Your Thoughts On RSS

Monday, February 23, 2004 at 7:31 pm | Comments off

I've been planning on adding a RSS feed to this site, and have been trying to decide if I should include the full post, or merely excerpts. It seems that both ways are common, and I have been trying to discern which is the best choice. I'm leaning toward only using excerpts, as it seems the discussion for each entry will be better if the comment form is easily available. However, if the users of this site would prefer the entire content to be able to be read in a news aggregator, who am I to stop them? I don't use the things, so those of you who do, what do you like?

Comments

Richard Allsebrook
February 24th, 2004
7:42 AM | #

I'd go with a mixture of both.

If an article is very short, post the full article, otherwise post a snippet - perhaps just the first paragraph?

Both types of post should still include a link back to the original article too.

Jennifer
February 24th, 2004
8:56 AM | #

I prefer full posts. I really don't like having to stop reading the article, open up the page, find where I left off, and continue reading.

I tend to read more feeds with full text rss feeds for that reason - it's easier. If I want to contribute to the discussion, I just start at the beginning of the comments and read those. It's far easier.

I do most of my weblog reading through my rss feed reader, by the way.

Jennifer
February 24th, 2004
8:57 AM | #

I wonder if I could have fit the word "easier" in that comment a few more times? I really should not comment when half-awake. :)

mb
February 24th, 2004
4:28 PM | #

I'm going to pretty much ditto what Jennifer said.

And Ryan, I'm not saying it's the best, but you could check out something like http://www.bloglines.com/ and see what it's like to use a RSS reeder. Checking out 50+ sites daily just got a whole lot easier for me.

Ryan
February 24th, 2004
10:06 PM | #

Actually, I have just started using blo.gs. News aggregators really don't cut it for me as I prefer to read the sites in their original format. Most of the blogs I read ping it, and it's a great way to keep track of which blogs have new entries. I've even set up xBlogPro to ping it, for those who may wish to keep track of this site with it.

Britta
February 24th, 2004
10:30 PM | #

Any RSS feed is better than none, as far as I'm concerned. :)
If possible, a full post feed is preferable.

mb
February 24th, 2004
11:42 PM | #

Ah, I heard about blo.gs(probably from the same site as you did) and looked into it. Some recent playing around with Bloglines has me looking elsewhere, so I'll go check it out again.

Richard Allsebrook
February 25th, 2004
4:16 AM | #

You could always give your readers TWO newsfeeds. One with headlines and a snippet - the other with full posts.

I was thinking of adding this option to mine along with the option to only subscribe to feeds from a given category (and sub catagories) - say CSS only or WebDev (that includes Apache, CSS, DOM/Scripting etc).

My big problem with RSS feeds is, its very hard to tell if anyone is actually reading them. Sure, you can check your logs to see if the file has been accessed, but a lot of agregators I've seen in action seem to poll your RSS feed once an hour irrespective of whether someone has asked to read it or not.

peofeo (nick)
February 25th, 2004
9:31 PM | #

I should probably google this, but I want to hear it from other developers. What are the advantages to useing rss? I mean I am seeing it more and more these days but on a small scale for a personal news blog or something why would one use rss?

Zelnox
February 25th, 2004
10:46 PM | #

I rather read at the site, with all the nice images ^_^.

Britta
February 26th, 2004
4:26 PM | #

Richard,
good point about the logs/stats issue.
I just came across www.feedburner.com - which looks really interesting - and it has a facility for extracting stats for your feed(s).
Don't know, of course, how meaningful those stats would be ... but worth a try?

Britta
February 26th, 2004
4:31 PM | #

peofeo/quasi-modo,
even for small, personal sites I think RSS is useful. You just don't know how your readers may prefer to read up or catch up on your postings.
I used to rely on the email-notification system with many blogs ... but honestly, RSS just makes it all faster, easier and more efficient. I use my RSS reader every day and often catch up with small personal sites like that too.

peofeo (nick)
February 26th, 2004
6:09 PM | #

I can see using it on a large site like www.foxnews.com or www.cnn.com or whatever, but I am making a news blog for a site I am working on and I read up on rss but failed to find any advantages to using it on the scale that I am using it on. Now in this case, maybe since ryan is marketing xblog, and there will be a lot more people using this blog since it will be on many sites you would go out of your way to include rss. I just do not think any of my users would use the rss feed if I used it, and I know I do not use rss. What are some other advantages to rss besides the fact that it is a little faster with a lot of content?

Britta
February 26th, 2004
7:06 PM | #

I fail to see what the number of people (large or small) has to do with the advantages/disadvantages of RSS?

One other advantage is, of course, that if you wish to present syndicated content on your site, you can easily do so by including feeds.

The bottom-line for me is: if I like a site, I'll likely include the feed in my reader. That means I'll check the content regularly. Otherwise, it's quite possible that the site will drop off my radar.

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