Opinions may vary

According to Glynn Foster,

"We still have people being all rude and not publishing their entire blog entry in their RSS feed. It's hugely infuriating having to click through to various blogs just to read them. Hopefully people are reading this and making suitable changes. Ahem."

I made a conscious decision not to include the entire content of my blog in the RSS feed, for several reasons:

  • If someone can't be bothered to click through to my site they probably aren't interested in what I have to say, so I think I shouldn't force them to read or at least scan past my posts in their entirety.
  • I'm not always interested in everything picked up by PlanetSun. I think it's inconvenient to have to scroll down though pages of stuff I'm not interested in.
  • I'm already getting a hit every 15 minutes from PlanetSun. My blog often includes photos, and I don't really want them being pulled every 15 minutes.
  • Blogs that don't strip out the HTML tags from their RSS feeds make it much more difficult to handle the feeds in a graceful way. As Mark Pilgrim points out, putting HTML in RSS feeds, whilst allowed, is potentially dangerous.
  • I access PlanetSun throught my existing aggregator, the most excellent RSS reader plugin for FireFox. As I move the cursor over each entry the contents of the RSS feed in question appear in a popup, and if the entire article is delivered in the feed I get a series of huge boxes (usually full of HTML) flying up the screen.

Perhaps the solution is to have two feeds, one containing the plaintext synopsis and the other containing the full contents of the posts?

My own personal gripe is about people who don't have comments enabled on their blogs - hopefully people are reading this and making suitable changes. Ahem.

I also have my doubts about how scaleable the PlanetSun approach is - as the number of blogs it aggregates grows it is going to put an increasing strain on the ADSL line that it is at the end of. Most blogging packages allow you so set up notifications using either email or XML/RPC, and something like that would make it possible for the individual blog owners to decide if they wanted to be on PlanetSun.

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Categories : Web


Re: Opinions may vary

And so say us all. Especially the bit about comments.

Re: Opinions may vary

Atom specifies both an excerpt and a full text carried within the same XML. I think.

Re: Opinions may vary

What infuriates me is that the exerpts that people have are often far too short to get a real feel for what they're saying for instance for this post: According to Glynn Foster, "We still have people being all rude and not publishing their entire blog entry in their RSS feed. It's hugely infuriating having to click through to various blogs just to read them. Hopefully people are... I have read Glynn's post, but all you've done is quote part of it, I have no real feel for what you said, and only just a feeling for what Glynn is saying in the quote. Many people are doing a charactor limit, so you get cut off, not only mid sentance, but mid word. Had this post be snipped at "reasons:..." then I would have clicked through to find out your reasoning, and would have had a good feel for what you're saying. Having software round it off to the nearest sentance would be good, even better is having the ability to put a tag in to say where the end of excerpt should be.

Re: Opinions may vary

Perhaps the quote was short, but you did actually bother to read my post and comment on it, which kinda proves my point ;-) MovableType does allow you to split posts into two parts, but its a bit annoying as when you read the full post on the original blog you have to click on a link to get the rest of the article. However your point about excerpts is fair enough - the MT default excerpt is only 20 characters, I've already doubled it to 40 words, so I'll bang it up to 100.

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