What do you think of partial vs. full-text RSS feeds?

I don't find partial RSS feeds very useful and generally give preference to full-text when subscribing to new websites in Google Reader.

Dave Winer, the RSS protocol inventor, has an alternative point of view:

"I like abbreviated RSS feeds. I prefer if publishers include thoughtfully written synopses in their feeds, with links to the full articles.

The reason I prefer this is that I am probably one of the few people to use River of News approach to feed reading, which imho is the only rational way to read feeds.

I skim. I don't need the full text of each article, in fact I was so annoyed by feeds that publish full text that I made my aggregator truncate the articles at 500 characters.

BTW, everyone reads a River of News these days. It's called Twitter."

Blog Cartoon: Too Many RSS Feeds to Read. Creative Commons license.

Comments from Google Buzz:

Vamsi Balakrishnan - I prefer full text RSS feeds. Why would I want to navigate to an extra page to read an article? I dislike feeds for google reader that are always shortened...I have to set up a yahoo pipes thingy or find one that's preformed to make a good RSS feed that I can follow to get the full article.

Also, isn't the title supposed to be a good summary of an article?

Clinton Pong - I dislike truncated blogs on RSS. Some of them are hard to read if you navigate to the main page on a mobile device so I end up never getting to read something that I really enjoy!

I hate journal articles even more. Some of their RSS feeds don't even give you the full abstract -- and navigating to the same page after hunting down a reference through a school portal can be a real pain.

1 comment:

  1. It is annoying that journal publishers don't standardise the content of their RSS Table of Contents feeds, because this makes those RSS feeds less useful. However, journal RSS TOC feeds still have great potential. CrossRef published: Recommendations on RSS Feeds for Scholarly Publishers http://oxford.crossref.org/best_practice/rss/

    There is also: RSS and scholarly journal tables of contents: the ticTOCs project, and good practice guidelines for publishers
    Lisa Rogers, FUMSI Magazine, October 2008 [online] URL: http://web.fumsi.com/go/article/share/3356