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Fixing truncated RSS feeds

Truncated RSS feeds — where only an except of a site’s content displays in its feed — are possibly the most annoying thing one can find on a site one wishes to follow. When you’re cruising through your RSS reader, it’s a real pain to see all of the lovely content you subscribe to and then find ten 50 word entries, cut off mid sentence and ending with “CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING”.

I’ve given up reading many great sites because I can’t consume their content how I want to, and that’s sad.

I get why people create truncated RSS feeds; the idea is if you only offer a snippet of content, people who want to subscribe are going to come and visit your site instead. That increases page views, ad impressions, and the site gets to work its magic of hooking one-time viewers into becoming long term, signed up readers.

Trouble is, it doesn’t really work like that. If I grab a site’s RSS feed, it’s because I want to know when said site has new content I can read. If  I like the content, I’ll click through and browse through the comments, perhaps add my own and maybe even tweet it. For me, RSS is a way of putting all the content I might be interested in in a central place, and from there I can find the stuff I’m actually interested in.

I’m still subscribing, and I’ll still visit the site, provided the content is interesting.

So when I’m not able to feed a site’s content into my central content hub, it has to be a bloody good site for me to take the old-fashioned route of visiting the site periodically to see if there’s any new content I might be interested in. Nine times out of ten, I won’t bother, I’ll forget or some mixture of the two. That kinda sucks.

tl;dr I get why people do truncated RSS feeds, but their logic is flawed.

It was thus with great pleasure that I stumbled across fulltextrssfeed.com the other morning, whilst curating my Feedly subscriptions. It’s a great little site — you put in the URL of the feed which has its content cut off, and it creates you a full text RSS feed. Subscribe to that, and you’re done.

It works around nine times out of ten, typically struggling with sites with long URL structures on their feeds, but hey — those are still nine sites I would’ve been missing out on anyway.

Oh, by the way — you can grab an RSS subscription to sevenironcows here: http://sevenironcows.com/feed/

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