Jesse Jackson shouldn’t cut things off…

… and neither should you!

Two things I saw recently in Express. In yesterday’s Blog Log, Motherhood Uncensored is declaring an August event called Blog the Recession. The idea is that instead of just reading your favorite blogs in your feed reader of choice, that you actually click through to see them on the actual website. The point being that it gives bloggers ad exposure, possibly clicks, and at the most basic, the ego boost of the pageviews. That last bit I can’t really argue with and in general I do click through to see and make comments on a few blogs, except for the Gawker network blogs, those comment sections give me hives. But I thought about it and it reminded me of a conversation I had at the Nats game. The gist of it was that I am much more inclined to click through a feed entry that displays the entire article’s contents, than one that only posts an excerpt.

I tried the excerpt thing and it just doesn’t seem attractive. Especially when some of them cut your entry off mid-sentence and sometimes even mid-word. I don’t know if it’s my contrary nature since the excerpt is supposed to be a teaser to bring you to the website. But for all people seem to be able to use twitter properly, they sure don’t do so well at making a 250-500 character/word excerpt very fascinating. And for webcomics, it just seems silly to have a feed that doesn’t display the actual comic. Joy of Tech does it fairly well with a proper teaser and xkcd shows the daily comic (and hilarious alt-text) but many of the ones I read just have the title which means that I’m opening tab after tab to keep up with them all. And that’s what having them in a feed reader was supposed to eliminate!

I like the click-throughs, who doesn’t? And I do keep up with my statistics pretty regularly, but I can also keep track of the statistics for my RSS feed (thanks to FeedBurner*) and see how many people are reading it using various services. Maybe I’d think about it differently if I were trying to make money from sidebar ads and impressions, but when I add a feed and all that comes up are abruptly cut-off excerpts, I just click “next”.

The other was a random news snippet from this morning:

An Ohio woman has sent Michigan transportation officials a bill for the $16 she says she wasted on gasoline sitting in construction zone traffic. Carol Greenberg complained there were no signs warning about the work.

Funny, but with the way things are these days, pretty understandable. I wonder how many people will run with this idea and follow suit.

* FeedBurner also ignores the WordPress more tag, so I only try to use it to make the posts on my actual site a little more tidy and not run-on down the page. So people should only be seeing an excerpt if they’re already visiting the site and therefore inclined to click anyway!

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1 Response

  1. William Mize says:

    Awww. the comments section of the Gawker blogs are sometimes hilarious and sometimes useful.

    I absolutely HATE when a blog does the excerpt thing in my Google Reader. If I subscribe, find out that I have to click through to read the entire article, I immediately unsubscribe, because I feel that the blog owner is all about click-throughs and making money rather than providing a good service or enlightening articles.

    I realize it’s petty and a generalization, but there you go. Ten bucks says that most people would agree with me. Which is why I give you my entire article in the feed.

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