Blog: Why We Changed the RSS Feed
After more than a dozen e-mails, tweets and phone calls, it seemed like this might be necessary. A few weeks ago we changed the way halfwheel’s RSS feed displays within readers — more specifically — rather than showing a full post with pictures, the RSS feed only displays a short preview, usually less than 100 words, with a link.
The reason behind this change is threefold:
- The driving force behind changing this was protecting halfwheel’s property. A few sites were posting automated RSS feeds of entire posts without our permission. Some would give us links, others wouldn’t.
- This is also hurt us in Google, although that’s secondary to seeing our posts, in full, somewhere else without permission.
- The reason why we have a website is to get readers to it. The way the RSS feed operated prior this gave people a reason not to visit the site.
Before we go any further, the entirety of the halfwheel staff liked the old RSS reader better than the new one, the problem is, it wasn’t really in the best interest of halfwheel as a site. We try to do as much as we can to make the site enjoyable for the reader, but when a convenience we provide gives incentive to avoid the website proper, we have to examine changing.
We’d like to think that we provide one of the better interfaces for viewing content and we’d like to show it off — something that is difficult to do in a stripped down RSS reader.
For the time being, the current RSS format is the one you will see. There is some thought about trying to change the e-mail service, although it still doesn’t help to point #3 from above.
If you have any suggestions, please contact us. We’re open to new ideas.