Blog Herald doesn’t understand why full-text feeds work

For the past couple of months Blog Herald has been subtly attacking me. I thought it was just one of those suckups trying to bait me to link to them but today I saw the real reason for Duncan’s tone: he thinks I don’t want him or anyone else to make money off of content (that link takes you to his post titled: Steve Rubel doesn’t get it: RSS advertising sucks).

He’s wrong about my views, but he’s not the only one (I was forwarded some email from a private mailing list where some of the participants skewered me in the same way that Blog Herald just did but in a more personal way — all because I want full-text feeds).

Ahh, I see Kent Newsome sees through Duncan’s post.

So, let’s get to it: what are my views?

1) That I won’t subscribe to any feed that isn’t full text. Well, except for my brother’s blog.
2) That treating RSS readers well will get you more Web browser readers.
3) That full-text sites will be more profitable because of this than partial-text sites.

So, let’s look at the world of RSS. First, you MUST separate the world into two buckets:

1) The way they are today.
2) The way we want them to be tomorrow.

Personally I want a world where everyone uses a feed reader and subscribes to their favorite blogs, news sites, etc. But let’s be honest. Such a world is a LONG way from being here. We could go into the reasons, but that’s for another post at another time. Let’s not rathole on this.

Instead, let’s look at how things are TODAY. Today only a very small percentage of people use RSS and RSS News Aggregators. Even if you include the people who don’t have any clue that they are using RSS (like those people who use live.com or MyYahoo to subscribe).

The reason RSS advertising doesn’t work today is:

1) The audiences are too small.
2) The audiences are too geeky and too full of smart people. Hint, those people don’t click on advertisements unless they are very targetted!

Now when I talk with audiences I see two trends: 1) Blog-heavy audiences, like the Northern Voice conference, have about 80% usage of RSS News Aggregators (these audiences do NOT represent the mainstream user). 2) Blog-lite audiences, like Ireland’s IT@Cork conference, only see about 2% RSS usage (these are far more mainstream — in fact, I’d argue that the mainstream user is far less likely to use RSS than that. Heck, if you really want to get mainstream, only about 1/6th of the world’s population even uses a computer).

But, now, how do you get traffic to visit your content? Well, I’ve been studying that too. There are a few ways:

1) Get your content listed on a news site with a lot of flow. Something like Yahoo or Google or MSN’s news page. Not many of us have access to that. With one exception that I’ll note below.
2) Get a journalist with a lot of flow to link to you. When the New York Times links to you you’ll get lots of flow.
3) Get lots of bloggers to link to you. I do get lots of flow when lots of bloggers link to me.
4) Get the memetrackers like Digg, Memeorandum, TailRank, Slashdot etc to link to you.

Yeah, there are probably others, but in terms of buckets of how you get traffic, these are the major ones.

OK, you might be reading my words in an RSS aggregator, right? What happens when you click on a link? It takes you to a Web browser, right?

Ahhh! That’s how you can make money!

Aside, there are at least three ways content owners today make money off of advertising:

1) Show a banner ad when you visit the page (the content owner gets paid everytime you visit that page. For instance, I just went to cnn.com and there’s a banner ad there and they probably got a few cents from my visit.
2) Click-to-pay advertising. You see all those Google ads all over the place? Chris Pirillo’s blog, for instance, has Google ads (so does Blog Herald). These sites only get paid if you actually click on the advertising. For instance, some of the words you click on can be worth up to $60 PER CLICK to Google and other advertising companies (like Mortgages). 
3) Interruptive advertising. News.com uses a lot of these kinds of ads. They are Flash movies that fly over the page, or pop up, or run across the page until you click their close or “skip” buttons. These are also paid by impression, or everytime you load the browser up. 

Anyway, back to traffic. To get it, first you should appease the connectors. Er, the bloggers, the journalists, and the geeks.

You see, when I get together with journalists their RSS usage is WAY WAY WAY higher than the rest of the population. Journalists are like me. They sift through lots of information looking for the gems for their readers. That’s how they build audiences. RSS lets people read about 10 times the amount of content than if you just use a Web browser. That’s why journalists, connectors, bloggers, geeks who care about productivity, etc use RSS. It’s also why advertising in RSS isn’t yet working. These people aren’t good targets for loosely-targetted advertising.

Here’s a question: if you were an advertising company, what advertisement would you put into this post? One for diapers? Digital cameras? RSS aggregators?

Most of the algorithms for advertising would just look at the words I typed. So, now you’ll get ads for all the above. Loosely-targetted. This isn’t like going to a search engine and actively searching for, say, digital camera info, and getting a Nikon advertisement. Geeks, connectors, journalists LIKE that kind of advertising. But we don’t like interruptive styles of advertising. Which is what we get in RSS feeds today.

So, how does anyone make any money?

Well, let’s stay in TODAY’S world. In today’s world you get journalists, geeks, bloggers, connectors, to read your content and link to it. That’ll bring a larger audience to visit your Web page. How do you do that? Serve out full-text RSS. Why? Cause by doing that you treat the connector with the most possible respect and give him/her the easiest way to consume your content and link to it.

Then you put advertising on your page. That could be a banner ad. That could be a Google AdSense block (or Yahoo or MSN’s equivilent). Or you could even be really rude and put a Flash ad interstitial (I’ve seen more and more of this kind of “interruptive” advertising). Or, you could get really creative like Honda did and create advertising people will link to as content itself.

Since only a small percentage of your audience will be using RSS (even if you’re a tech blogger, less than half of your audience will be using RSS on the average day) you’ll make money.

Now, the fear is that the model will go away tomorrow thanks to RSS being built into IE 7, Safari, Firefox, Opera and other browsers. Whoa! Alert, alert, if that happens that means the unwashed masses won’t be seeing your interstitial Flash advertisements anymore, or refreshing your banner ads, or seeing your Google AdSense blocks.

OK, in such a world advertising will have to change. But, let’s be honest, what percentage of people will use RSS in such a world? I’d argue that it’ll be a small percentage for a very long time. My mom just doesn’t read enough sites to care about RSS. I doubt she will until she gets into blogging (which is possible, but I don’t expect it anytime soon).

Plus, what makes the usage model of reading a Web page in an aggregator so different from reading it in a browser window? Why couldn’t Google put the same AdSense block into RSS that it puts next to Chris Pirillo’s content, for instance? Oh, wait, Google is already doing that.

But, that’s also ratholing in an argument that really deserves its own post.

What people who say that full-text RSS hurts their advertising possibilities don’t get is that if you treat connectors, bloggers, journalists better, you’ll get MORE audience to your Web pages, which will get you more advertising hits.

Or am I missing something here? Either way, you can call me all the names you want, but I won’t subscribe to partial text feeds. Yes, I’m more likely to link to Web pages that also serve full-text feeds out. But don’t mistake my demand that my content providers treat me better with some theory that I don’t want them to make money. That simply isn’t true and represents the worst of “stick-your-head-in-the-sand” kind of anti-change thinking. If you want to make money in this new world you are far more likely to do so by working with your best customers to find new ways to build audiences and serve better advertising toward them.

The one exception above? The folks who run Yahoo, MSN, and Microsoft’s main pages are heavy users of RSS. Why? Cause they are paid to find the best content. If they aren’t using RSS aggregators today I’d argue they should be fired. Why? Cause they aren’t being as productive as someone else (I can prove that an editor who reads content in an RSS aggregator is far more productive than someone who only uses a Web browser).

But, what do you think? Are content providers going to gain anything to tell connectors, journalists, bloggers to screw off?

PS: Dave Winer has an interesting post this morning on why formats like RSS 2.0 work.

247 thoughts on “Blog Herald doesn’t understand why full-text feeds work

  1. Hey Bobby, here’s some real numbers based on a vertical community/information site with 250k uniques a month serving just over 10 million pages. It’s soley supported by advertising revenue, mostly from an in house network with a bit from Adsense that grosses well into six figures a year. For a while they used RSS to distribute feeds for the forum (which many of them are sort of blogs) and current news/feature content. During that time the feeds were offered, page views didn’t seem to decrease, impressions didn’t seem to decrease and CTR didn’t seem to decrease and conversions on the target advertiser’s sites didn’t seem to change. No one really seemed to care though some people used RSS the to keep an eye on the forums. The forum content was also available via email updates and NNTP. No one really used NNTP, some used RSS and many more used email, by a factor of 5 times or so compared to RSS.

    Leaving the RSS on wasn’t a big deal, until one thing. An advertiser that was responsible for about 20% of the revenue plus a pretty big chunk in the parent corps trade mag of similar content started asking questions. They didn’t seem to like it or get it that the content was being provided, in full without the ads that they were specifically targeting for that content. It was decided that until the staff had a chance to start shoveling the advertiser’s rich media ads into the feed, they’d stop the feed for the time being.

    My point is this Bobby, it’s pretty easy for you to dismiss people not using full feeds, or not providing any feeds when you don’t have to make a living selling ads on your site having to appease both media buyers and community members. Your site is not selling impressions and eyeballs and the people that run the site I mentioned had to decide on enabling a feature that hardly anyone in that community uses vs. generating some disdain from the people actually sending in the cash. It ain’t all about you, babe. A business needs to make decisions based on what they know and how they feel, not on what some techno pundits think that don’t have a financial stake at risk. The choice of having to risk 10′s of thousands in revenue vs. not being linked by a third party that does not contribute to the revenue stream is a pretty easy choice to make.

  2. Hey Bobby, here’s some real numbers based on a vertical community/information site with 250k uniques a month serving just over 10 million pages. It’s soley supported by advertising revenue, mostly from an in house network with a bit from Adsense that grosses well into six figures a year. For a while they used RSS to distribute feeds for the forum (which many of them are sort of blogs) and current news/feature content. During that time the feeds were offered, page views didn’t seem to decrease, impressions didn’t seem to decrease and CTR didn’t seem to decrease and conversions on the target advertiser’s sites didn’t seem to change. No one really seemed to care though some people used RSS the to keep an eye on the forums. The forum content was also available via email updates and NNTP. No one really used NNTP, some used RSS and many more used email, by a factor of 5 times or so compared to RSS.

    Leaving the RSS on wasn’t a big deal, until one thing. An advertiser that was responsible for about 20% of the revenue plus a pretty big chunk in the parent corps trade mag of similar content started asking questions. They didn’t seem to like it or get it that the content was being provided, in full without the ads that they were specifically targeting for that content. It was decided that until the staff had a chance to start shoveling the advertiser’s rich media ads into the feed, they’d stop the feed for the time being.

    My point is this Bobby, it’s pretty easy for you to dismiss people not using full feeds, or not providing any feeds when you don’t have to make a living selling ads on your site having to appease both media buyers and community members. Your site is not selling impressions and eyeballs and the people that run the site I mentioned had to decide on enabling a feature that hardly anyone in that community uses vs. generating some disdain from the people actually sending in the cash. It ain’t all about you, babe. A business needs to make decisions based on what they know and how they feel, not on what some techno pundits think that don’t have a financial stake at risk. The choice of having to risk 10′s of thousands in revenue vs. not being linked by a third party that does not contribute to the revenue stream is a pretty easy choice to make.

  3. When you make a bold statement like “Blog Herald doesn’t understand why full-text feeds work”, you imply that all full-text feeds actually “work” and earn ad revenue, which of course is total nonsense. They may do so in the future, when someone comes up with a way to either successfully monetize full-text RSS feeds, or manages to make their site sticky despite offering full-text feeds.

    And by the way, I won’t subscribe to any feed that isn’t partial-text :) I much prefer to browse, then get the full effect of the corresponding website. Except I keep envisioning something that might be out of some Blade Runner kind of world: an RSS reader that sequentially “plays” 3D holograms of stories.

  4. When you make a bold statement like “Blog Herald doesn’t understand why full-text feeds work”, you imply that all full-text feeds actually “work” and earn ad revenue, which of course is total nonsense. They may do so in the future, when someone comes up with a way to either successfully monetize full-text RSS feeds, or manages to make their site sticky despite offering full-text feeds.

    And by the way, I won’t subscribe to any feed that isn’t partial-text :) I much prefer to browse, then get the full effect of the corresponding website. Except I keep envisioning something that might be out of some Blade Runner kind of world: an RSS reader that sequentially “plays” 3D holograms of stories.

  5. I view partial feeds much like the 3 line preview of messages in outlook. If you don’t get my attention with the first 3 lines of your email, I don’t open it. I likely delete it. If you get my attention with the partial feed, I’ll click through and read the rest..and voila! I’m now at your site, and if you’ve done things right you probably have me hooked. And isn’t that the goal? At least for commercial sites?

  6. I view partial feeds much like the 3 line preview of messages in outlook. If you don’t get my attention with the first 3 lines of your email, I don’t open it. I likely delete it. If you get my attention with the partial feed, I’ll click through and read the rest..and voila! I’m now at your site, and if you’ve done things right you probably have me hooked. And isn’t that the goal? At least for commercial sites?

  7. good discussion with valid points all round in my opinion.

    In an ideal world I’d make my feeds full text every time – I see a lot of advantages in it even though I prefer to read partial feeds in my news aggregator (and I set them to only show me a title and first paragraph or two so I can scan them).

    However, every day I find another splog using my feeds to generate content for their blogs – quite often with no attribution and no links back. At least with partial feeds they’re only publishing my first paragraph or two.

    The other element I’ll throw into the mix is that if your content is good enough and you give people a reason to read your blog – they will.

    This is illustrated by Robert following his brother’s blog – he wants to know what he’s got to say to the point he’s willing to go out of his way to do so.

    I find this is the case on my blog with some readers who tell me that I am the only partial feed they follow. Yep I’ve obviously lost some readers like Robert, but I guess that’s a risk I’m willing to take. It doesn’t seem to have hurt me so far :-)

  8. good discussion with valid points all round in my opinion.

    In an ideal world I’d make my feeds full text every time – I see a lot of advantages in it even though I prefer to read partial feeds in my news aggregator (and I set them to only show me a title and first paragraph or two so I can scan them).

    However, every day I find another splog using my feeds to generate content for their blogs – quite often with no attribution and no links back. At least with partial feeds they’re only publishing my first paragraph or two.

    The other element I’ll throw into the mix is that if your content is good enough and you give people a reason to read your blog – they will.

    This is illustrated by Robert following his brother’s blog – he wants to know what he’s got to say to the point he’s willing to go out of his way to do so.

    I find this is the case on my blog with some readers who tell me that I am the only partial feed they follow. Yep I’ve obviously lost some readers like Robert, but I guess that’s a risk I’m willing to take. It doesn’t seem to have hurt me so far :-)

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  10. Jeremy: I agree. It is absolutely ridiculous to suggest that anybody but personal blogs be hosted on free blog services. Companies need their own identity. I’m going to take a wild guess and assume there is no chapter in Naked Conversations that suggests Apple move their site to apple.typepad.com or myspace.com/apple. They could take their files and serve them from a free file hosting service and use Yahoo! to host their online store. Then Apple will never have web costs again! No, if a chapter like that exists in Naked Conversations, then the entire book’s relevancy is down the toilet. And be aware Scoble, that is exactly what you just suggested. Consider it blogged: http://www.richbrownell.com/page.php?id=198

    jaseone: There are sites that get bills that high. TWiT is one of them and their RSS is already served from a separate server. You are underestimating how many hits RSS gets.

    On a related note, the Mix 06 RSS is partial text. I guess Scoble doesn’t want like-minded individuals to attend.

  11. Jeremy: I agree. It is absolutely ridiculous to suggest that anybody but personal blogs be hosted on free blog services. Companies need their own identity. I’m going to take a wild guess and assume there is no chapter in Naked Conversations that suggests Apple move their site to apple.typepad.com or myspace.com/apple. They could take their files and serve them from a free file hosting service and use Yahoo! to host their online store. Then Apple will never have web costs again! No, if a chapter like that exists in Naked Conversations, then the entire book’s relevancy is down the toilet. And be aware Scoble, that is exactly what you just suggested. Consider it blogged: http://www.richbrownell.com/page.php?id=198

    jaseone: There are sites that get bills that high. TWiT is one of them and their RSS is already served from a separate server. You are underestimating how many hits RSS gets.

    On a related note, the Mix 06 RSS is partial text. I guess Scoble doesn’t want like-minded individuals to attend.

  12. Partial or full? Why does this always pop up as a hot topic?

    It doesn’t matter one iota if you’re talking about “protecting” content or increasing/reducing readership. It all boils down to what you like to read and how that material gets to your screen. Do you like to have it there waiting for you? Or would you rather only retrieve the items you really want to read?

    Keep in mind this discussion is about human preferences. From an automated sense (i.e. what your rss reader can offer), big deal… as long as the feed has a back to the parent document, the full content is retrievable. It takes a fraction of a second for a program to pull the url from the link element and request the document. Done – the content is retrieved.

    For an honest application, this means the content is placed alongside the feed’s item so that the reader doesn’t have to click on a link to view the entire article. As an example, my rss reader, intraVnews, does this exact same thing. I subscribe to a wider variety of partial feeds – some of them I prefer to leave them as partial, for others that I historically enjoy reading the full articles I simply instruct intraVnews to retrieve the full item. If your reader can’t download a full item, get a new reader… don’t take it out on the publisher, though.

    On the flip side, this automated process in the hands of the less honest is a problem, but that is a problem that is defined by the RSS protocol. If you publish information and contain a link to a parent document, the process of cloning content is a no-brainer… partial or full rss feeds are effectively no different (unless your parent documents require authentication to access, but that is a different issue altogether).

  13. Partial or full? Why does this always pop up as a hot topic?

    It doesn’t matter one iota if you’re talking about “protecting” content or increasing/reducing readership. It all boils down to what you like to read and how that material gets to your screen. Do you like to have it there waiting for you? Or would you rather only retrieve the items you really want to read?

    Keep in mind this discussion is about human preferences. From an automated sense (i.e. what your rss reader can offer), big deal… as long as the feed has a back to the parent document, the full content is retrievable. It takes a fraction of a second for a program to pull the url from the link element and request the document. Done – the content is retrieved.

    For an honest application, this means the content is placed alongside the feed’s item so that the reader doesn’t have to click on a link to view the entire article. As an example, my rss reader, intraVnews, does this exact same thing. I subscribe to a wider variety of partial feeds – some of them I prefer to leave them as partial, for others that I historically enjoy reading the full articles I simply instruct intraVnews to retrieve the full item. If your reader can’t download a full item, get a new reader… don’t take it out on the publisher, though.

    On the flip side, this automated process in the hands of the less honest is a problem, but that is a problem that is defined by the RSS protocol. If you publish information and contain a link to a parent document, the process of cloning content is a no-brainer… partial or full rss feeds are effectively no different (unless your parent documents require authentication to access, but that is a different issue altogether).

  14. Hi Scoble,

    I’m using Bloglines.I set it to complete entries on your subscription, but it still shows a few lines…perhaps it could be a setting in WordPress? I checked Dave Winer’s feed at scripting.wordpress.com and that works fine.

    I love the article about growing your blog audience. Going to give it a go. :)

  15. Hi Scoble,

    I’m using Bloglines.I set it to complete entries on your subscription, but it still shows a few lines…perhaps it could be a setting in WordPress? I checked Dave Winer’s feed at scripting.wordpress.com and that works fine.

    I love the article about growing your blog audience. Going to give it a go. :)

  16. Also, Scoble, you get perks with your free blogging service that no other user of WP.com gets. Like your own template. And Matt’s cell number.

    We couldn’t PAY someone to give us the service and customization we require. And we tried, we worked with the Yahoo folk for over 2 weeks trying to make it all fit and it just didn’t. We, as a growing content business, needed more than Yahoo can give. And you think MSN Spaces is somehow going to work?

  17. Also, Scoble, you get perks with your free blogging service that no other user of WP.com gets. Like your own template. And Matt’s cell number.

    We couldn’t PAY someone to give us the service and customization we require. And we tried, we worked with the Yahoo folk for over 2 weeks trying to make it all fit and it just didn’t. We, as a growing content business, needed more than Yahoo can give. And you think MSN Spaces is somehow going to work?

  18. Robert: What are you on? Move to WordPress.com? And give up all control, all advertising, all our custom applications, all syndication control AND be subject to someone else’s downtime?

    That’s the stupidest thing you’ve said in this thread. Would that be your recommendation to the NYT too? Move their services to Xanga?

  19. Robert: What are you on? Move to WordPress.com? And give up all control, all advertising, all our custom applications, all syndication control AND be subject to someone else’s downtime?

    That’s the stupidest thing you’ve said in this thread. Would that be your recommendation to the NYT too? Move their services to Xanga?

  20. I was at IT@Cork (the tech session after lunch) when you asked how many people used RSS aggregators – maybe you would have got a bigger response than 2% if you had asked ‘how many published content with RSS?’.

    The low response might be connected to simple time pressures. Frequently updating feeds on an aggregator and reading through them all can be low on the to-do list when there are so many other demands on time.

    We could do with a 26 hour day over here.

    I don’t have strong opinions on the full/partial feed argument, but I do think that RSS will only become widely popular among casual internet users (who don’t work in IT) when an aggegator is included as standard (not a plugin or third party add-on) in Office.

  21. I was at IT@Cork (the tech session after lunch) when you asked how many people used RSS aggregators – maybe you would have got a bigger response than 2% if you had asked ‘how many published content with RSS?’.

    The low response might be connected to simple time pressures. Frequently updating feeds on an aggregator and reading through them all can be low on the to-do list when there are so many other demands on time.

    We could do with a 26 hour day over here.

    I don’t have strong opinions on the full/partial feed argument, but I do think that RSS will only become widely popular among casual internet users (who don’t work in IT) when an aggegator is included as standard (not a plugin or third party add-on) in Office.

  22. You will also be giving away your content to hundreds of splogs around, that will make money of your hard work, since these days lots of the scrappers get better listings on Google and Technorati.

    No to full listing!

  23. You will also be giving away your content to hundreds of splogs around, that will make money of your hard work, since these days lots of the scrappers get better listings on Google and Technorati.

    No to full listing!

  24. Ethan: on my desktop machine I don’t subscribe to anything but full. I won’t subscribe to anything that doesn’t at least make full feeds available (and haven’t, if you look at my NewsGator feed list). But, on my cell phone I can set NewsGator to only display partial text feeds. So, I have a choice.

    Jeremy: I use a free blogging service. Maybe if the costs are too high for you you should consider a free service like Blogger, MSN Spaces, WordPress.com. :-)

  25. Ethan: on my desktop machine I don’t subscribe to anything but full. I won’t subscribe to anything that doesn’t at least make full feeds available (and haven’t, if you look at my NewsGator feed list). But, on my cell phone I can set NewsGator to only display partial text feeds. So, I have a choice.

    Jeremy: I use a free blogging service. Maybe if the costs are too high for you you should consider a free service like Blogger, MSN Spaces, WordPress.com. :-)

  26. For just file serving you don’t need a fancy server, for high traffic sites you really should be caching your content and serving it from a separate server.

    I’m guessing that is why comments often dissappear for short periods here on WordPress.com as the caching mechanism must have a few kinks in it.

  27. For just file serving you don’t need a fancy server, for high traffic sites you really should be caching your content and serving it from a separate server.

    I’m guessing that is why comments often dissappear for short periods here on WordPress.com as the caching mechanism must have a few kinks in it.

  28. “Mike: some feeds I want partial, some I want full (most I want full, though, even on my smart phone).”

    But you said you wouldn’t subscribe to ANY partial feeds. More than once in the post, in fact. So which is it?

    And is Tech.Memeorandum destined for the scrap heap? Or are they sending out a full feed that I am unaware of?

    Just asking, carry on.

  29. “Mike: some feeds I want partial, some I want full (most I want full, though, even on my smart phone).”

    But you said you wouldn’t subscribe to ANY partial feeds. More than once in the post, in fact. So which is it?

    And is Tech.Memeorandum destined for the scrap heap? Or are they sending out a full feed that I am unaware of?

    Just asking, carry on.

  30. Ignore my math, I misread your sentence. Still, the point is the salient. Scoble doesn’t really have that much traffic. Also, what would Scoble’s feed look like if it had images in every post (as more and more blogs are doing). Instead of 30K Gzipped, it’d be 300K. And all of a sudden you’re talking different figures entirely (especially if, instead of 10,000 subscribers you have 50,000 or 500,000).

  31. Ignore my math, I misread your sentence. Still, the point is the salient. Scoble doesn’t really have that much traffic. Also, what would Scoble’s feed look like if it had images in every post (as more and more blogs are doing). Instead of 30K Gzipped, it’d be 300K. And all of a sudden you’re talking different figures entirely (especially if, instead of 10,000 subscribers you have 50,000 or 500,000).

  32. jase: If everyone ran 60$/month servers, every site would be down a LOT more than it is. Our servers run us 250$/month right now, and that’s pretty cheap.

    Also, at 17$/day, that’s a hefty bill for ONE mildly trafficked blog. Now imagine content producers with 20 Scoble’s, and all of a sudden you’re in the 400$/DAY range (12K/month).

  33. jase: If everyone ran 60$/month servers, every site would be down a LOT more than it is. Our servers run us 250$/month right now, and that’s pretty cheap.

    Also, at 17$/day, that’s a hefty bill for ONE mildly trafficked blog. Now imagine content producers with 20 Scoble’s, and all of a sudden you’re in the 400$/DAY range (12K/month).

  34. Sing it brotha’; I couldn’t agree more!

    Here’s my case for full text feeds:
    I worship Jon Udell. My opinion of him as a technologist and as a person couldn’t be higher. Still I don’t read his blog that often – probably less than weekly. I read a lot of less-worthy blogs on a daily basis.

    Why? Because his feed isn’t full text. I have a mental block from even checking his feed for new content. A partial-text makes me stop and think about each post “Click or skip?” Full-text lets me plow right through.

  35. Sing it brotha’; I couldn’t agree more!

    Here’s my case for full text feeds:
    I worship Jon Udell. My opinion of him as a technologist and as a person couldn’t be higher. Still I don’t read his blog that often – probably less than weekly. I read a lot of less-worthy blogs on a daily basis.

    Why? Because his feed isn’t full text. I have a mental block from even checking his feed for new content. A partial-text makes me stop and think about each post “Click or skip?” Full-text lets me plow right through.

  36. About the bandwidth argument, at the moment Scoble’s feed is 124,449 bytes and when served via Gzip sends 31,531 bytes across the wire, bandwidth is usually measured in GB and as a baseline lets say costs 50c per GB even though you can probably get it even cheaper.

    Scoble’s feed could be served up a total of 34,053 times for 50c of bandwidth:

    1,073,741,824 bytes (1GB) / 31,531 bytes = 34,053.529

    So for a typical month of 30 days, over 30,000 reads of the RSS feed a day would cost only $15. Now if you use a dedicated file serving plan for something like $60/month that gives you 500GB of bandwidth a month and generate a cache of your RSS feed there you would be able to support something like 480,000 reads of the RSS file a day based upon Scoble’s current feed size.

    Just how popular are the sites quoting $10,000 bandwidth bills?

  37. About the bandwidth argument, at the moment Scoble’s feed is 124,449 bytes and when served via Gzip sends 31,531 bytes across the wire, bandwidth is usually measured in GB and as a baseline lets say costs 50c per GB even though you can probably get it even cheaper.

    Scoble’s feed could be served up a total of 34,053 times for 50c of bandwidth:

    1,073,741,824 bytes (1GB) / 31,531 bytes = 34,053.529

    So for a typical month of 30 days, over 30,000 reads of the RSS feed a day would cost only $15. Now if you use a dedicated file serving plan for something like $60/month that gives you 500GB of bandwidth a month and generate a cache of your RSS feed there you would be able to support something like 480,000 reads of the RSS file a day based upon Scoble’s current feed size.

    Just how popular are the sites quoting $10,000 bandwidth bills?

  38. I think Joe Public has a point.

    What worries me is the amount of Internet energy someone like Scoble manages to shift. As if any of what he had to say was REALLY that important in life.

    Like British plawright David Hare once said in his play ‘My Zinc Bed’: “like Rome, Microsoft will also fall” which is actually similar to what my gran used to say when I was a girl, albeit in her own sort of way: “don’t matter how well-to-do them folks think they are, they’ll all end up 12 feet under like the rest of us”.

  39. I think Joe Public has a point.

    What worries me is the amount of Internet energy someone like Scoble manages to shift. As if any of what he had to say was REALLY that important in life.

    Like British plawright David Hare once said in his play ‘My Zinc Bed’: “like Rome, Microsoft will also fall” which is actually similar to what my gran used to say when I was a girl, albeit in her own sort of way: “don’t matter how well-to-do them folks think they are, they’ll all end up 12 feet under like the rest of us”.

  40. “the competition for my time is fierce, so I’ll stick with only full-text feeds, sorry.”

    My advice to you Mr. Scoble: Never forget how high your horse is, the higher it grows, the harder the fall.

  41. “the competition for my time is fierce, so I’ll stick with only full-text feeds, sorry.”

    My advice to you Mr. Scoble: Never forget how high your horse is, the higher it grows, the harder the fall.

  42. Personally, I think this consideration can vary widely by publication, goal, and target audience.

    Totally. But lazy bloggers demand the world spoon-fed them info. But missing important news as it just not full-text feeded, strikes me as well, stupidly clueless and arrogant to boot. Not a good practice either, as some of my best info sources are all partial.

    Full, partial, snippet, abstract, hint, rumor, comment in passing, something overheard — information is information, I am not going to have temper-tantrums over the format. This is yet another example why bloggers or citizen journo’s will never replace real journalists. Unable to focus, or pinpoint the important, in the sea of information, they demand all now, no legwork needed.

    HaloGate and RSSGate, even Scobles most diehard supporters are starting to think he’s gone loopy. But thankfully, everyone is all ADD’ed, so onto the next big thing.

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