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The entry below is classified as a LEGACY post, meaning that it was written (well) before the current version of Avalonstar was released. Although these posts have survived the numerous moves over years, there is no guarantee that they've survived the trip unscathed (especially the links).
LEGACY

RSS: The Length Wars (Finale)

As promised, it has been a week since I have turned my feeds to full-text instead of excerpts. Although I didn't believe that anything would happen, I have noticed behavior changes since the change. Let me restate my thoughts on this once more. I believed that changing to full-text from excerpts would discourage commenting. This is mainly because by putting a new level of separation between the user and the comment form and because users now don't have to go to the site to read the full-text, they won't comment. "Out of sight, out of mind." I had my weekly talk with Lisa and the subject of commenting came up in sort of a comedic way:

Bryan
We just launched Facebook for high schools today.
Lisa
i saw that...
Lisa
very nice
Bryan
^_^
Bryan
You don't comment. :p
Bryan
j/k
Lisa
lol it's cuz i read on the feed
Lisa
i'll try to comment more
Bryan
:)
Bryan
See see? [Full-text] Feed discourages commenting.
Lisa
I'll have to make note.
Lisa
it totally does, but it does encourage reading... so it's a catch

So now it's a trade-off. Do I want more readers? Or do I want more commenters? It's a hard decision because I do like seeing that 300 or so people subscribe to my site. It's more of an ego boost than anything else. "Stroking the stats," as Lisa says. It encourages me to write if I know people are going to end up reading it. However, I have always wanted my entries to encourage conversation, and if that doesn't happen, what's the use? Looking at it another way, it's not the number of readers that make me feel like my content is compelling, it's the number of commenters. If my writing is that compelling, people will comment, rather than just read and move on.

My conclusion? I'm going to keep full-text up for a few more days. But more likely than not, I will change them back. My readership may go down. But in spite of that, at least I know those who click those "read more..." links will actually want to read.

As a lead-in to a future post, I should start commenting more as well. If anything, I hope this mini-series has helped a few people with their decisions1.


  1. Well, now that I think about it, I can't put the blame squarely on my readers. What if my content has been sucky the past week, that could definitely be an issue. Be honest with me people.
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