Fred Wilson has a recent post about his reluctance to use RSS Readers to read blogs. I have said similar things here. Recently, I finally figured out the biggest problem with RSS- it’s the partial feeds.
Because I like Onfolio so much, I added feeds for all of the blogs I read regularly into its RSS reader (Onfolio has many useful functions, including as an RSS reader). I hoped that reading those blogs in Onfolio would be faster and more centralized. It didn’t work out that way.
There are certainly benefits: the RSS reader alerts you when there is a new post on one of the blogs you read and, with one near-fatal exception, it is faster to read blogs from a central location.
The exception is that many blogs only syndicate (i.e., make available as an RSS feed) a headline or the first few words of a post. This means that if you want to read the entire post, you still have to click through to the blog itself. You can do this through the RSS reader, but it still takes a long time and is decidedly unsatisfying to me. If I have to click through to the blog for every post I want to read, I’d rather just go to the blog initially, where all of the recent posts are available in their entirely on a single page.
I understand why bloggers are hesitant to syndicate their entire posts. Mainly, it’s because they want to drive traffic to their website. Sometimes, it’s for content control reasons. More often it’s for ad serving reasons.
Dwight Silverman (who hasn’t put Newsome.Org in his blogroll even though we live in the same city and I link to his blog all the time- but who’s keeping track of that sort of thing) discusses the full text dilemma in this post. While I read Dwight’s blog daily, if he kills the full text feed, I’ll go back to reading his blog at his blog instead of via an RSS reader. I guess I’m a full-feed snob.