I was reading Dave Slusher’s site this afternoon, and as one of his new year’s “resolutions”, he said that he would be removing sites from his RSS aggregator that didn’t offer the full text of articles in their RSS feed.
This joins an interesting conversation, and is one that we have had trouble answering for years (over at The Mac Observer, that is). TMO is, of course, an advertiser-supported site and has been since its inception. While we work to keep the lines between advertising and content delivery as thick as possible, there are some realities to face. Our RSS feeds don’t (currently) have any ads in them, and as such we have always just posted the snippet/teaser to the article (the same piece that appears on the home page of the site). The entire text is then available when you click through. This way people get to peruse the site in their aggregator and, if they find something interesting, come to the site to participate more and, “pay” for the content they’re reading (by “pay” I mean “allow us to show them advertisements of our choice”).
However, this is a policy we instituted years ago, and RSS has most definitely matured since then, in that people are using it *very* differently than they used to (en masse, anyway).
So are RSS ads the solution? Do they actually work? This is an experiment we’ll definitely be doing more of, but I’m not yet convinced that’s the answer. Are you?