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Say Bye Bye to Full RSS Feeds
My column on InformationWeek this week asks the following question, “Will 2010 Mean The End Of The Full RSS Feed?”
Here’s a snippet from the column, “Over the past few months I’ve noticed more media sites (e.g. blogs, news sites, etc.) moving to partial RSS feeds. The New York Times only offers partial RSS feeds. InformationWeek runs partial RSS feeds. However most blogs are still offering full RSS feeds.
As Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed and other social services have grown, so has the ability for these services to send good quality, monetizable traffic to media sites. Users who complained for years that they would only read content in a full RSS feed are clicking links inside social streams like never before. Many media sites post all of their links inside their social media streams. And once a user reaches the media site, they are more likely to interact with the site which drives even more pageviews and in turn, revenue.”
Former RSS user Robert Scoble is now sharing links via Twitter (and therefore Friendfeed). Users are clicking on his shared links and the users are taken to the respective full, rich, advertising-heavy media sites.
Naturally readers will make a lot of noise if their favorite blog removes full feeds. From our research in the CenterNetworks Labs, we’ve determined that the typical “noise” period on the Internet lasts two weeks. After that readers will be clicking links in partial feeds and will read the content on the full, chock full of ads media site. Typically one of the arguments related to partial feeds is around mobile reading. With the new crop of mobile devices including the Droid, iPhone 3Gs and the new Google Nexus One, mobile browsing is much smoother than how mobile browsers displayed content years ago.
One of the main reasons I see the feed switch coming this year is because in-feed advertising has basically been non-existant. The nice revenue stream that the old pre-Google Feedburner was providing is gone. Media sites will need to replace that source of income somehow.
Over the next week I am planning to take a deeper look at how one of the popular content scraper media sites uses partial RSS feeds for maximum revenue benefit.
Please have no fear…full RSS feeds will still be available — to receive them you will pay $1/feed.