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Full Feeds are Better

Jonathan Bailey has written a great article on why full RSS feeds are better than partial feeds, and I totally agree with him. I have removed all my partial feeds, and continue to do so as I don’t find they provide me with the experience I want, and with so many sources for news and information, I’d rather stick to those that make my day easier by providing full feeds.

Despite these limitations to truncated feeds, there is still a case that they may provide some limited protection of your content. However, that protection comes at an extremely high price.

Survey after survey has shown that users overwhelmingly prefer full feeds. Some have even said that they refuse to subscribe to a short feed and, according to FeedBurner, who manages over 800,000 feeds, there is virtually no difference in the click-through rate for partial vs. full feeds.

In short, truncating your feed will likely cost you a decent percentage of your feed readers and those who remain are no more likely to click through to your site than they were when the feed was full. Your site and your readers will most likely suffer due to your decision.

The bottom line is that any benefit that may be derived from truncating your feed, especially if you currently offer a full one, is vastly outweighed by the drawbacks. Content theft is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with, but it is not one that is worth crippling your site over.

If you are a fan of truncated feeds, check out the post on Blog Herald, and I hope it changes your mind.

se aideRSS To Monitor Your Blogs

aideRSS LogoMany among us manage, or write on, several blogs. Sometimes it isn’t easy to monitor your blogs or your entries. There are many awesome statistic plugins such as Google Analytics or the Splashpress owned PMetrics.
Lately I have discovered a new tool to monitor my blogs or the blogs I write on: aideRSS. Much has been written about aideRSS already, mainly about it’s usage as a feed filter, but I have discovered that the free tool can be used for another purpose as well.

aideRSS uses the PostRankTM algorithm to rank entries. What is PostRankTM?

I look at the number of comments, number of bookmarks the visitors made, and the number of trackbacks. I collect this information from the internet and then normalize each post against the average for the blog in question - if you always get 15 comments, then you getting 17 comments doesn‚’t affect the ranking as much as, say getting 15 comments when you usually get 2.

Some months ago we discussed the Blog Metrics plugin for WordPress. This little aid will show you how often posts by every author are viewed, but unless you’re the newest Nick Denton around the block, you might want to assess your authors on more than just pageviews: number of comments, votes on social bookmarking sites and backlinks in Google. This exactly is where aideRSS comes into the game. Have a look at the following screenshot and you’ll immediately understand what I mean [Click for enlarged view].

AideRSS Stream

For this screenshot I built a stream of some of Splashpress’s major blogs: The Blog Herald, Performancing, Wisdump, 901am and your own BloggingPro. As can be seen, aideRSS displays all the information concerning number of comments, backlinks and conversations in twitter/bookmarks in del.icio.us. But things get even better when you want to analyze a single feed [Click to view enlarged display].

AideRSS Single Blog

In this screenshot I have restricted the aideRSS analysis to the last 7 entries here at BloggingPro. It now is easy to asses both the importance and popularity of every single entry. Which one has the most comments, which ones has been bookmarked most, etc.

Remarks: As can be seen in both screenshots, there still seem to be some errors with the aideRSS algorithm:

* After some days the number of comments isn’t updated anymore, although the number of social bookmarks and Google backlinks are;
* When using a 3rd party Twitter client, aideRSS might not recognize the link (I twat twice about my entries, using Twhirl and Snurl);
* Subsequently the PostRankTM isn’t updated correctly.

Still, aideRSS has become part of my daily workflow, more even than pageview statistic programs have.

Another popular blogging service has added a feature that WordPress has had for a while: auto saving of drafts.

Here are some details from Blogger’s Blog:

Today we’re adding autosaving of draft posts to the Blogger post editor. Now you don’t have to feel so bad about browser crashes, random laptop restarts, or that hamster vs. gerbil war going on behind your desk that keeps knocking your power cord out of the socket, because Blogger is automatically saving as you type! It’s doing it to me right now. Even if I…

Whoops! I just pretended that my browser crashed for the purpose of illustrating that the above paragraph is still intact, thanks to autosave! So say “goodbye” to lost blog posts. You won’t miss them.

I am happy to see more blogging tools use such features, as I am forever crashing Firefox on both my laptop and desktop. Interesting though that I haven’t heard of any new features being added lately to a hosted tool that WordPress doesn’t already have.