Scoble Nails It: Why Full Text Feeds Are GOOD

Not only does Scoble do a fantastic job of describing why full text feeds are good for everyone, including pro/commercial bloggers but he also nails Duncan for slapping Steve Rubel about over his views on RSS which is quite amusing in itself. Much as I’m loathe to break the habit of a lifetime and agree with Steve on anything, I have to say that him and Scoble are bang on the money, and Duncans views are just wrong, wrong, wrong.

Duncan Said:

How bout then RSS advertising actually pays out Steve? The reality is RSS advertising sucks (sorry to my friends at Pheedo who are trying very hard to make it work, and continue to get better at it). I’m yet to find anyone who is making decent money from RSS advertising, particularly compared to traditional on site advertising (both CPC and CPM). Firms like Weblogs Inc can offer full feeds with RSS advertising only because they’€™ve got enough revenue coming of the main blogs themselves.


In another note Steve, I’€™m starting to worry about you, you are starting to sound more like Scoble every day, please don’€™t join the everything for free and damn the money crowd, some of us are trying to blog for a living.

To which Scoble went completely off on one, in the nicest possible way of course, but a slaps a slap, and as far as they go, this was pretty interesting, because what came out of it was a fantastic post on why FULL rss feeds really work for both those of us making ad $$$’s on regular web pages and readers. Its a long post, and I suggest you read all of it, but here’s a little snippet to whet your appetite:

So, how does anyone make any money?

Well, let’€™s stay in TODAY’€™S world. In today’€™s world you get journalists, geeks, bloggers, connectors, to read your content and link to it. That’€™ll bring a larger audience to visit your Web page. How do you do that? Serve out full-text RSS. Why? Cause by doing that you treat the connector with the most possible respect and give him/her the easiest way to consume your content and link to it.

I tend to view the full text vs we want to make money debate a little like the p2p vs record industry debacle. It’s been proven, i think, that p2p users buy more records. And in the same vein, having more link friendly bloggers read your work, weather it be on your blog or in a news reader, the more your influence spreads, and the more links you get, and……. the better rankings, page views and ad clicks you get as a result.

12 thoughts on “Scoble Nails It: Why Full Text Feeds Are GOOD

  1. Full text feeds keep your readers at the aggregrator site and not on your website whatsoever. Worse yet, the bottom feeding scraping aggregators rank in the search engines for your content ahead of you and further beat you down into the basement of blogville.

    I started out with full text and switched to partial text a couple of months ago and my traffic started to soar after that switch to get people out of the news aggregator sites.

    Sorry, but I think the Scobelizer is smoking crack on this one.

  2. so the pure feed will never satisfy me. It’s only a kind of tool to aggregate feeds.

    As always just my 2c …

  3. I keep meaning to go full feed on my drupal-based dslr blog but I have been too lazy to investigate how nick did it on performancing. When I start embedding affiliate links I will have more of an incentive, right now I have a million and one other things I want to fix first, heh. As a reader I don’t mind either way, what I do really dislike is feeds where you get a title or a single line, what good is that?

  4. Actually, if ordinary joe starts using rss, then THAT is when rss advertising will be a viable option.

    Right now, people that read rss dont click ads anyway, but they DO link. And links make rankings, and rankings is where ordinary joe will often find you, and ordinary joe DOES click ads.

    When i went to full text in my old site, the page views dipped a little, the rss subs went up quite a lot, the amount of links i got went up a lot also, and guess what? The ad clicks went up aswell.

    I also started getting linked from newspapers, larger blogs, industry sites and all kinds of things.

    I dont really care much how everyone does it, im not as bothered as Scoble is, but for me its a no brainer — better readership from those that link = good.


  5. Until the main stream, average joe user learns and uses RSS on a regular basis then all this whole debate is probably worthless because those are the people who buy products from your affiliate links. People like us who are into blogging and RSS most likely buy from their own affiliate links and will not click on your adsense.
    (also are not likely impulse buyers)

    What this says to me:

    Full feeds are fine, just don’t plan on making money from it. You also lose the ad impressions if you are running any type of CPM model.

    Half feeds will be the way to go if your mom and dad start using RSS (not likely) this will then force them to click through and hopefully click one of your exit links.

    I don’t think there is a definitive answer one way or another maybe 3/4 feeds? j/k


  6. Well, I’m convinced to try full text again. To be honest, my RSS readership went up quite a bit after being Kottke’ed about a year ago (a timely xmlHTTP related link that saw a few hits a minute, +/-, for about 15 hours), and I buy into that “give [the connector] the easiest way to consume your content and link to it” idea…

    I switched to excerpts after the Kottke’ing, and several people have written in since or commented about their dissatisfaction with that decision. Lets see if anyone complains after I switch back…

  7. Oh and while I’m ranting, Scoble’s contention that not giving readers a full-text feed is somehow treating them badly is silly. My web page would presumably have further “useful” information that wouldn’t display in the full-text feed. If it did, then it essentially starts to become a sequence of mini-web pages.

    By the way, I switch back and forth between RSS reader and web page to view Performancing. But when I’m in a reader – I’ve tried several – I can’t stand the way articles look. So I click through to the actual page, which let’s me also see comments made. But understand that it’s not the full-text per se driving me back to the site. If the visuals were less unnerving, I may not come back to the site.

  8. On one hand, we have bloggers worrying about having their full-text feeds scraped, and on the other we have those people who will not read a partial text feed.

    I say that if you never want anyone to visit your site again, go for full-text feeds. Why would you go to the site if everything you want is in the feed? In which case, why bother putting up a site?

    Scoble says:

    Journalists are like me. They sift through lots of information looking for the gems for their readers. That’s how they build audiences. RSS lets people read about 10 times the amount of content than if you just use a Web browser.

    What? The main reason I prefer subscribing to partial text feeds is so that I can do exactly what Scoble is saying above. How exactly do you scan lots of info if you have to wade through full-text feeds? Full-text defeats the purpose.

    Scoble also talks about $60/click Google ads. While they exist, they are for pretty niche topics, which, I hazard a guess, most bloggers aren’t writing about.

    On the other hand, maybe someone will prove me wrong and become the Darren Rowse of RSS full-text feeds, in terms of ad revenue, and still manage not to get scraped (possibly by newspapers).

  9. I agree in total.
    People tend to visit my blog’s feed more than my blog itself. Apparently the feed burnt by Feedburner seems to have a better layout than the blog itself.
    So it seems like they want to read content more than anything else.

    Revenue should automatically come in primarily through the site, not through the feed.
    A lot of people dont even know how to use a feed, so where’s the question of getting revenue from them. And the ones who subscribe to the feed do so to avoid everything else that is unimportant in the site.

  10. Absolutely agree, Nick. The easier you make it for people to get whatever it is they’re looking for, the more they’re going to like you and hang around. Revenue will always find a way.

  11. First, Duncan was right, RSS ads DON’T pay (as Steve seemed to think). Second, Scoble’s contention that somehow his linking to someone is going to send 10,000 READERS to that person is totally off. Most Scobleizer links won’t break 1000 visitors. And few of those will stay around, and even less will become actual readers.

    It’s not that full text feeds are bad. However, the irony of Scoble’s little “I dont’ read anything that ain’t full text” rant … Is that the Blog Herald only does partial text feeds 😉

  12. I wholeheartedly agree, and well-done to Scobe for explaining it so well. Another point that he didn’t mention, one of my sources of revenue is affiliate linking, and publishing full-text RSS feeds is absolutely perfect for that. People can decide to buy something straight out of their RSS reader, and I still get that commission. I don’t even mind others scraping my feeds (as long as they link!), as they’re giving me free publicity and the commission.

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