I can't condone shooting people who publish partial-text feeds, but I feel Scoble's pain.  Personally, I've unsubscribed from just about all partial-text feeds, with the exception of 1 or 2 sites that I absolutely must have and absolutely can't get elsewhere ( and usually a site doesn't stay in this category long - I either find a replacement or learn to live without it ).

What annoys me most are the short-sighted justifications like the response Robert got:

Currently our sites only provide excerpt feeds because we feel it is really important to get customers to our sites.

This is a clear example of someone who doesn't "get" RSS.  After all, if you want customers to come - and come back - to your site, you need to keep us happy.  Court us.  Build a lasting relationship. I'm sure you would love to have me on your mailing list, but I'm not a floozy.  I don't just give up my e-mail to anyone - you have to earn it.  RSS is a "cheaper" way (in terms of what I need to give up) for me to continue the conversation.  It's a way for you to reach me when I don't trust you enough - yet - to give you my e-mail.

My "relationship" with Engadget really illustrates this well.  I used to read Gizmodo but switched over when Engadget first offered full-text feeds. Gizmodo has since added full-text feeds, but it was too late: at this point I consider myself a loyal Engadget reader.  It's one of the few sites I will read when I don't have my aggregator.  Even when I do, I still visit the site a lot to leave comments.  I also link to them a lot, and while I may not have Scoble's 18,000 readers, I send some traffic your way - that should at least help make up for the "lost" visits from me, right? ( Oh, and unlike Robert, it's not that I actively refuse to link to sites with partial-text feeds - it's just hard to link when I've already unsubscribed and won't see your content ).

It's really very simple: RSS lets the customer control the conversation.  In exchange for that control, we will gladly reward you with our loyalty - and we'll be happy doing it. But if you're going to do this, you can't do it half-assed - don't give us partial feeds!


blog comments powered by Disqus