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FullFeeds and my stance on feed advertising

I read far too many feeds I’m sure. This morning I’ve spent literally about half an hour catching up with all the feeds I’m subscribed to and the last time I was reading feed items was last night at about 9:00pm. Google Reader only was able to tell me that there were ‘100+’ new items but I’m sure it was at least 200-300. In one night (for me, anyway).

Now when I see a feed item that isn’t in full in my Reader, I am forced to click through and open a new tab to read that story. When you consider how much time I have to spend to keep up anyway, this is very irritating and breaks the flow of reading.

FullFeeds is an online petition (JavaScript mandatory) with the intention of getting content publishers to use full-length feeds to avoid this irritation.

I signed it, saying:

The BBC are very guilty of this – and for no real reason. In the UK, they have no ads (and shouldn’t do) because they’re funded by the TV licence. So why do they have only extracts in their feeds?

If a feed isn’t in full, I’m less likely to read it in full and less likely to ‘star’ it (where starred items show up on my homepage on the right).

I don’t even mind seeing a small text (preferred) or an unintrusive, small graphical ad at the bottom. I understand the need for content publishers to monetise their content and I don’t mind that (provided of course it’s not a massive great banner ad, you get the idea). But only publishing part of the feed content and forcing me to click through (and then consume the ads) is a terrible idea.

In fact, I’m much more likely to accept advertising via RSS. I use NoScript for Firefox, which means that JavaScript is turned off for sites I don’t specifically allow. (I’m paranoid!) But seriously, I don’t trust random sites running JavaScript on my machine without clearing it with me first. This means that advertisers that rely on JavaScript to deliver their ads don’t get their ads to me. And tough luck, because in my opinion, they shouldn’t rely on JavaScript for that purpose.

Since ads in feeds don’t use JavaScript, I’m much more likely to see them and accept them. Hey, it’ll work before we start seeing ‘AdBlock’ extensions for feed readers…

Content publishers – take note and enjoy ‘feedvertising’ while it lasts.

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