RSS Query

Over at Cognitive Daily, Dave asks about splitting articles in RSS feeds. The ScienceBlogs feeds do not provide the full text of our posts, just the “above the fold” portion, and this practice rubs some people the wrong way.

The reason for this is that our Corporate Masters are trying to support the site by selling ads, and ad revenues are based on page views. The get those page views, we need people to click through to ScienceBlogs, so we try to use the “above the fold” content to draw people in, and get them to look at the ads.

My question to you is, how do youn feel about this? Personally, I’m very happy with splitting the content on the blog itself, as I tend to get a little long-winded, and splitting the article into pieces keeps my longer posts from completely dominating the front page. I try to put a few paragraphs up that give the basic idea, and then put the rest “below the fold,” so people who aren’t interested in the content don’t have to scroll down through fifteen screens of it.

On the RSS side, I’m not unhappy with the current situation, at least when people do it right. I’d rather have the option to click over to a site to read the full article than have 1500 lines of text I don’t care about thrown up in Bloglines. Provided that the person writing the blog does a good job of splitting the article, that is– a few paragraphs that give the key idea, and break off at a logical point in a way that makes it clear that there’s more on the main site. The Hartwell-esque “stop in mid-sentence” technique is not so good, nor is the post that appears to be complete in and of itself.

(None of these are the same sort of blight upon the web that breaking articles over multiple pages is. There are very few ways to keep me from reading an entire article that are more effective than splitting it over fifty goddamn pages.)

But we aim to please, here at Chateau Steelypips. So, what do you think of the way we handle RSS feeds around here?