Scoble was always one of the staunchest proponents of full-text RSS feeds out there. Back when I was a pro-blogger trying to crank out lots of posts in a day (or hour), I agreed with him. It was much more helpful (and better for my custom, local feed searches) if the feeds were full-text. I wasn’t as hard core as Scoble and others by not subscribing or unsubscribing to partial text feeds, but I preferred them. Sounds like Scoble has changed his tune of late though:
In 2006 I wrote that I wouldn’t use any news aggregator or feeds that aren’t full text. I was wrong.
See, I often do get it wrong. Or, even if I’m right today, I can be proven wrong tomorrow by market changes.
What changed since 2006?
1. I have moved about 70% of my reading behavior to iPhone and other Smart Phone devices. Why does that matter? Well, on such a small screen having full text is far less desirable than if I use my 27-inch iMac.
I have to say I think Scoble is missing the whole point here. It isn’t the feed that takes up the screen real estate, it’s the interface that the reader has. For a small screen I’d expect to get the headline and maybe a few lines of text from the feed regardless of whether it was full or partial text. If I was interested in the article, I’d click through or flag it or something. I used to read feeds on my BlackBerry, but I stopped and not because of the small screen (though that didn’t help), it was because the BlackBerry browser sucks and it disconnected me from my RSS workflow. Reading an awesome post on my Berry only means that I have to do something to get in on my laptop for later. I email it, favourite it, something it, but I have to do something to get that item to my machine for later.
Scoble also asks if people are using Twitter more vs RSS Readers. I have to say that I was but am now missing my 900+ feeds I once had. I’m not subscribing like mad to feeds again. Why? Because while I do follow a lot of people on Twitter and a lot of sites that send their latest posts out through Twitter, I feel like I’m not getting the breadth that I used to. It’s the esoteric stuff. The little heard, but extremely sharp voices that you find with a wide catchment.
The whole debate about full or partial feeds is better served by discussing better interfaces. Let’s look at better ways of reading, sorting, and sourcing RSS feeds. My combo of NetNewsWire and Feedly is serving me well … right now. I’m always on the look out for the next iteration that will let me gather more and more information. Yes, the neural implant is on my wish list for the future. Just hook me up to the stream baby.
So, Robert … which iPhone RSS reader are you using that makes you long for partial feeds?