I have to admit that up until a few days ago I had given absolutely no thought to RSS Feeds. I knew it had something to do with feeding information from someone to someone, but that was about all I knew. Then I had a request to change the settings in my blog from summary feed to full feed, and I thought, “What? I am feeding someone??? And they don’t want just the appetizer course, they want the full meal! How is this going to affect my grocery bill?”
Clearly it was time to investigate this whole matter. RSS Feeds are actually a neat thing. They are a way to retrieve the latest information from a website you might regularly follow, without actually going to the website to see if anything is new. You merely choose which program you want to view your RSS Feeds in, choose the sites you want to track, then sit back and let the the latest posts roll in. I’m currently using a program called Feedly.
My blog is hosted by WordPress.Com. As a WordPress.com member, I can use their subscriptions feature to keep track of blogs I am following. All I have to do is click the Follow button on any blog that is also part of the WordPress.com world, and that blog will show up in the WordPress Reader.
But that brings me back to the request I had for full feeds vs summary feeds. The difference is just as the names suggest. A full feed lets the subscriber read the entire post. A summary feed means the subscriber has to click on the originating website to see the rest of the content. So, I have a choice of whether I want you to read my full story at your place, or whether I just want to tell you I’ve got a new story to show you, and I’d like to invite you over for a read and a chat.
Many authors choose to broadcast their content with Full Feeds because they hope to increase their exposure and attract more readers. The risk of a Full Feed is that the readers my never come to your website to see what else you may have to say. Little authors, like myself, don’t expect to garner a huge audience and a book offer. But we do like to check our blog stats to see which posts attract the most readers, and how many times we are viewed. So for now, I’m going with the Summary Feed. Purely selfish on my part – I like it when people pop in and even better if they chat…