maybe commercial blogs can embed ads in their full RSS feed, or offer paid subscriptions to it. I’ll be interested to see your take on these issues, Johnnie.

  2. Johnnie Moore

    Hi David, thanks for your comment. I was really just stating my own strong preference.

    I don’t know how I’d respond to ads in RSS… but if that’s how I persuade you to give me a full feed, I’d give it a try!

    I guess that the amount of high quality stuff that’s out there free is making revenue generation off blogs very difficult. What’s your experience?

  3. Jackie Huba

    I’m with you Johnnie. Now that I monitor so many blogs, I don’t have to time to click through to read the rest of the partial RSS feeds.

    My New Year’s resolution is to email each blogmaster whose blog I subscribe to, and then ask (or beg) them to turn on full feeds. If they don’t turn on full feeds, I’m probably unsubscribe.

    I’m 1-1 so far. One person did not realize they had partial feeds, and one said no because they need people to click through to justify the # of visitors for advertisers on their site.

  4. David Burn

    We have one advertiser at present on AdPulp. I’d like to see that number increase. Thus, the AdPulp approach is to capitalize content, in the fashion of old-school media companies.

    Much of the high quality stuff you speak of may well be supported by ad revenue. If Rafat Ali, Nick Denton, Jason Calacanis or Jake Dobkin have anything to do with it, then it’s commercially-supported content. Not that there aren’t plenty of ad-free sites to visit, as well. I don’t see such blemishes any here.

    At any rate, we want you as a reader, so I’m pretty sure we can work something out. Maybe we give out the full feed RSS to our super users as a thank you.

  5. Shawn Hartley

    As the other half of AdPulp, my take on the matter of full RSS feeds is this.

    1) I’m fully willing to provide full RSS feeds, but not at the risk of cannibalizing those advertisers who support our cause.

    2) David and I have yet to see a dime from our effort and realistically won’t ever make enough from AdPulp to retire, unless of course, we can scale the idea across multiple verticals. While this really is ancillary to my points, aggressiveness of feed readers eats bandwidth, and bandwidth costs money. Feed requests are currently in the neighborhood of 25% of our bandwidth. Without adequate methods to monetize that stream, we potentially are looking at expense that could become a black hole.

    3) I’m a business/marketing guy but I’m also a seasoned technologist (internet and marketing for a decade now). When I see studies that indicate that RSS is still well below the radar of the common net user, it isn’t much of stretch to predict that content delivery via XML is still in its infancy and that when RSS reaches critical mass it will likely be in a different form than we see today.

    4) Let’s not lose sight that RSS has multiple definitions. In some circles it is Really Simple Syndication, but other is Rich Site Summary. That discrepancy alone is enough to continue the war of standards in this medium.

    David and I, to placate those readers who have requested full RSS, have kicked around a few ideas – although we’ve yet make any firm decisions, nor have we set any firm deadlines. Some options include:

    1) Full feeds for paid subscribers, authenticated by keycode in the feed’s address (based on the method used by John Gruber of daringfireball.net). While monetizing the feed is only part of the objective, we will certainly persuade potential subscribers to become such with additional offers of promotional swag.

    2) Full feeds with embedded advertising – either in-story (more likely) or advertising as a story (less likely).

    3) Full feeds for free with less-than-real-time updating or real-time with bandwidth throttling to curb the maniacal refreshers. Or offloading the feed to a third-party provider.

    One thing for sure, 2005 is certain to see more arguments of this nature. I’ve personally ditched readers in the last few months. My turning point was Yahoo’s update to their my.yahoo.com which now allows RSS/XML/Atom feeds to appear as content modules. For what it is worth, I see this, and similar efforts, as the driving force to push RSS use to critical mass.


Leave a Reply to Shawn Hartley Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.