Another tip from Leave It Behind’s Building a Better Blog is to ‘Syndicate your Entire Post‘. Brian writes:
‘Again, in the never-ending effort to ensure happy readers, be sure to syndicate (i.e. send) your entire post through RSS. I follow over 75 weblogs (which is probably a low number on average). With the amount of time it takes to keep up with the constant stream of information, it is a great benefit to be able to read each post in its entirety without a separate trip to the browser. I know it is especially tempting for businesses to try to drive traffic to their site by forcing readers to visit the website in order to read the full article, but inevitably I end up unsubscribing from those sources instead.’
I thought this would make an interesting discussion. what are the benefits and costs of syndicating full posts? Do you?
Whilst Brian gets frustrated with only excerpts making it to RSS feeds I actually get frustrated with full posts. I use Bloglines and like to be able to see as many headings and excerpts on a page as possible. I track over 300 feeds and find myself skimming over and even removing feeds that are too long. I guess it depends how long your articles are – but is there a risk in frustrating your readers by publishing full posts in your RSS feed?
Are there other possible costs/risks in publishing your full RSS feed? Here are a few that come to mind:
– As Brian observes in the above quote – do you risk having readers never come to your blog? I guess it again depends upon your motivation for blogging. If you are writing purely to inform your readers than this doesn’t matter – but if you’re trying to monetize your blog it may be more beneficial to drive traffic to it as income streams from RSS are yet to really pay off in my experience.
– Do you run the risk of having your content hijacked? Over the past couple of months I’ve noticed more and more sites popping up that use the RSS feeds of blogs as their own content. It is pretty easy to do and something that concerns me on some levels. One of the ways of protecting yourself from this type of content hijacking is to limit your RSS feed to an excerpt. I have a feeling that whilst there are only a few sites using RSS for their own content at the moment that it will be an increasing issue for bloggers in the future.
What are your thoughts on publishing an RSS feed? Do you publish full posts or just extracts? What is your reasoning for doing so.