Friday Rage

People, we need to have a frank talk here.

I use Google Reader to follow the blogs I read. I subscribe to over 170 blogs and there is no way I’ll be checking that many websites consistently (heck, I can hardly remember to read private blogs). If you don’t use Google Reader yet, you should go fix that now. It’s basically like an email account for your blogs – instead of emails, you get the new posts for all the blogs you ask it to track. It’s brilliant.

Except that some people have their blogs set at only partial feeds. That means that in my Google Reader, only about a paragraph of their post shows up. In order to read the whole thing, I have to click through to their blog.

But guess what? Usually, I don’t.

Now, I do click through to blogs all the time in order to comment, but when I do that it’s my choice. I hate being forced to click through in order to find out what they wrote. And so I just keep skipping them and finally just delete the post after a few days of ignoring it.

I do subscribe to some blogs that have a partial feed. I’ve been reading them for a long time and I’m not going to drop them now. But I am not going to subscribe to anymore blogs that have one. It’s just too much of a hassle. My new policy is to check if they have a full feed before I even read more than an entry.

Yesterday, I went through and weeded out a big chunk of the blogs I read that only have partial feeds that I wasn’t committed too. I’ll keep a list of those blogs and check them occasionally, but they aren’t worth clogging up my Reader with since they just make me want to tear my hair out.
Zoot linked to an article recently saying that blogs with partial feeds don’t really get any more traffic than blogs with full links. And if they’d surveyed me, I would have agreed. I am MORE likely to comment on a blog that has a full feed because that’s the only extra effort, rather than having already made an effort to read the post itself. By the time it gets to commenting, well, I’m just plain worn out!

Do you have a partial feed? Are you ashamed of yourself? Is anyone else as irrationally angered by partial feeds as I am?


P.S. If you don’t know if your blog has a partial or full feed, go visit your blog’s homepage and then click the icon that looks like orange box to the left. It is probably in the toolbar or at the end of your address bar, depending on your browser. If it the page that appears shows your complete posts, you’re golden. If it only shows a snippet, well, you can guess how I feel about that.

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  1. I’m not as passionate as you are on the subject but on the whole, I agree. I have a full feed, which I swtiched to after reading it doesn’t really affect traffic. I’m not sure how that’s possible but I care more about my readers than my traffic.

  2. I am the same. If I see a partial feed, I don’t click through. What I hate are private blogs that STILL make you do word verification to leave a comment. I understand it on public blogs, but not invite only!

  3. Hey Jansen,
    I see where you’re coming from. I actually don’t like to have to click either, but I always do. I’ve gone and changed mine also after reading that it doesn’t increase traffic, and also because I’m nice. 🙂 I also deleted the word verification because as of late, that’s been driving me nuts. Someone else on another blog I read mentioned that she didn’t have it and had never gotten any spam, so I wonder how useful it actually is.

  4. Well, I couldn’t find that icon, but I checked my settings and think I’m good. Oh, and I agree, although I get more miffed about how many of my friends’ blogs don’t allow subscriptions. And on an unrelated note, I am going to try your banana cake and it cost almost 1/5 of my weekly food budget to get the ingredients I was lacking, so I hope its good!

  5. oh, and this is random, but did you notice that on your “books I’m reading” list it actually has a quotation instead of apostrophe? “Books I”m Reading”. Just thought I’d point it out in case its unintentional 🙂

  6. I totally get what you’re saying, but I have a partial feed so I can see who is reading. It turned out that my in laws were all reading my blog and keeping it a secret. Now I want to know if they’re reading and I can’t see that if they read the whole thing in a feed reader.
    If there was a way around this I’d change it back, but I can’t think of one.
    And the blogs I read that have a partial feed don’t bother me, so I guess it’s not as big of a deal for me somehow.

  7. Ok, so that explains a lot. I couldn’t figure out why some blogs only had partial posts show up. It drove me nuts but such is my technological ignorance that I had no idea why such a thing would happen. Thank you for enlightening me!

  8. the partial feed is annoying…but I swear by
    even more irritating is private blogs though. having to go to them individually takes too much time.

  9. I switched from a partial to a full feed awhile ago and did not notice a shift in my traffic of more than 10-15 visitors a day. I had the partial feed because I liked to see exactly who was coming to my blog, but by now I can’t keep up with all the visitors anyway, and partial feeds annoy me, even though I do click through to every blog just to read it.

  10. I second that…I simply will not read a partial feed unless it looks like something I HAVE to read. Otherwise I read about 1 line and “mark as read”. I hate it…and therefore I am like you and will not participate in it. You’re a smart woman Janssen!

  11. I learned all about Google Reader from reading your blog and I finally subscribed to all of the blogs I want to read last week and it sure is nice. I wondered why some of the posts were incomplete and made me go to the blog to read the whole thing. Now I know. However, from reading all of your comments, there are a lot of other things I don’t know about Google Reader. I guess I need you to give me a tutorial some time!

  12. I am ashamed. Not because I have partial feed, but because I have NO IDEA what you’re talking about. I don’t know what google reader is, I didn’t know you could subscribe to blogs without filling your inbox, and I don’t know what full/partial feed are. I am a disgrace to bloggerdome.

  13. I completely agree. Couldn’t agree more. I do the same thing, skim over them and rarely click through to their blogs. I also agree with Heather about the word verification on private blogs–redundant! I can’t wait for the day that google decides it’s ok to let reader accept feeds from private blogs. 🙂

  14. I can only think of one site that has a partial feed that I read really regularly, but since I click through to comment pretty often (in general), that doesn’t bother me so much. Then, I subscribe to about 60 blogs, so maybe that’s part of it. If I’m trying out a new blog, the partial feed sure doesn’t help.

    Does your rage extend to posts with the “read more” link? Because two of mine had that this week for the sake of not clogging up the index page, and I know that Smitten Kitchen does that, too. Just curious.

  15. I always wondered why some fully appear and some don’t. Thank you for solving this mystery! I do read some of the ones that are partial feeds but only when I have time. Otherwise, if I’m not interested by what is written in the first line, why bother clicking??

  16. I agree as well! An additional beef I have is that sometimes the firewall from the connection I use most of the time blocks blogger. If a person only publishes a partial feed I don’t get to see it and I read too many to remember to go back.

    Also, hello! I figured today is as good as any to de-lurk. I stumbled across your blog from links I cannot recall. I think I might have known you/of you back when you were at BYU. Random.

  17. Ya know, the first reader I used was called Pluck that had an online component. It stunk then I wandered from reader to reader (RSS Reader, FeedReader, even Thinderbird and a few mail clients) and when I found Google had a reader I tried it out. TOTALLY sold on it. I can even see who subscribes to my feed using Google Reader.

    Yes, I drank the Google Kool-Aid.

    It was easy to import my feeds from other readers. Most export as OPML or XML now and Google will import them.

    My only question to you is … am I in your reader?

    And I updated my feed to full.

    No excuses …


  18. Add me to the Could-Not-Agree-More chorus! I even mentioned this a few weeks ago on my own blog. I have a few that I click through on, but not very many and if you’re new FORGET IT!

  19. I adore google reader…and somehow it makes me feel like less of a stalker when I go through and read people’s personal lives. At least that way, the information is coming to me instead of me shamelessly seeking out people’s blogs to read.

    Like yours…although we did meet, like, twice freshman year, I think.

    At any rate, I think you’re great. Thanks for not doing the partial feed.

  20. 170 blogs?? wow. I have no idea what google reader is… but I’m lucky enough to know that all you have to do is click on the side of your blog! 🙂

  21. I completely agree. I sometimes will unsubscribe because it drives me crazy to have to click over to someone’s blog just to read what they wrote … I hope mine isn’t set like that I will have to check.

  22. Amen! Although I don’t quite read that many blogs, so it’s a little easier for me to be patient with partial feeds. Still I feel you…

  23. I always feel funny commenting on peoples blogs without a link back to my own. As a family a couple of years ago we went semi-private and so there aren’t really any links, at least not easy ones. I don’t mind people coming to the blog, just not wide open. You have been to Randi’s blog before, and she posted a link here.

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