Full feeds vs. Partial feeds: No difference?
In my previous entry about “5 Ways to Kill your RSS Subscribers“, I pointed out that summary feeds can turn off potential RSS subscribers. Others pointed out that providing full feeds will reduce your blog pageviews and open the gateways for scraper sites to copy your entire post. A lot of factors have been weighed in and though we aren’t really sure about how much it affects our readership or our blog’s stickiness, we often rely on our own experiences.
A recent post at the Feedburner blog debunks the notion that you get more clicks when you use summary feeds:
As people subscribe to feeds, they subscribe to more feeds. And that means they’re consuming more content, which means that each click out of the feed reader is taking the reader away from more content. In other words, feed reading is consumption-oriented, not transactionally focused. We’ve seen no evidence that excerpts on their own drive higher clickthroughs.
Though the comment was not substantiated with actual statistics, Feedburner manages 663,294 feeds and I’m sure that sample size can give us a more accurate data on feed reading behaviors of subscribers.
I used to think that summary feeds are the way to go until I switched to full feeds knowing that I could retain more readers that way. Besides, I believe that my regular readers are not only after what I wrote but with the comments other readers have left on the blog as well — and that earns me the clickthrough to my blog, not the summary feed.