A Trend Worth Following

A short time after I began blogging, I noticed that most blogs provided RSS feeds (or some variant thereof, such as Atom) which allow readers to use “feed readers” to check for content updates at their favorite blogs, news sites, etc. without actually having to fire up a web browser and hit their bookmarks repetitively. In essence, the content comes to readers, rather than readers going to the content.
Initially, I reveled in the change of browsing habits this represented, but as time passed, a very large annoyance cropped up: I came to realize that I hate partial feeds.
Let me explain. RSS feed providers are, in most cases, accorded the option to provide “partial feeds” or “full feeds” by their syndication software. “Full” feeds provide the entire contents of the syndicated articles, while “partial” feeds provide a leading snippet of the articles in question. I can see the reasoning behind offering a partial feed: it cuts down on bandwidth consumed by RSS readers, it entices users to come to a site and read the entire articles in question and, since most feeds don’t contain ads of any type, it allows content providers to recoup at least a portion of their costs via advertising income. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work out that way, at least in my case.
In my day-to-day use of Liferea, I’ve found that I rarely take the time to open the articles that are fed from snippet-only sources. I routinely read the full-text articles that hit my inbox and, as weird as it might sound, I find that I actually click through to “read the whole thing” from full-text feeds far more often than I do the snippet-only feeds. I don’t think I’m doing it intentionally, but it’s almost as if I’m subliminally punishing those who don’t give me the whole story straight away.
A few higher-profile blogs have recently seen the light (Powerline chief among them) and have begun full-text feeds. Most big-name bloggers (LGF and Instapundit, to name two) already provide full-text feeds.
So this is a plea to all you snippet-only sources out there: please provide your full feed. I may be the only one on this (I don’t think so, but it could be the case), but you will definitely engender a lot of good will on the part of this reader/blogger.
Here’s my feed list, for any who are interested in seeing what’s on my list of daily skims reads.

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