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Monday, 22 September 2008

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The new regime no longer feeds the entire posts -- just the first few words. I liked the old regime much better, because I could read the posts in my feed reader when I felt like it. (Mostly I didn't, but when I'm reading on my phone rather than my computer, it comes in handy.)

Is it a temporary or permanent change?

This development makes me a sad panda.

Hope it helps drive up ad revenue though. <3 TOP =)

"The new regime...the old regime..."

Uh...nobody in here but us chickens.

Mike J.

"Is it a temporary or permanent change?"

Fraser,
Nothing's permanent on the internet!

Mike J.

"This development makes me a sad panda."

Dennis,
So sorry! :-\

Didn't mean to make any pandas sad.

Mike J.

Couldn't the chickens just have added ads to the feeds? This is a big lose for the feedreading masses.

Sorry, I've unsubscribed from the feed as it's now pretty much worthless. Hopefully when you change it back someone I read regularly will mention it so I can subscribe again...

Your site, your rules, but the old way was a lot better for readers, if not ad revenue.

Wow, you're now one step on the wrong side of the read or not read line.

I'll wait it out for a week or two. Hopefully, you'll change it back.

Much better to include ads in the posts than alienate readers who use feed readers.

Mike, ugh, no! So much has been written about how bad partial/summary feeds are to your most passionate users. It's like you just gave me the finger.

I constantly click through from your feed to your site---when I see an interesting post, especially since the comments are so good here. Now I see no interesting posts in my feed reader, so I'm that much *less* likely to clickthrough. Like Curtis says, they're really not even worth subscribing to.

Mike, do you use a feedreader? Don't you prefer full content feeds?

Another unsubscribe here, too inconvenient to leave my reader.

I meant "regime" as in "system". I know this blog is a sole proprietorship.

Thanks,

I clicked through on the good stuff before anyways, if perhaps occasionally to whinge about it. Retro-grade move -- much preferable to figure out how to get ads in the feeds.

(I don't consider myself particularly ideological about technology, but feeds that force click-throughs are mercilessly pruned from my reader -- and that's essentially equivalent to not reading them in any form.)

Obnoxious-wise, it's equivalent to this little rag we have here in D.C. -- "Bit-o-Lit." The premise of this pub is that you can have the pleasure of reading just the first few pages of a number of recently-published books. I find the Bit-o-Lit reading experience equivalent to: 1) adhering a strip of duct tape to the forearm, 2) ripping it off, and 3) repeating about a half-dozen times. You could also paraphrase it, more earthily, as a rooster-tease.

Reconsider--please? Ads are fine.

As someone who really enjoys this site (I bring up MJ in conversations semi-regularly) and has spent over a thousand dollars on merchandise through your advertising links (and I bought your book!), this makes me very sad. I know that the things I just wrote don't entitle me to anything at all. I just want you to know that I really enjoy this site and am not just a pundit for full feeds that likes arguing about it on the internet. Last time I bought a lens (Canon 24mm L) I specifically came here and clicked through the B&H link so you'd see a few bucks from it.

I have a general policy of unsubscribing from blogs that make this unfortunate decision. This will be one of the very few exceptions for now. As a heavy reader of blogs I just don't have the time to click through to every site. Many blogs put ads in the feeds and I'm totally okay with that.

Feedburner's official blog has a good post on this.
http://blogs.feedburner.com/feedburner/archives/2007/04/ricks_ruminations_full_feeds.php

One of the interesting points in there is that, "We've seen no evidence that excerpts on their own drive higher clickthroughs." As one of the largest RSS feed producers around, this statement carries some weight. The second point is that if money is the concern, feeds can be monetized as well.

Blogging guru Robert Scoble (he's a computer tech blogger, so his name might be unfamiliar, but he's written books on blogging) is against partial feeds as well, but for a more Malcolm Gladwell type reason: the small percentage of feed readers are power users, they consume a lot of information and they influence others. He's got some information here: http://scobleizer.com/2007/04/19/full-text-vs-partial-text-feeds-argument-495/

I don't normally type this much when someone makes this switch. Usually I silently unsubscribe and find content that the creator hasn't gone out of their way to hobble. I know this is a new media area and this particular debate (googling 'full vs partial feeds' will show the depth of the debate) is a battleground. I just don't want one of my favorite blogs to leave users like me behind in the search for higher page view counts. I hope you change your mind.

I've been trying to come up with a photo metaphor for this. I think it would be this: imagine if your favorite photography blog stopped showing full pictures any more. Every picture was just the top 100 pixel-rows of the image. You'd to click the picture to go the artists site to see the rest of it. Would the net effect be you seeing more or less photos?

More seriously, thanks for the feedback. I admit I don't know much about it--it just never seemed like that much to ask to ask people to look at the ads in return for all the free content. As more readers have migrated to feeds, the ad revenue has gone down. They correlate. I don't make a fortune doing this, you know.

But I'm not above reconsidering. I'll check out some of the links people have suggested and do some reading. Possibly won't be this week, though, as I have three deadlines I have to meet, plus with Photokina and all.

Mike J.

Boooooo. Sorry Mike, love the site but the only way I read news is in my feed reader (which I click through regularly anyway). You've probably lost another reader here :(

Thumbs down. I usually click-through to read the comments if the topic interests me anyway. I don't believe that a partial feed will lead to more click-throughs, just fewer readers.

I understand and empathize with your decision, but I share the disappointment expressed by a number of posters above.

In all honesty, it's often the images in a post, or a quick scan of the full content, that engage me enough to click through from the feed reader. I'm afraid I'm likely to click through to the site a little bit less frequently now (not out of spite, I assure you!).

"Wow, you're now one step on the wrong side of the read or not read line."

I have to agree with the person who said this. I understand it's a difficult line to tow, given you're supported by ad revenue etc., but until you mentioned that you'd done it on purpose I thought there was a technical glitch and had just ignored the past few posts. While I admit to largely reading through the feed reader, I have and do occasionally click through to your site and explore. But with the insane mass of content online, the only way to keep myself abreast of your site along with others is through the feed reader...

Let me add to the chorus: me no Leica.

Like many of the other commenters I'll give it a week or so but if it stays as a partial feed I will also be unsubscirbing. Partial posts are just noise in a feed reader.

Thank you for all you've done though MJ. I've really enjoyed your work.

And I'll join in as well. I also thought this was a technical glitch. Feed reader is the only good way to read blogs. This is a deal breaker for me too. It takes too much time now, so I'll guess your feed ends up in the bin along the other good blogs with not so good feed.

I'll have to agree with all the comments. I do enjoy a lot reading your articles, but they're a small subset of all the feeds i follow everyday. Reading them in my feed reader is the most confortable and time saving way. It's easier to sort out if the article is interesting or not.

So, I'd rather have them the old fashioned way...

Thanks

Shame, I liked what you had to say. Whenever it was of any possible interest to friends, I pinged them the link to the blog article (so *they* could click your ads...)

Why not put ads in the feed? I'll miss reading you.

what they said... I will try to click through but with just the title and a sentence of two it just doesn't seem worthwhile somehow.

Please revert this. It sucks.

What's a "feed reader"?

C'mon, guys. I didn't just announce that I'm dying and have a week to live. Is it so hard to click through to the site once in a while? So you don't do it every day--stop by once a week, click on the current month archive, and scroll through, stopping to read what you want to read. Voilá, you're caught up.

It's not like I've suddenly made my content inaccessible.

Mike J.

It's obviously your right and choice, but as I live in a news aggregator these days I'll unsubscribe. I'm past clicking through to web sites.

(Have you considered passing ads through to the RSS feeds if that's your motive for cutting full feeds?)

For what it's worth, even though I use a feedreader, I was in the habit of frequently clicking through anyway so that I could read the comments that other readers leave. That being said, those excerpts are really short.

'Is it so hard to click through to the site once in a while? '

Yes.

'It's not like I've suddenly made my content inaccessible.'

Putting it in a format that a portion of your readership no longer finds convenient works out to the same thing.

Just put the ads in the feed.

"It's not like I've suddenly made my content inaccessible."

That's very true; but you've put in a quarter-mile driveway.

Ads in feeds!

Plus: if you're encouraging monthly visits to the archives as an alternative--isn't that also fewer page views?

Okay, well, stand by. I've received some very interesting suggestions privately and I might be able to do something about this. It might take a couple of days.

Mike J.

"it just never seemed like that much to ask to ask people to look at the ads in return for all the free content"

I totally agree. Monetize the feeds! Heck, if you could do it, I'd pay a few bucks a month just for a full text (and image) feed.

Thank you, Mike.

Mike,

I appreciate this site, and you owe me nothing. However, I will no longer follow it without a full feed. I do most of my reading on the phone, and actually regularly "clip" your articles because of the comments. Your moderating is the best system for generating click-throughs. That said, not only would I not mind ads in the feed, but I would even be willing to pay for a full feed. I will not follow excerpts though. The Internet is already the world's greatest time sink - this is one of the rules that keeps me sane.

Ben

Mike,

I'm coming late to this, but I felt like adding to the chorus. I had exactly the same reaction as most people here. I read TOP through Google Reader, and it is one of several photography blogs I follow. It is also one of the best, but without full feeds, it just loses some of that advantage--it isn't that it is "hard" to drop by the site every now and then. The issue here is that many of us do our web browsing through feed readers. I know I already have too many things to read in mine. So if you take the full content feed away, you're actually decreasing the chances I will visit--you're falling off my radar, and I will just end up reading other blogs.

I still make a point of coming through the site on my way to Amazon though.

Please give us back the full posts. This is really annoying. As many have already stated here, I regularly click through anyway to read the comments on entries that interest me. But this is too much. Ads in the feeds would be preferable in my opinion as well.

Not sure yet how it will influence my reading of your blog. It's one of my preferred ones, so I might persevere... for now?

Hi, I agree with the above.
please monetize feeds and go back to full feeds.

thanks

Very disappointing. Oddly enough this probably means I will visit a whole lot less.

If I'm reading off line (think planes, trains and hotels) as I often do then your blog will be one of the ones I skip.

In addition I tend to click through more - when I've actually read the article.

Net result I'm a whole lot less likely to visit your site.

As others have said please monetize the feed.

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