RSS: The Length Wars (Reprise).
Last time on the Length Wars, we talked about who prefers what — short versus long RSS feeds. There was almost a 50/50 split amongst the comments and it led me to believe that maybe I should be taking a different approach. I am a designer at heart, as most of you know, and designers want their designs to be seen. But then I thought about it again. Readers don’t subscribe to my feed because of my site design, it’s because of my content.
Okay, group “duh!” Thanks.
Publishing excepts seems to be a way of saying “Hey, I published something, now you have to come to my site to actually digest the whole thing.” I can understand the lure of creating a teaser, but aren’t you really just putting another level of separation between you and your reader? What is more important, having someone read your content or having someone read your content on your website?
Jared’s comment really started me on this path, but I have another question. Sure, I am putting a separation when I use short feeds. However, if I switch to long feeds (which I do plan to do after this post), will commenting go down as well? The way I see it, letting people read the entries without being on the site puts a level of separation between the reader and the comment form. In theory, an extra click is an extra click, and people won’t comment if they have to click to get to the form. Rather, if they are already on the site, they are more likely to comment. Feel free to argue this point, I could be wrong.
So this’ll be my little study. I’ll keep watch of both commenting levels and readership numbers when changing to long feeds and in about a week, I’ll post my findings.