The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury
The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury

Excerpts and why they fail

20121022-090201.jpgI read blogs, and news sites, either on my Mac, or my iPhone; but on both of these devices I use an RSS reader (linked to my Google Reader account), on my Mac I using Reeder and here (this post is being written on my iPhone) on my iPhone also using Reeder. (On the iPad b0atg1rl uses Reeder too, on her Android phone she uses gReader Pro).

This app on both the iPhone and iPad caches the content of the content of the RSS feed, and all associated pictures when it does a refresh (so over mobile broadband it does grab rubbish quality images) however your free to read the articles inside the signal killing metal box that’s your home, the train, or underground, without doing the signal dance.

A number of blogs I follow have only published an Excerpt on their RSS feed, (the above example is nbEpiphany) which means that rather than being able to read their blog in my reader (note the lack of random visual distractions on my tiny screen) I have to hope I have signal and click out to see the entire article, mark as unread and try later, or just skip over the post entirely.

I can think of three possible reasons for publishing an excerpt only RSS feed

  1. you didn’t know there was another way
  2. you fear loosing analytics, or advertising, and don’t know who reads your blog
  3. preventing copyright infringement

(If you can think of more please feed my comments section)

As for the three above there should be ways around them for most people. If you subscribe to my RSS feed you will have spotted that its the full article, plus my UKWRS button (could be a banner ad if my site was advert supported) a copyright note, as well as 5 other posts that WordPress thinks may be of interest.

If you’re currently with, blogger or another service and want to go self hosted but don’t know how, or don’t want the hassle of managing a server will give you a semi-managed WordPress blog, four email addresses, and one domain name for £3 pcm.

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