RSS

Are Full Text RSS Feeds Viable for Pro Bloggers?

Inspired by Philipp’s comments on why he does not publish full rss feeds, I thought it might be time to talk about whether we feel it’s a good or bad thing to supply full text RSS.

I can see more reasons not to than for, at least for bloggers that make a living from their blogs’ advertising, slowly but surely though, it’s becoming more acceptable to monetize web feeds.

First, Take the Poll

Go on, register and tell us if you’re a full feeder or not. — bear in mind that the poll results will be more useful if only those making money on their blogs vote on it.

Can Feeds be Monetized?

Well, we have several ways to actually monetize feeds, but so far i’ve heard that all of them are universally poor, with the exception of YPN for feeds, as that’s only just been released to beta publishers.

Adsense for feeds gets dreadful reviews from those i’ve spoken to, and it’s hard to have any confidence at all in FeedBurner as twice now they’ve told me that someone will contact me about feed advertising, and twice noone has even bothered to send me an email.

The Problems

Philipp outlined the main issues very nicely here

  • Spam blogs scrape my RSS content anyway. I don’t want to give them all of it.
  • Statistics! I want to know how many people read my posts. Not the only feedback, but an important part of the overall feedback.
  • My sponsors. I want to give sponsors I’m showing in my blog a chance to be seen by readers. Of course, an alternative is to advertise within the RSS…

And I can think of a couple more to add to that:

  • Reader backlash, fall in feed circulation
  • Far less control over placement
  • At least one reader already blocks ads in RSS

Looking to the Future

Im not going to list the plus points, mostly because i don’t beleive there really are any right now, not worth noting anyway. But as RSS adoption inevitably, but slowly rises, I think we’ll begin to see more sophisticated mechanisms for putting ads in feeds evolve, and with that, greater revenue.

What we really need to make full feeds funded by ads viable, is for someone to come along and do for feeds what Adwords did for Search results. And no, I dont think adsense in feeds is the answer. Possibly something like IntelliTXT for feeds?

Please register and vote in the poll then come back to this thread and tell us your thoughts on full text RSS feeds.

Author: nickw