Nathan Bransford, Author


Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm Considering Switching to Partial RSS Feed. Thoughts?


Forgive this nuts-and-bolts post on this Thursday morning, but I wanted to solicit your feedback on a change I'm considering making: switching my RSS feed from showing the whole blog to only showing partial posts.

If you don't read this blog in Google Reader or another feed reader, check out this incredible GIF of a hilarious cat and have a great day.

If you do read this blog in a feed reader, I'm very curious to know what you think. This impacts you, and I don't want to mess things up.

Here's the thing - when I started this blog, I wanted everyone to be able to read it as easily as possible. I didn't really care if that happened on this blog or on other websites or anywhere possible.

But lately, I feel like the discussion on the blog has become a bit fragmented because so many sites out there are syndicating this blog willy nilly. People don't always realize the great discussions that are happening in the comments section on the for-real blog because they are reading it in a place that just pulls the blog content and leaves it at that. If people were forced to click through to read the whole post I feel like we could attract even better comments.

I'm also finding this blog pop up on more and more sites where you can get the whole blog... only other people are advertising on the page. So basically you can read the whole blog only someone else is making money on it.

But I don't want to cramp your style. Would it bother you if I switched to a partial feed and people had to click through to the for-real blog to see the rest? Do you mind if I give it a trial to see what happens?

Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Art: Geometrie & Vermessung & Messstab - Walther Hermann Ryff






178 comments:

Donna @ Bites said...

Truncated posts in my reader annoy me. Seeing as how I do most of my feed reading at work, my work server has a tendency of blocking some sites. So I couldn't click through if I wanted to. If I can read the post in the reader and I want to comment and the blog happens to be a blocked one I can forward the link to myself and start commenting from another computer. If I can't even read the blog post I just pass it by entirely.

Joe Barlow said...

I love ya, Nathan, but going to a partial RSS feed would probably cause me to stop reading your blog. Indeed, I find partial-feed blogs so annoying that I wrote a post about it:

http://www.coffeehousewordsmith.com/2011/04/top-five-reasons-i-quit-reading-your.html

I can't speak for everyone, but I beg you to take pity on those of us who embrace the Google Reader lifestyle. :)

-j.

Wyndes said...

I read in Google reader, and I don't mind if you make the switch.

Isaiah Campbell said...

Personally, my click through rate on partial RSS feeds is pretty poor. However, I can see your frustration and, honestly, would probably click through on your posts. Maybe not on EVERY post, but on those that pique my interest.

Marcelo said...

Hello, Nathan. I use Google Reader to read your posts, but I do not think it would be bad if you switched to the partial content feeds. I use the feed reader mainly to have a quick look at the numerous feeds and decide which ones I will open in a separate window.

Lindsey Bell said...

I tend to not click through with partial Rss feeds. Sorry :(

Sassy said...

I have to be REAL interested from the first four lines to click through, but I do it for some posts. I'd keep your blog in the feed and probably read every other post.

Hakase said...

I read via RSS, and I am not a fan of partial feeds. I won't say I'll stop reading for sure, but I'll be much less likely to click through to read the full article. And whenever I realize I've gone a long time without actively reading a feed, I remove it to clear out the clutter in my RSS reader.

So it seems likely I'd stop reading eventually, were the change to occur. :( I understand your reasons, though.

Katie said...

I read in Google Reader. I'm not likely to click through to read whole posts. I am, however, likely to click through for comments when it's a topic I'm particularly interested in. I know which blogs I read have active comments sections, and I keep that in mind when I'm reading.

Allison Starkweather said...

Auuuggh, please don't. I am significantly less likely to click through on truncated posts. In fact, I can only think of one blog with truncated posts that I will always, without fail, click through to read. There are lots of others that I'm technically subscribed to but effectively don't read, because of the truncation. And there are even more that I unsubscribed from because I got annoyed with them cluttering up my RSS feed when I never read them.

Like Joe, even though I enjoy this blog, if you switch to truncated posts, odds are almost guaranteed that I'm going to stop reading.

Loralie Hall said...

I'm not a fan of the partial posts in my Google reader. If I like a post, I'll click through and comment, and I'm much more likely to read an entire post and click through to comment, than click to finish reading a post that may or may not interest me.

Matthew MacNish said...

I always read by visiting the actual full page, so my vote really shouldn't count.

Mira said...

Well, I don't read through a reader, so no feelings there. But the larger issue concerns me - it bothers me to hear that people are using blog writing without permission.

Do blogs have rights? What about copyright? I always thought that there was an automatic copyright with blogs. Or are blogs considered public domain?

I would love it if someone linked to my blog, or maybe put up a portion or a quote, but it would really bother me if someone lifted my full material and put it on their site without my permission.

In terms of more commenting, this may not work for you, but a regular posting schedule, even once a week, gets readers into a rhythm.

JM said...

I use Google Reader on my phone and I'm not a huge fan of truncated posts. I try to limit my data usage and set my phone to download the posts before I go about my day. Truncated posts force me to go to the website or skip the post until I get home. Odds are I'll forget about it by then.

Word Lily said...

Partial feed: BOO!

Carmen Webster Buxton said...

Add me to the list of folks who use Google Reader and prefer to see the full post. I will click through on posts that sound interesting but not when I'm in a hurry. The worst are those blogs that only show the headline.

Mike Fenton said...

I use google and I understand the drive to go to a partial RSS Feed. You have to protect your content from the vultures.

That being said, it would reduce my readership of the blog. With sites that do Partial feeds I will only click through on topics that spark my interest and I tend to ignore the rest of the feed.

Joanne Sher said...

Seems I'm with the majority who have commented here. I read in google reader, and I do NOT like the partial rss feed. But I can TOTALLY understand why you want to do it. I am not a regular commenter on your blog (though I do generally read it), so take my thoughts with that in mind. I might or might not click through. I'd need that hook ;)

Michael Pickett said...

I wouldn't mind having to click through to read the posts. I mainly rely on the reader to let me know when a new post arrives, but since the whole post is there, I go ahead and read the post.

Go ahead and make me click through.

THE SECRET EDITORIALIST said...

I'd probably only click through on some posts if I'm honest, but you should still do it. What you said really makes sense, and people will adapt. Trial away!

Courtney Price said...

I installed the "next" button by google... so I can jump from blog to blog on my feed. I like to support bloggers by visiting their actual blogs. I think anyone else is super lame!

Maybe educate your readers about how much easier that option is?

Anonymous said...

maybe you could explain how others are appropriating your content / brand w/out paying you and, were you that person, how you could leverage that into money for you. the RSS thing - at this moment, not relevant for me, since I read both blog & comments on your site.

danstout said...

I use Google Reader, and I'm fine with partial feeds, as long as I get enough info to determine if it's worth the time/new window to click through.

Please don't go to headlines only, though, or you'll be dead to me. (Well, your blog will be dead to me, but you get the gist.)

R. A. Mare said...

I also read in Google Reader and would probably stop reading your blog if you switch. I don't care to read the comments anyway.

Jena said...

I use Google Reader too, and don't like truncated posts. However ... your reasons for switching make perfect sense, so I would click through to read the full post on your blog.

One suggestion -- make sure your first paragraph has a good hook. Another popular agent/editor/writer blog I read wastes precious space introducing the day's author instead of telling readers what they're posting about. It rarely grabs me.

Anonymous said...

Another Google Reader reader - would probably click through to read a full post if you only posted truncated content, but probably would not read the comments.

Jami said...

I also read in google reader, and it has to be a REALLY interesting post to make me bother clicking through. Most of the time, I just read through, and don't bother expanding truncated posts.

Allison Starkweather said...

Actually, I have more thoughts about this.

This feels like a rather selfish reason to make a change that will have a significant impact on your followers and their reading experience. And the motivation behind it feels heavy-handed and manipulative. I am incredibly resistent to the idea of being forced to click through to read the content, just because someone has decided for me that it's important for me to read the comments. I'm a big girl, and I am perfectly capable of deciding for myself which posts interest me enough to seek out the comments.

Mira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loreth said...

I read your blog in my Google feed, too. If I want to comment or make comments I click through. Mostly it's an extra and sometimes annoying step to be forced to click through just to read the full blog, although, if the blogger or content is high enough value to me, I will. I don't believe a truncated blog will force me to look at comments any differently though. I go to comments only if interested whether truncated or not

Mira said...

Oh, took that down. You're a social media expert. You know what encourages commenting. I won't have any suggestions you haven't already thought of.

terri patrick said...

It's your call, as it's your blog. I'd probably click through to read the whole blog because I know you have something to say and it will interest me. But your blog would be the exception, not the norm for me. I usually don't click through.

Melissa said...

I read in google reader, and it's highly unlikely I'll click through to read the whole post. I *do* read the whole post in my reader -- and I cared enough to click through to leave this comment -- but it's rare when I'll click through a truncated post to read the whole thing.

Honestly, even if I clicked through I wouldn't comment most of the time. It certainly wouldn't get me to frequent your site forums.

Gina said...

I unsubscribe from every partial rss feed. It's not worth my time to click through to read every post, so I end up read none of the posts.

Shannon said...

I read through Google Reader. I used to not mind truncated posts, as I could just open them up in the background using Safari, but Google Reader's latest update no longer uses Safari as default and it's more of a hassle if I need to click through. If it sounded like a really interesting (and longer than a simple question) post, I might click through.

I still wouldn't bother reading the comments though.

D.G. Hudson said...

Whatever works for you, Nathan, I usually read your blog HERE, anyway. I'm not fond of RSS feeds.

Do what will benefit you the most. If people don't care to click through, that's their choice and their loss. I'm so glad you don't have those cluttering ads on your blog!

Perhaps a poll would be worthwhile?

Diana said...

Another possible solution to the problem is to end every post with something like:

Go here to join the conversation on Nathan Bransford's original post http://blog.nathanbransford.com/ ... But make the link clickable and opening in a new window so the person doesn't have to leave their RSS feed or whereever they are in order to comment here.

E.Maree said...

I'm really not a fan of partial feeds, but the decision is yours. I just click through from the feed post if I feel the urge to comment.

Rick Daley said...

I have Google Reader on my iGoogle home page, and will often read a post there and then click through to comment.

For this blog, a partial wouldn't deter me, I'd click through to read the post because I trust the content will be worthwhile. I can't say that for every blog I subscribe to, though.

S. Kyle Davis said...

It's the old "continued on page 2" problem that newspapers deal with (they still make those?). You have to put all the good stuff in the first four lines, because most people won't turn the page. I'm very much not a clickthrough kind of guy, unless I'm very interested. And I have enough blogs in my Reader list that if I'm on the fence for reading your post, that will cause me to press back and go to the next one, honestly.

Anonymous said...

I never comment, except for this, but I read all of your posts through Google Reader. I also will very rarely, if ever, click through to read the whole post.

Paul Connors said...

"...so many sites out there are syndicating this blog willy nilly"

You need a much more concrete estimate of the problem before you choose switch to partial feeds. The number of sites syndicating your blog is a very unreliable measure of your problem, because it could easily be that those are low-traffic sites, or sites where you are unlikely to pick up much audience. If 95% of your audience are reading your material on your site, or via your feed, then you very likely don't have a problem. If that number were only 5%, you'd have a real problem.

So what is the number?

It can be hard to estimate that. You need good numbers for how many people are reading you via your site or feed, and then you'd have to look at those syndicating sites, and estimate what the size of the problem is likely to be. (I had quick look at the Google Pageranks for various sites where your material appears, and I am dubious that you have a real problem.)

And count me in as one of the people who will stop reading you if go to partial feeds.

Jen J. Danna said...

I'm really not a fan of truncated posts. It's like deck.ly tweets - if I have to click through to something else, then there's a good chance I'm not going to do it. It's not that I don't love or appreciate the content, it's just one more thing I have to do when I'm already overloaded and at a certain point something needs to give.

My vote is 100% behind just leaving your posts as they are. :)

Clara Rose said...

I use Google reader for the blogs I follow but I am a huge fan of your work and would click through so read the rest of the post.

Good idea to ask your readers... seems a fair number of the would object.

Gregory K. said...

I also don't like partial feeds. My click through rate is much lower on them. I understand the aggregation frustration, though I know that by tweeting or FB-linking a post, I'm also creating that same diffusion, so the problem won't disappear. I am curious how much conversation you find at the various feed-snagger sites. You certainly don't seem to be lacking commentary here (which speaks highly of both the community and the content). Anyway, you know why you're blogging, you know your goals, you know what you want to accomplish, so you're the one who can decide if a partial feed makes sense for you. As a reader, I'll just add that I dislike them.

Ben M said...

I prefer to read full posts in Google Reader, mostly because I read on my phone. I barely have time to keep up with the news and blog posts themselves in my feed reader, so I don't read comments. I would much rather not have to click through.

If your posts are being reproduced elsewhere in full without your permission, you ought to contact the site owners. If it's with your permission, then frankly, you've created the fragmentation problem yourself.

Thanks for asking for our feedback.

Anonymous said...

TBH, I almost never click on partial posts and usually just stop subscribing if a blog uses them.

Anonymous said...

Well if that's all you're asking I don't see how one little click will hurt me.

Do what you need to do for you :)

Aaron Poehler said...

Truncated feeds suck (I always run them through fulltextrssfeed.com anyway, protip) and comments sections are to be avoided 99.9% of the time. Yours are an exception, but I still honestly don't have the time or inclination to follow any comment threads. Switching would most likely just annoy rather than engage.

Maria Zannini said...

This is a BIG pet peeve of mine. Truncate your posts and I'll probably take you off my Google Reader.

I don't have time to click through unless I have something to add.

Anonymous said...

so sorry to be a pain, but I hate hate hate truncated/ partial entries in my reader. I very rarely click over to read the full entry.

I love how you have it now - the pictures come through beautifully, the text formatting always works perfectly, there's no weird spots - and I do click over to read comments about 10% of the time. Which is probably one of my higher percentages.

Sandy Williams said...

I'm on the don't-go-partial side of the debate. I hate having to click through to read a whole post. I only do it if the post is REALLY good, and even then, that really doesn't effect whether I read the comments or not. I tend to only read comments if I plan to comment.

Also, I don't think switching to a partial feed will effect the pages that are reporting your posts. They'll find a way to post the entire post anyway.

Glad to hear you care what we think, though!

Anonymous said...

I, too, sometimes read from work and prefer to get the full post rather than the truncated version. I'll admit that I don't always click over to read the comments, but...that's up to me, right? I don't being forced to read things I don't want to. However, if the post is interesting or I want to add my two cents, I will not hesitate to click and open up the blog. This gives me the choice. Please don't take it away.

Cossette said...

I subscribe through blogger, which does not show the whole post. I have to go look at the post itself if I want to read it. My Google Reader is about 50/50 blogs with the whole post and blogs with partials. Some of the blogs have annoyingly cluttered sites, so I probably wouldn't read them if I had to read them on their own site. Lazy devotee that I am. That said, I don't find your blog cluttered or annoying, so I really wouldn't mind if you switched.

Chris said...

Nathan, I read in Google Reader and I am frequently annoyed by truncated RSS feeds - because I assume it's about money, and a truncated RSS feed is pretty much a signal that a person regards their blog as linkbait. I admit I never thought about the many other sites that might be "pirating" your content by publishing your content. That changes the way I look at all truncated RSS feeds.

I often read on my smartphone, which makes the truncated post especially irritating - to read your full post, I have to wait for your full blog page to load in my mobile browser (which, if I'm not getting WiFi or 4G service, can take a minute or more) and when I'm done I have to navigate back to the Google Reader app. It's a much smoother experience for me to just read everything you wrote in the same place - and if I want to read the comments, or post one myself, then I can click through.

To be honest, I rarely read the comments section. Mostly I'm interested in seeing what you have to say (it's YOUR blog to which I subscribed, after all) and will only read the comments if I find something especially engaging or controversial in your post. So I don't miss the comments, personally.

If you find that others are using your words to generate content for themselves, I say truncate, and I'll live with it. But it's certainly easier for me if I can read your full post in Google Reader without having to click through.

Lillian Archer said...

I read through the good ole webpage, so I have no preferences with how you present your material. I DO have issue with others benefiting from your hard work without your consent. I will read, follow, and comment no matter what changes you make. Thanks for all the hard work.

Neyhart said...

Well it looks like other people have already said what I was going to say, but since you asked:
I keep up with approximately %95 of the blogs I follow via Google Reader. The ones that only give me part of it in the reader are annoying. I only click through about %10-15 of the time to actually read the rest of it. It's even worse if they only give you the title and the first sentence. (The other %5 I keep up with I get in my email.)

PatriciaW said...

Google Reader. Rarely click thru to partial RSS posts. Really has to catch my eye. But I read many full posts and skim most others.

Maureen McGowan said...

I very much enjoyed the cat gif. ;)

LJCohen said...

I follow close to 100 blogs on my RSS reader and I really dislike partial feeds. I find I just dismiss the feed without reading it when it's just a preview where I almost always read the entire post when it's reproduced on my reader.

The whole point of an RSS reader is that you can keep up with followed blogs without having to visit each site. I do go to the original sites to comment and to share on social media, but I want it to be my choice.

Livia Blackburne said...

As much as I sympathize with your scraper and syndication issues, I also dislike the partial feeds.

Erin said...

Because I like your blog so much, I would go through the effort to access the full post on your website, but only because I am already attached to your blog.

Even when accessing on the website, I don't read many of your comments, and I don't see that behavior changing.

I read in a reader (NetNewsWire for the curious) and truncated posts annoy me so much (especially the ones that end in an advertisement--talk about adding insult to injury).

I have unsubscribed from blogs that only syndicate partial posting if their content is not useful enough for me to click through to. It's sad, they were good blogs, but the truncated post (and ad) require more effort than I am willing to expend to get at the rest of the content.

Matthew G. Young said...

I think a partial RSS feed is a good idea. I read this on Google Reader and I have more recently been trying to leave contents on other blogs, so this actually gives people more incentive to participate. The more people that are interacting on this blog, the more feedback you will be getting. With a partial RSS feed, you are encouraging more people to participate--this is good.

Sarabeth Gordon said...

I'm going to echo Isaiah Campbell:
Personally, my click through rate on partial RSS feeds is pretty poor. However, I can see your frustration and, honestly, would probably click through on your posts. Maybe not on EVERY post, but on those that pique my interest.

Dee said...

I use Google Reader because there are just so many blogs and feeds I wish to keep up on, without having to schlep a bunch of bookmarks around, regardless of what device I'm on. I will tolerate a partial feed if that is the only way to follow a blog at all, but I get cranky when I have to click something to be transported elsewhere to read the entirety of an article. I tend to click only on those articles that have an engaging lead-in: "come read the complete article where you'll read [summary]!", and such. A partial feed makes it much more likely that I won't bother to subscribe at all. I'm just one reader, but there you go. :)

melaniecrutchfield.com said...

Wow. I'm totally shocked about how strongly people dislike the partial feeds. I'm surprised that people just know ahead of time that they'll stop reading entirely.

Thanks for posing the question. I was really curious to see how people would respond as I've wondered the same thing myself.

Personally, if there's enough there to know if I want to read the whole post I'd probably click through. I usually view posts I'm interested in on their original site anyway. Good luck with your decision!

Anonymous said...

I'm just here for the cat gif. ;D haha

Nathan Bransford said...

Wow, strong opinions! Thanks everyone for the feedback. I would like to try it just to see if clickthroughs and comments go up, but it does give me pause that a lot of people would just unsubscribe. Still thinking it over.

In the meantime, I turned off the CAPCHA, which hopefully will encourage more comments as well. Hoping it doesn't lead to a deluge of spam, which it has in the past.

Katrina said...

I am a lurker and almost never comment on people's blogs. Which means that you will NOT get more comments from me by switching to a partial feed.

I also almost never read comments, mostly because while the discussion might be fun, I simply don't have time.

If you switch to a partial feed, you will negatively impact my experience with your blog, because now I will have to add at least one more click to my reading experience from Google Reader. I find that I read fewer of the articles from sites with partial RSS feeds, including io9, Tor.com, GalleyCat, etc, whereas I read more of the articles from sites with full feeds, like BoingBoing and Whatever.

My eyes will stay on you longer if you stick with a full feed. Please, please don't switch.

Melody said...

First off, it is your blog, and you have a right and privilege to syndicate it however you want. So--no hard feelings ever. Whatever you do {unless you, I don't know, start using the f-word every other sentence or something}, I'll keep reading your blog, just because I'm loyal like that.

That said.

I use Google Reader, and it drives me CRAZY when people do partial posts. So very, very annoying. Most of the time, I do click on the links to read the posts {unless I know it's something I won't be interested in}. However, as far as comments go, I wouldn't participate in the comment conversation any more than I already do. My personal blogging philosophy is that if I have something to comment, I comment. I don't participate in conversations, either way. I don't have that much time.

So. Will I keep reading your blog if you change to Partial RSS Feed? Yes. Will I like it? No. Will it change how often I comment? No.

Angela J Reeves said...

Akismet for spam control.

Thank you for writing this - I always wondered why anyone would publish partials because they annoy me so deeply as a reader (google reader on desktop / feeddler on iPhone). I would probably stick with ya for a while if I knew it was an experiment, but I rarely click through to fulls. I engage in comments if I'm engaged in the topic, regardless of full or partial.

Lauren B. said...

I wouldn't unsubscribe, but I do use Google Reader and strongly prefer getting the full post via RSS (though I'd love if it could omit images).

I too am on a limited data plan, and not only that, but I often get poor 3G reception on the subway system in which I commute, so clicking through to the website isn't an option, and the commute is when I prefer to get a lot of my reading done.

Jennifer Schubert said...

I use GoogleReader and would click through only if the first few lines really intrigued me. Given the short amount of time I have each day to read, I really hate clicking through. Sorry Nathan!

Anthony said...

Truncated posts in my reader annoy me.

I've already bought your book. I like using a RSS reader. If I wanted to comment, I would comment. I don't need encouragement to do so.

The only truncated feed I have in my reader is from a Lady who doesn't know how to modify her blog to turn it off. I'll remove most others, but it is very rare for an author to do this.

Bottom line: I would remove the feed.

Melissa Sarno said...

I do not click through to partial-feed blogs from a reader. Ever. I unsubscribe from blogs that do this. It sounds silly but I get anxiety with a lot of windows open on my computer. :) That's why I have a reader. I always click through to see comments and comment on a post that interests me.

Seabrooke said...

You've already got a lot of people saying it, but I'll add my vote of no to truncated posts. Even blogs I used to be very dedicated to I eventually stopped following once I had to start clicking through. It kinda defeats the purpose of using a feed aggregator. If, after reading a post, I have something to say or I'm interested in reading the comments, I'll visit the post on the blog.

It does suck about having your content yanked and posted elsewhere. It happens regularly enough with my own blog. I've chosen just to ignore it - I doubt very many people are reading these obviously spam/plagiarized blogs, and it's a whole lot easier for me to just not worry about it.

Leah Petersen said...

I usually read the post in a Reader but it's on my computer, so if the message is truncated, I just click through. I follow people who have theirs truncated. It's not a hassle.

Nicole L Rivera said...

I usually read posts in my iMail, but I think partial posting is fine. I understand why you want to do this and fully support your choice. I'd like to be forced to come to the actual blog. Sometimes we need a nudge to get involved.

writingwithcats said...

I usually read by just checking your blog, but I just set up a google reader because it was getting exhausting checking things separately and I was missing posts.

I'll click through. Doesn't bother me. I probably won't click through on my phone (my main internet source) but I will when I get to work so it's fine :)

Penelope said...

Jennifer Schubert said it all. So many of the blogs I follow in Google reader have gone to truncated posts, and I rarely read them anymore. The biggest problem is that the bloggers have no idea that they need to catch interest in the first few words. So many titles mean nothing, and the intro babbling leaves no clue as to what the entry is about. I mark read and move on.

I don't mind clicking through, but rarely does a blog with truncated posts instill a drop of curiosity.

I'm a quiet fan. I've been following for more than a year, I read your blog every day. Occasionally, the potential comments have enticed me to click through,and see what everyone has to say. Sometimes I even click through just to copy the address bar link to send friends that might also be interested in the conversation.

I believe this is my first comment. Usually whatever I want to say has already been said. In this case also, but a vote seems required.

I guess that was a long way of saying, I would click through if the first few lines were compelling. But sadly, history dictates that the posts that go short lose my attention pretty quickly.

Jamey Stegmaier said...

I understand your reasoning, but I really hope you don't switch to a partial RSS feed. I rarely click through partial feeds unless partial paragraph really grabs me.

The Sasquatch said...

I read on GReader. Partial feeds don't bother me. My question for you is whether you're doing it to increase discussion on your blog. I'm not sure a partial feed will do that. At least, not for me. I tend to click through to the blogs I feel like posting on. Yours ... I haven't really felt like posting on recently. I can't say why, for sure. I can only say that partial feeds will not stop me from reading, but it also won't make me want to post more.

CMR Prindle said...

I actually read via iGoogle, and love that the whole post comes up when I click on the little expand feature. I wish all my modules did this, quiet honestly (io9 used to). That said, I completely understand your reasoning for moving to partial RSS feed. They're very good points. I don't know if it will make me comment more -- I already click through if I want to comment, but that might b/c I'm reading from iGoogle, or b/c I was introduced to the blog before the feed, I dunno.

So,yeah, basically I'm no help. Sorry, Nathan.

Amy said...

I read this blog on my Google Reader, and click through when I have something to say. That being said, Blogger's comment system is hit or miss for me. Half the time I will spend 10 minutes writing a thoughtful reply, and then Blogger won't allow me to post it, or the comment will disappear as I'm trying to publish it.

As long as your blog remains workplace safe, I don't mind clicking through to read your posts. There are no crass ads on your site, and I enjoy reading blogs at work.

Crystal said...

I read on google's reader and I prefer full feeds. On topics that really interest me (maybe five in a busy week out of at least 1000 a week), I will read through the comments, but rarely comment myself. This may be the third blog post I have commented on this year on either a blog I read through rss or one I visit directly.

For blogs that do switch to partial RSS, I use a tool like Wizard RSS to access the full feed in my reader.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I've never seen an issue with such one-sided feedback.

I've been a blogger (on kitten fostering) for the last four years. It's a lot of work, and I greatly appreciate our viewers. My RSS feeds are usually a headline and a single sentence. Their only purpose is to alert readers that a new entry exists. To see it, readers have to click through to the blog.

Part of the reason I've spent a few thousand hours blogging is to build a brand. That brand doesn't make money, but it does help attract potential adopters and experts who are willing to share their experiences and insights through the comments page. I wouldn't consider providing a full RSS feed. If that means I can't attract the readers who demand that, so be it. I'm not willing to give away three hours of my time (avg time spent on a blog entry, which includes photos, weights, captions) so someone else can save a few seconds of theirs.

I wonder how many of your readers who insist of having all of their content delivered to their Google-Reader-doorstep free of charge and distraction have ever invested sustained, significant effort in blogging themselves.

It seems to me that your readers are effectively telling you that they appreciate all of the effort you undertake, week after month after year, but they can't be bothered to spend a second or two clicking through to your blog.

And implicitly, if you won't provide a full RSS feed, don't worry, your readers have a limitless number of alternative content-providers that will. And their product is just as valuable as yours.

Kristen said...

I use Google Reader. If you switch to partial RSS, I will probably read less of the posts that are focused more on you and your books. However, I am sure I would still click through to the ones on publishing and writing.

The comment thing isn't an issue for me. I've been following your blog for a year or two at least, and I think I've only commented once or twice.

zarkia said...

That's a bit of a dilemma, all right. I prefer to read the entire post in Reader, but if you are having issues with people taking your posts, then do whatever you have to to stop it.

As for the commenting thing, could you add a link at the bottom of each post to the official comments and let people decide for themselves if they want to join the discussion here, or continue to discuss it in the community they are already part of.

As many others have said, my click-through on partial posts is also pretty non-existent. The snippet has to be pretty amazing to get my attention.

Tim VanSant Writes said...

I use Reader. I dislike truncated feeds. I don't always read comments even on blogs that I really like and I rarely leave comments on most of the blogs I read. And I completely agree that other sites should not be taking your content and making money on it.

But I suspect a truncated feed will do nothing to deter sites that misappropriate your posts. And frankly I really doubt that forcing people to click through to read the whole post will attract even better comments.

As much as it would irritate me though, now I kind of hope you try it [temporarily] because I'm curious about the results you get.

Jenna St. Hilaire said...

OK, I am a bad example, because I hardly ever comment. You run what is possibly my favorite publishing-industry blog, and I don't comment. I know. I suck.

I can try to do better. :) But of the handful of blogs in my Google Reader that use partial posts, most days I click through to only one. Chances are, you'd make the cut more often, but I'd also be making snap decisions based on title, first 50 words or whatever it is, how interested I am in the subject du jour, and how big of a hurry I'm in.

My impulsive suggestion: Don't do it! But I also don't know how big of a problem the full syndications are, so my judgment call is only based on half the facts. If anyone's doing that to my blog, I've never caught them at it.

Best of luck!

Mira, I believe blog content is copyrighted by virtue of being published, regardless of manner of publication. The internet is still the Wild Wild West as far as law enforcement goes, though. This has both pros and cons, but unfortunately, a lot of people do a lot of sketchy things that bloggers--who already volunteer immense amounts of time and effort into content generation--don't have the resources to contest.

C.L. Coons said...

I'm just adding to the list of - I only read blogs in Google Reader, and I am one of the people who don't click through on a partial post. I much prefer the full post. The whole point of me reading in an RSS reader is so that I don't have to run all over the internet to get the information I want. Making me take another step to get the information will just make me skip over it.

Celyn.A said...

Please please don't. Like many others I read via the RSS feed (in my case on the excellent Feeddler via Google Reader) and partial feeds annoy the hell out of me. I will click through sometimes but not always - and in any case I *know* that I can see comments, and comment myself if I like, by clicking "see more".

Anonymous said...

I always click through on truncated posts for all blogs in my Google Reader. The reason is simple: if a blog is in my Reader, I care about what its author has to say. You've already earned a place in my reader because of the quality of your content. Your blog and its quality will not be affected by this change; therefore, I will continue to read your blog--even if it involves an extra click.

Steve Masover said...

I've been reading your blog for about 2-1/2 years, Nathan, and I read in Google Reader. I click through when I want to read comments, or when I want to leave one. The few blogs I subscribe to that require me to click through to read the whole post face a much higher hurdle: I have to be pretty hooked to click through if all I get is a little taste up front.

My theory is that folks who follow few blogs, or who find their way to a post by searching on topical words or clicking through social media posts (FB, Twitter, etc.) expect (and don't mind) landing on a blogger's own web site. Those who follow a lot of blogs are probably less likely to keep up with full posts if they're not exposed in a full RSS feed.

But hey, it's just a theory...and I'd be interested in seeing the results of your experiment if you decide to go through with it!

Jaimie said...

"I really love your blog, and I care enough about it to say I WILL stop reading it."

Hannah Jenny said...

I'm torn. I'd probably read the entire post less often due to laziness, but, on the other hand, I definitely would read comments/comment more often on the posts I did read. Hmmm....

Anonymous said...

HATE partial posts. So annoying! Please do not switch!

Claudia said...

I would probably unsubscribe. I guess the question is - what's more important? The silent readers (like me) who would unsubscribe, or the extra people who would click through and comment?

I hope you decide it's the silent readers! But I won't blame you if you don't.

Ross Slater said...

Partial posts drive me crazy. If I want to participate in the Comments, then I'll do so. Mainly I'm subscribing to YOUR thoughts and it is much easier to read them in my email. Especially since I often read off-line when I'm travelling. So please keep the full feed.
Thanks!

Marla Warren said...

I say "Go for it!"

Nathan, your blog is worth the click through.(And I am not sucking up!)

Plus the comments really expand on the post because you frequently respond to the points readers have raised. It makes for a much richer experience.

As for those who will not click through to read the entire post, suit yourselves. But I think you'll be losing out.

Julia Munroe Martin said...

I have no problem with truncated, partial posts, and I almost always click through to the full post anyway (even if it's not a partial post) so I can see what a post looks like on the blog page.

Anonymous said...

For some reason I find your blog a little impenetrable. It took me some time to work out how to get to the comments, as it has in the past.By the time I want to make the effort again I'll have forgotten and the whole irritating process will resume.

I don't mind if it's a partial or the entire blog, but I do like Betsy Lerner's blog, which gives the complete post but has a very clear 'Comment' + 'See all comments' to click on each post to take you through if you're interested. I find this so simple and flexible.

Sarah Nicolas said...

Please, please, please don't do it. I read my subscriptions primarily on my phone and may click on one out of a hundred of your posts if you switch. And that's a big MAYBE because it is a huge inconvenience.

I like your posts a lot, but if you do this, you'll lose a reader in me.

Kristi Helvig said...

I always click through if the post title interests me, and I'm sure I'd click through for you. :)

AJMaguire said...

Personally, I like being able to read the whole thing without having to click anything. But it's your call. I'll still read, regardless, but that's because I'm kinda obsessive compulsive about finishing what I start.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is an interesting discussion . . . I have never heard of RSS feeds before (or if I had, I didn't know what they were!)
For what it's worth though - I love visiting your blog. I click on it everyday to see if you have written a new article, and I always read the comments too.

SK Figler said...

My answer is a definitive "I don't know." I think I read you on Google. Does "partial feed" refer to those that say "read more" in red or blue or green? I tend to click that when the topic interests me, not when it doesn't. As you can tell I'm digitally-challenged---the other meaning; my fingers and toes work fine---and sort of just get along in this new world.

So, do what you like. You're a good enough "read" to hunt you down, to the extent of my abilities.
---SK Figler (my blog: SKFigler.com)

Gehayi said...

I tend not to click through to truncated posts, and I bypass posts that I have to search for. If your posts didn't show up in my RSS feed among all the other posts I read, I probably wouldn't read them.

Abdullah Khan said...

Its OK

Abdullah Khan said...

Its OK!

Nancy Thompson said...

Not at all. Would I still get an email notification when you post? That's how I connect to your blog and make damn sure I never miss a post.

Adam Heine said...

I almost always click through, just cuz the blogs are almost always prettier than Google Reader (shoot, BLANK PAPER is prettier than Google Reader). So don't worry about me.

Other people getting ad money for your work, though, that kinda sucks. Maybe you could consider take-down requests OR some sort of link-to-the-comments/copyright notice/whatever as a footer of each blog post? Neither would solve things, but at least it would make things more clear.

You could also include a footer that was like: "Comment on this post at NathanBransford.com" or something more enticing.

Candice.Abraham said...

I read my blogs through Google Reader but I often click through to your blog anyways, Nathan. I like to also read the comments sometimes. It doesn't bother me, although it seems to bother a lot of other people. Still, if other people are making money off of your blog as a result I would understand why you want to take more control over your own content.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the click-through and have always appreciated that you don't do it. The two may be unrelated, but yours is my mainstay of blogs. If I look at nothing else when I connect, I check Nathan's blog.

Anonymous said...

I'd probably stop reading if you switch to partial RSS. With the full RSS feed now, I click through when I'm interested in reading the comments. I'd be annoyed at having to click through to read the full post.

Anna L. Walls said...

I subscribe by email. I'm not one to leave comments very often because I don't like to scroll through 100+ comments to find the 'post a comment' button. I mean, I envy you all your followers and that they comment - it's a time thing.

I subscribe to another blog where I get a partial and I'm sad to say there may have been some posts I might have been interested in only I didn't go there to find out.

Emy Shin said...

I rarely, if ever, click through partial RSS posts. Actually, I tend to skip them altogether, not even reading the title and teaser. It doesn't mean that if you (a general you) switch to partial feed, I will stop reading. However, it's just very likely I will be too lazy to click through.

I am a lot more likely to click through after reading the full post and finding myself moved to post a response (as with this post).

Anonymous said...

If you made the switch, I'd delete your feed and subscribe via email. Whatever works best for you – that's what you should do. You shouldn't need to make sacrifices for my convenience; rather, I should be able to find a workaround. You and your ideas are worth it!

Lauren B. said...

I guess I should add that I DO also visit the regular blog on my laptop when I want to read comments, which is often. But I use the RSS specifically for reading-while-commuting, in which case the partial feed would be useless.

Marti said...

I rarely comment any more (used to be a regular but time constraints with medical issues have kept me away). I have to agree with the majority here - I think it is a very bad idea and will lead to a massive readership loss.

It might bump up your page views to force readers to click through to your domain, if that is important to you, but I would hope your goal would be to have people read you, in whatever format they choose, and it seems many here have chosen Google reader and have admitted they would no longer BE readers if you switched.

I understand it is your blog and your decision. But I would request you not do it.

Debra H. said...

I read your blog in email, but only those posts that are pertinent to my interests. I generally decide whether to read all the blogs I'm subscribed to based on the email subject line and, maybe, the first few lines.

SmittenKitchen.com switched to partial posts over a year ago. If I'm interested in her post I always click through.

It's unethical for others regularly to post your blog for their own profit, even if they acknowledge you as the writer. You need to protect your interests.

Ed said...

Like some others,I use Google Reader, but if a post interests me, I click through to your website anyway, so it wouldn't make a lick of difference.

Carla Marvin said...

Well, I read the blog in a variety of ways, and it wouldn't bother me at all to see only partial posts in the RSS feed, because reading only a bit of something almost always makes me want to read the rest. I know some people who only read headlines (or titles) and if they aren't drawn in by that, then they don't read the rest of the post anyway. So I think that as long as the first parts of the posts are enough to catch readers' attention, it should pique their curiosity enough to have them click through---minus of course, those who aren't allowed to do so .

Graeme Ing said...

Holy cow, what a huge response, but then it is a great question. I've been pondering the same decision, for the exact same reason of community comments. I don't really care about the traffic per se.

Like many people, I do NOT click through on partials. I'm in an RSS reader for a reason.

There's also a reasoning behind why people find partials less attractive. The human eye tends to grok the whole page at once and glean a certain amount of interest from several paragraphs in, or headlines further down the page. You don't get this attraction with a partial.

Please post your decision and perhaps a summary of the response?

Mystery Robin said...

Well, I almost never click through on partials. Given your post, I can see why you might want to go that way. Right now, I read every post of yours. I would probably read fewer if I had to click, but would look at the ones that sounded especially interesting. I know a click isn't hard... it's just how it usually goes in my google reader. :)

Leanne Bridges said...

DO IT! If it works for you, do it. I am grateful that you spend your time giving out such great advice.
Have a great day, Nathan.

Anonymous said...

I would ask, why do you want "better" comments? I read via Google Reader on a smartphone, and today I think I'm at least 124th or so in the comments. I click through to the comments on blog posts that interest me (yours and others), but rarely make comments myself. If you switch to partial feed, it will feel like your goal is to get page clicks, not to disseminate useful information.

You got me to comment today, but it took a lot of effort on my part, between waiting for the page to load on my phone, clicking many times to scroll through the 100+ comments already here, and then Swype my way laboriously over my keypad. Forget about editing! And since I'm not really saying anything new, I can't help wondering if you'll even read this among so many others? Since I can't see subscribing to hundreds of follow up comments, I'll probably never know.

Have I spent more time on your page tonight than I usually do? Yes, so if that's your goal you succeeded. Once. Will I go through all this trouble again? Not any time soon, if ever. Why should I, when so many others will invent that wheel already, before I get here. If you want people to READ your posts, please don't make it harder to do so. If you want people to VISIT your blog, find some other way to distinguish yourself so we want to. And if you aren't happy with the quality of comments/discussion from your READERS, I'm pretty sure alienating so many of them (myself included) won't improve matters.

ETA: I spent close to 30 mins typing the above, and when I tried to publish using my WP login, your website took me to a page saying I had to login first - with no login link. When I hit back, all my hard work was deleted. Luckily, I've been in similar situations and copied the text before I hit submit. But it's another reason I rarely comment, and won't do it more, just to make you happier. Oh, and it's taken me another FIVE minutes just to Swype this paragraph. No lie - I timed it. Sign me, Disgruntled-Possibly-Former-Avid-Reader. (8 mins now...)

seo in arizona said...

Well if you think that this could help you even more. Then might as well do it, my Scottsdale SEO team is currently doing a test regarding RSS feeds and so far we are hoping for great results. Thanks for sharing!

Karen Prince said...

When your latest post pops up in my email, I go "oh goody, a post from Nathan."... and I would read the whole thing even if I had to strain myself for that one extra click. Just a thought though, even if people are posting your blog willy nilly and making a profit off it, surely at least some of the people reading those posts would become dedicated fans and followers of your genuine posts. One of them might just be the one who convinces everyone to read your book.

J.C. Martin said...

I receive your posts in my e-mail, and quite like being able to read the whole post in my inbox. If I end up receiving partial posts by e-mail, I'll still read your posts, but perhaps not every single one.

River Byrnes said...

I have been mostly a silent reader for many a year now. I subscribe via email and click through to the original post all the time. It makes for much easier reading, gives me those lovely pictures and yes, I do also read a lot of the comments, I find them very interesting and I learn a lot from them also.
I think your blog is absolutely brilliant and well worth the extra little bit of effort - there sounds to be a lot of laziness involved in people's reactions, though I suspect that having to click through means needing a better connection to the internet while on the go (someone mentioned 4G - we don't even get 3G here...).

wendy said...

A partial feed wouldn't deter me from coming here, Nathan. This is my favourite blog. I receive updates via email, btw.

jongibbs said...

Partial feed = "Next!"

I don't know why, but partial feeds always make me feel like the writer's trying to manipulate me somehow.

Nadia Lee said...

I unsub if RSS feeds I subscribe to switch to partial & stop reading those blogs. I just don't have the time to go to every blog or read every discussion.

gordonzola.net said...

I absolutely prefer the full feed. It's about readability. Even if I intend otherwise, I also find myself reading the full feeds more often than clicking through the partials. I have noticed this in my habits when people have made this switch. I'll be all, "Hey, how come bloggerX never posts anymore?" and then realize I just hadn't clicked through in months.

Carol Newman Cronin said...

Go for it.

I get your posts through Feed My Inbox since I never check Google reader anymore. I might not read quite as many of your posts in full, but you'll regain some control of your content which is important.

midnightblooms said...

I read on Google Reader. I much prefer full posts and will usually skip any partials unless they grab my attention. I just don't have time to visit individual sites to read posts. That's why I use a reader.

I won't unsub if you go to partial feeds, and I completely understand your desire to have a bit more control your content, but I almost never read or comment on partial feeds.

M.R. Anglin said...

No partials, please. Clicking through to the real sites slows my computer down considerably, so I don't do it often.

Mieke Zamora-Mackay/@MZMackay said...

Personally, I prefer the full posts on my reader. I understand your issues with keeping your current set up, and I admit, I have missed changes to some blogs (like site re-design, etc) unless the blogger specifically posts that they've made changes.

For you, I would be fine with partial feed, because, I would click through to read your full post. There are some bloggers that I wouldn't do that for though.

I'll be fine either way you go.

Connie B. Dowell said...

I use Google Reader and I wouldn't mind partial posts. I usually look through only the beginning of posts on Google Reader and then, if I'm interested, click through regardless of whether the whole post is available on RSS feed. I do so for the exact reason you mentioned: the comment discussion. If I'm interested enough to read a whole post, I'd like at least to skim through the first comments, maybe to contribute to the discussion myself.

John Waverly said...

I've heard Mur Lafferty talk about the Red Line of Death: the point in a submitted story where an editor stops reading and thinks, "Next".

This is how I read blog posts, often I will read until I reach the red line of death, then go to the next one. Sometimes this is the first sentence or two, often it's in the first three or four paragraphs.

Just know, that for partial feeds you are providing your own, potential, red line of death. If I'm not hooked before the cut, I'm onto the next blog. It's easier and faster to hit Next than it is to open up the full content. You won't get the he-usually-has-good-stuff-so-I'll-give-him-another-paragraph-or-two reaction anymore.

That being said, I enjoy your content today and I'm completely confident in your writing ability to hook me in the first few sentences. You already do it fairly often, and being forced to practice that skill will make the blog better overall.

Margie said...

For you, I'd click through.

Sharon Lynn Fisher said...

I know I will be less likely to read the whole post if I have to click through. It's just a time thing. I think you will end up putting some pressure on yourself to always make that first paragraph very sexy!

Daniel McNeet said...

Nathan,

I will be pleased to participate in your experiment.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I read in Google reader and would honestly likely unsubscribe if you switched to partial rss feeds. Like an earlier poster said I find truncated feeds disrupting ...

Misha Gericke said...

I must say that, given the amount of blogs in my feeder, I'd skip over yours if it was truncated.

The only blogs I actually always click through to are those whose authors comment on mine.

When I have time after that, I scan through posts in the reader before I click through.

Anonymous said...

Much as others have said above, I use Google Reader to save time. Even then, it's tough to read all the blogs I follow (and I don't even follow that many!). It would be easiest and most efficient for me as a reader to keep it as it is, BUT if this isn't what's best for you (and it really sounds like it isn't!) then I think you should do what IS best for you. Other people shouldn't be making money on your hard work (IMO).

Maybe you need to step back and think about your honest reasons for writing the blog (when you were an agent, it seemed to me to be a way to give back (or just give!) to the writer community, now that you're at CNet, it seems to have switched a bit to more of a community-based place to chat...or maybe I'm getting that wrong) and then make your decision from there.

bethchristopher.com said...

It wouldn't bother me a lick. If I'm not drawn in by the subject and first paragraph or so, I don't read the blog. (Yours is the exception, of course!) I'm not on Google Reader, however.

fakesteph said...

I'm not a regular commenter, but I am a regular reader. Because I've been reading your blog for years now, I *may* click through sometimes in a partial RSS feed, but right now, I don't click through for anybody.

ginnad said...

Well, I use Google Reader, and don't like partial feeds. But I'm surprised by all the people who say they would unsubscribe.

There are extensions etc. that fix that! I use Super Full Feeds for Chrome, but there are dozens of these.

Problem solved! If any of the blogs I follow switch to partial feeds, I adjust my super settings accordingly. If you do switch to partial to avoid scrapes, you could direct your 'real' readers to such extensions.

(Not an ad for Super Feeds or anything. As I said, I'm sure there are dozens of alternatives.)

Two Flights Down said...

I use Google Reader and love that your blog contains the full post. However, I do like your blog enough to click through, and I hate when people make money off of other's hard work, so I say go for. Seems like a harmless experiment, anyway. I don't usually comment, though, because I feel like my comment gets lost here rather than contributes to the discussion.

Two Flights Down said...

I use Google Reader and love that your blog contains the full post. However, I do like your blog enough to click through, and I hate when people make money off of other's hard work, so I say go for. Seems like a harmless experiment, anyway. I don't usually comment, though, because I feel like my comment gets lost here rather than contributes to the discussion.

Two Flights Down said...

I use Google Reader and love that your blog contains the full post. However, I do like your blog enough to click through, and I hate when people make money off of other's hard work, so I say go for. Seems like a harmless experiment, anyway. I don't usually comment, though, because I feel like my comment gets lost here rather than contributes to the discussion.

Anonymous said...

Well I do use an RSS reader, and I don't mind saying that it would be irksome if you switched to partial posts. But the truth is I wouldn't be irked enough to not click through to your posts. I like the blog and your style, so you wouldn't lose my readership.

In short: I don't mind if you feel partial posts will be better for your blog.

-Steven

Anonymous said...

And P.S. to the above: I clicked through to leave this comment. :)

-Steven

Jaimie said...

Also... if you like the discussion here, maybe you should start allowing nested comments? I know I comment more on sites with nested comments.

G. B. Miller said...

I actually don't mind if you do short or long.

I subscribe to blogs that have both, and while I enjoy reading the full post in my reader, I also enjoy clicking through to read the entire post.

Plus I find that when I click through, the blog in question has done a small tweak to the layout when causes me to explore the overall blog just a little bit further.

I do a partial on mine, and it seen to bother anyone else.

some chick said...

I use Reeder, and hate it when sites use partials. I generally won't click - that's part of the point of using Reeder.

Please don't truncate!

Anonymous said...

I read in RSS Owl. My click through rate on partials is extremely low--i like getting the whole post in one place and I save them for future reference. Even clicking through now to leave a comment is rare for me but I thought you asked an important question. A post really has to grab me/offer new info in the first line for me to click through; and most don't do that. I probably would rarely click through on a partial if you were to switch. However, with a full post I can skim and read deeper if it is of interest.

Diana Hunter said...

I like the full feed. I get the meat of the topic (your thoughts) and if I want the rest of the meal, I have the option to click through and join in the conversation (as I've done here!). Works for me!

Jacqueline said...

I read on Google Reader and like to read the entire post there.

I tend to bypass entries that are partial feeds. It's a rare occasion (for example, if you post a poll or something like this I wish to comment on) when I click through.

Also, when at work, I can view the feed, but I won't click through to the page. I'll most likely end up skipping them, though I have been known to send myself the link to click later.

I'd prefer if you left it as-is.

jeffreyricker said...

I read your blog on my phone, and I probably wouldn't click through very often. But, I can understand the motivation. I also don't comment very frequently, so the people who don't click through may not be contributing as much to the dialogue you're trying to promote, so you may not mIss those readers

Homayoon said...

I read your posts on my iPad, in flipboard, through google reader subscriptions. A click through for me would be a click, a read and a swish to go back. Although not too difficult, I generally don't do that! People are lazy and I'm no exception!

Chris said...

Maybe a compromise?

In a recent blog post, David Airey talks about how he adds specific content to his posts only when read through rss or email.

So maybe something along the lines of "Join us in the comments here." at the end of the post with a link to the comments section of the post.

David's post is here: http://www.davidairey.com/wordpress-feed-specific-content/

andi said...

I subscribe through email.. So, if the partial feed is interesting enough, I *may* click on the link. If not, no. To be honest, partials get the dump the quickest.

Julie said...

I've been reading you for years. Since before I knew what an RSS was. No matter how much I like a writer, I can tell you from experience that as soon as a blogger goes to partial feeds, I stop reading. It is too distracting to exit (google reader, mostly flipboard these days). Believe it or not, if the content piques my interest, I click through to read the comments anyway. It strikes me as a little presumptuous to try to force your readers into the comments.

Regardless, it's yours... Do what makes you feel good.

Carin Siegfried said...

I do not like he partial feeds. It's highly unusual that I click through to read one, instead, I just miss all the content. I hate it when a blog I otherwise like has a partial feed and sometimes I even stop following because it's just frustrating.

Ravens said...

Full feeds for me. I read in Google Reader, and don't often click thru partial feeds.

The Seasick Mermaid said...

NOOOoooo to the partial feed! I rarely click through truncated posts and would miss so much more of your blog. I suggest that if you want to bring great discussions to readers' attention(s?), write a post summarizing or tantalizing. I'm more likely to click through to the original for that.

Naithin said...

Oh goodness, please do not propagate the evil that is a truncated feed. There are a couple of blog exceptions that I keep in my feed reader which are truncated, but I have to admit that I rarely read them compared to the non-truncated majority.

I admit I hardly ever comment, but I do read quite avidly.

There are ways and means around the issues you're having though, such as having a copyright banner appended to the end of your posts in RSS feed format.

If those become too easily circumvented by the *ahem* 'syndicated' posting sites, then perhaps would need to revisit the partial feed plan if it bothers you that much... But... That would indeed be a fairly terrible day.

Carole Gaudet said...

I read you on a Mac RSS, and to have to click through to the full post would mean a couple of clicks. Kind of frustrating. But I've gotten to know and appreciate your content, so I'd probably do it. I also really appreciate your reasons for wanting to try partial posts (someone else making money off your content...that would piss me off.) As a blogger myself, I understand. Good luck whatever you decide.

Anonymous said...

I read in Google Reader while I'm reading all my feeds, all in one day, weekly. It would annoy the heck out of me and I might unsubscribe. I don't have time to click through and wait for the page to load and then find out I'm not interested. Sorry.

letmewritethat said...

I use Google Reader. Partial RSS feeds are a little annoying. I skip individual blog posts on partial RSS unless the headline sounds highly useful. However, I've never unsubscribed from a blog feed because of it.

Selene said...

I also follow this blog using Google Reader.

I find that I tend to read much fewer posts on blogs that use a truncated feed--when there's the whole post, I at least tend to scan it as I scroll down, stopping if I hit on something interesting.

If there's something especially interesting, I click through to the blog to read comments, but frankly I mostly don't have the time or inclination to read them.

If the blog post is really, really, REALLY interesting, I'll add the comment feed to Google Reader so I can follow it further though.

Anonymous said...

I exclusively read your blog on my phone when it gets emailed to me. It's such a little thing to have to click through to the site, but it's not terribly convenient when on the go. It's unlikely I would stay subscribed to your email feed if posts were truncated.

London Crockett said...

I wouldn't unsubscribe, but I'd be unhappy. For me, an RSS reader is about scanning—before I devote to reading an entire post, I give it a quick scan to see if it's something I want to read. Four line previews just aren't enough for me to know.

As the writer, Nathan, I can see a downside for you, too: you'll be pressured to make your headline and first few sentences take on additional reader-grabbing duties. Thee are a lot of sites that work on that model, but are they the ones that you love? They aren't the ones I love.

Tami Veldura said...

I need to join the chorus that says no! I read through google reader and I do follow what you have to say, but like another commenter, it's with great time and effort that I make this post now. I read on my phone and it is simply not worth the struggle to load an entire website.

Futhermore, it is very difficult for me to comment via the phone- my keyboard does not play nice with web-based textboxes.

Make me click through and I will unsubscribe. Sorry.

Alan said...

I use Google Reader and would not mind the partial posts, but agree with others who have said you will need to focus on each post having a strong enough ough hook to make me want to click through. I click through on fewer than 5% of partial posts.

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