Wow, I’m sensing another TechMeme Storm rising (and a certain analyst would call it a circle j***, but that’s another matter). Robert Scoble says he was wrong when he said In 2006 he wouldn’t use any news aggregator or feeds that aren’t full text.
I think the Scobleizer is wrong now that he says he was wrong. 🙂
His key argument is that his reading habits changed, he relies a lot more on Twitter, which is short form, uses the iPhone which is not that convenient for lengthy text, and Google Reader has become bloated and slow.
All true. But let the user / reader chose: even sadly slow and bloated Google Reader offers the choice of reading full text or scanning just the headlines. It’s a simple switch, there is no need to cut off the source. I don’t read all my feeds A to Z, like Robert, I do a lot of quick scanning. But I find it extremely frustrating to have to click through to a site, sometimes wait looong (we’re all guilty of having too many widgets and plugins that slow down page load) only to find out it wasn’t worth the wait. So I tend to skip partial feeds, and guess what happens to less read items? They get dropped from Google Reader…
From the content author’s point of view, I understand the need to bring traffic to ad-supported sites, and that’s about the only exception when providing partial feed makes sense (but even than, please remember to send enough to entice me to click through). But for many others, perhaps for the majority of blogs I follow: it’s a distributed world. If you want your views to matter, you need to be heard / read via whatever distribution channel you can reach, and that means providing full feed.
3 weeks ago I switched another group aggregation blog that I am editing, the Enterprise Irregulars to WordPress and along with that finally was able to offer full feed. Our feed subscriber base doubled and on-site page views tripled. Yes, pageviews tripled despite the fact that we are “giving away” content. Translation: we’ve became more visible, accessible, and it works.