Full RSS Feeds vs Partial RSS Feeds

In General on December 8, 2006 at 11:27 pm

Amit Agarwal at Digital Inspirations has switched from partial RSS feeds to full RSS feeds and for the better has written about what’s better. He leans towards the full RSS feed side of the story, which I agree.

Partial RSS feeds are good when you have to just skim thru the content (read – skip some of the feed items that you are interested of). Partial feeds are easy to load particularly when you have days (loads) of feeds to read. To me these are the only 2 benefits that I can see with the partial feeds.

I’m a big fan of full RSS feeds. It makes sense to have the full content to be read after the content has reached the reader. Also it gives the flexibility to the reader to read the full content at any time even disconnected depending on the capability of the RSS reader. Since these days we have gazillions of feed items to read it makes sense to read all the items in a single place rather than to jump sites to read the items. Full RSS feeds makes more sense and has all the benefits except one.

As Amit points out, one is to loose the advertising revenue as readers will mostly be sticking with the reader itself and won’t hit the site. But, hey, is it the revenue that really matters here or is it the user experience? Revenue can be generated in many different ways (even including, feedvertising). But, to me, the user experience should be the prime factor here. Full RSS feed’s benefits certainly outweighs its disadvantages.

That doesn’t make me feel better as I always prefer that the final decision should be given to the end user. I would prefer if I decide to choose whether I need full RSS feed or partial RSS feed from a site. The user should be given a choice. For example, it doesn’t make too much sense to subscribe to full RSS feeds to frequently mass updated sites like Digg, Reddit etc. But where as it makes sense to subscribe to full RSS feeds to sites like Bold-Italic-Underline, Digital Inspirations etc which are a bit less frequently updated that Digg.

So, my verdict on this discussion is that even though I prefer full RSS feeds for life I would rather prefer if I’m given a choice on what to decide.

Read Amit’s post here.


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