RSS–Full Feeds or Partial Feeds (Again)

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I was about 80% finished with this post…had about 300 words or so written. It was the same old post you’ve read over and over about whether or not you should provide full feeds or partial feeds. I even had a twist thrown in that related directly to journalists. My thesis was going to be that the superior writing good journalists can provide is reasonable case for partial feeds, which is something I never thought I’d say.

Then I took a peek at the stats for our web traffic here, and I had another idea.

newstechzilla_trafficAs you can see, we’ve been extremely fortunate in these first couple of weeks to get links from Instapundit (, and that’s the number one source of visitors to the site so far. It was quite interesting to me to find that Twitter is our number two source of traffic to the site. And I started thinking about the ways that Twitter resembles a partial feed.

Setting up your site to post to Twitter every time you publish is almost the same as providing a partial feed with one huge bonus–it’s instant! The people who are on Twitter when you publish and are following you want to pay attention to you at that moment. They don’t feel as though you’re trying to trick them into visiting your site. In fact the very reason they are following you is because they want you to tell them immediately when you’ve published something new so they’ll know when to visit the site.

It’s permission marketing at its finest!

So, by all means, continue to give full content in your feeds. You have nothing to lose. And don’t miss out on the great opportunity to use Twitter as a pseudo-partial feed service.

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  1. Ron said January 15, 2009 | Permalink

    Also, don’t forget that when the time comes, you can insert AdSense ads into your full feed via Feedburner. I know some sites that don’t publish the full feed due to lack of incoming page impressions, and it always seems kind of chicken/irritating to me.

  2. Doug said January 16, 2009 | Permalink

    I use Bloglines as my RSS reader. I’ve noticed lately that every site that uses feedburner doesn’t work. I click on a topic in Bloglines, things churn for a while, then everything times out. It’s not just your site, it’s every feedburner site! Is it just me, or….

  3. sadcox said January 16, 2009 | Permalink

    I’m VERY irritated by partial feeds as well. It takes a really good writer for me to be willing to accept that in most cases. I have to KNOW I’m going to read something good by clicking through. I’ve noticed a lot of newspapers only give partial feeds though, and it seems like they write articles that tease up until the cutoff. Is it just me?

    As far as ads in the feed go…I’m generally against it personally. I like the idea of rewarding people who read through the feed for their loyalty, so no ads. I don’t fault anyone for doing it though–they’re usually relevant and seldom annoying or cumbersome.

    I know they’ve had issues with this in the past (on FeedBurner’s end), but I couldn’t find anything recent. When did this start?

  4. Doug said January 16, 2009 | Permalink

    It started several weeks ago and has been consistent since then. I’m wondering if it could be a firewall issue on my computer – I just tried it on my wife’s machine and everything is fine. It’s apparently specific to this laptop.


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