Do You Prefer Full or Partial Blog Feeds?

By Mike Maddaloni on Sunday, September 16, 2007 at 08:54 AM with 6 comments

A civil debate has been hovering around the blog world for some time about whether full or partial blog feeds are preferred.

What am I talking about you may say? If, for example, you subscribe to The Hot Iron, you are subscribing to the feed of my blog. A feed is merely a file with the contents of each post. Your feed reader scans this feed file, and if there is something new, it is presented to you. If you subscribe to it by email, then you will get an email message when something new is written.

The full vs. partial debate relates to how much of what is written in a blog post goes into the feed file. For The Hot Iron, I use the full feed, so if you see one of my posts in your feed reader or email inbox, it is the complete text and images of what I wrote. If I had a partial feed, you may see the first paragraph or two, and a link back to the Web site to read the entire post.

I choose full feeds as I believe they work to the advantage of the writer and reader. A full feed is a standalone piece, and if it is forwarded to someone they see the entire thought and message. The reader gains as they have everything at once and if the introductory content does not entice them, they may not read it all, where if it is all in front of them, there is a better chance they will read it. My reader of choice is Google Reader Mobile on my Treo smartphone, and here I will see the entire feed formatted nicely on my mobile browser, where if I have to click a link to read more, the Web site that will load most likely will not format well on the small screen. For those who are visually impaired, they have the same benefit of reading the entire post in a reader that is best suited to them, where the resulting Web site may not be.

Using partial feeds requires the reader to view your Web site. I see the justification for that as you can better present your brand and other content, and of course advertising. Where this is an easy way to get people to your site, if this is your goal I recommend wording your posts and adding links that will get people to your site. You may publish separate posts for this reason. You can also add a footer or signature to your posts for this purpose.

Darren Rowse of Problogger has a poll and discussion on full vs. partial feeds and I invite you to participate. I am interested in reading both sides of this debate, though I doubt I will be convinced to change from using full feeds for myself or my clients. I also welcome the discussion here as well, after you read the full feed or course.

Technology • (6) CommentsPermalink

Page 1 of 1 pages