August 21, 2007

Feed Me!

Crabby finally has internet back on her computer, hooray! However, she's still a day behind, and has only sort of a fake post of her own today. But in the meantime, there is a guest post following almost immediately after this one, in an effort to make up for Crabby's recent slackitude. Stay tuned!

All Crabby has today is a Question and a Cartoon. The cartoon goes first, because you know you're going to skip down to it anyway. And Crabby would like you to at least see the question in case you have an opinion!

So this Nataliedee offering was sent to Crabby by Sara from HealthBolt, a much more informative health site than this one is. But gosh, why do you think this made Sara think of Cranky Fitness?

natalie dee

And now on to the question. It's for those of you who have Feed Readers or Blogs or have opinions about Content Distribution. (Sorry, Crabby should have warned regular readers it was a boring question!)

So Crabby has been distributing her RSS feed in its entirety, mainly because she never really thought about it one way or another. But she has recently been alerted to a couple instances of plagiarism (bad, bad, fake blogs!). And she also finds herself feeling slightly confused about the whole idea of feed 'publishing.'

The best she can tell, there are quite a few perfectly legitimate sites that take a bunch of posts from other people's blogs off their RSS feeds, collect them together, and 'distribute' them. Then people come to their sites to read things instead of going to all the original blogs. The legitimate ones always include a link to the original post.

Based on Crabby's very limited understanding of how this all works, she has mixed feelings about it. While she loves the idea of new people possibly discovering Cranky Fitness, she's afraid that when the entire post is published elsewhere, people aren't going to bother going to Cranky Fitness just for the Comments. But they should! Because everyone should see what Crabby's Smart Readers have to say.

So Crabby is curious about the option of just publishing a partial feed. So people could get a sense if they wanted to read the post, and if they did, they'd end up on Crabby's site where the Comments live. (Crabby would of course have to discover the disappointing reality of how many people out there are just going to read the first part of a post and say, "yuck, no thanks." But as depressing as that sounds, she suspects her ego could weather the blow).

What she'd hate to do, though, is mess her readers up! She doesn't want to make Cranky Fitness a hassle. Crabby herself is an internet Luddite who doesn't do her own blog visits by using Feed Readers so she's not entirely sure what impact publishing a partial feed would have. (Also she's not sure how to do it, but she remembers some option in some tab somewhere in Blogger that seemed to offer this ability. She's assuming this would actually work?)

So she's hoping some of you can advise her about all this! Would partial feeds be a Pain in the Ass? What do you other bloggers do--publish your whole feed or only part of it? Does it help your readership to have your posts floating out there in the blogosphere? Crabby is a bit over her head here, which as you all well know is nothing new!


  1. I don't have any objection to partial feeds. I have dozens of feeds in my feed reader at this point, some are partial, some not. The only time it bothers me is when I have a subscription to a "cute aminal picture" feed and they don't include the picture in the feed! :p

    One thing you could do to prevent plagiarism is to add a copyright notice (and a link to Cranky Fitness) to your feed. Not that I know how to do this.

  2. Partial or complete feeds, I don't mind either way. Though I admit that with a partial feed, you'll get me on your blog a little more often then 'only' to comment on a specific post. I guess this is good if you like seeing increased stats. ;)

  3. but isn't plagiarism the sincerest form of flattery?

    i read you through a news reader. i'd still come if you did a jump. it's your sass and wit that keep me coming back for more.

    you say jump and i'll say how high :P

  4. Morning Crabby. As someone who works for an eConsultancy (a what you say? a company that consults and builds online applications), i can tell you that there aren't many stats out there just yet on whether a partial or full feed is better... but most likely those that have found you and put in you in their readers will come on over for the full dose of Crabby.

    Not sure there is a good way to go about stopping the plagiarism, it's an unfortunate side effect of being available to all.

  5. Well, I love being able to read the full thing on my reader, but as you have no doubt noticed, that doesn't keep me from coming over here to comment, when I have something to say.

    I find partial feeds annoying, but in the end, it's your blog, so you should do whatever suits you. :-)

  6. Hi Chickengirl,
    You're probably right about the copyright notice, I really need to get more sophisticated about that!

    Thanks Kery--I still haven't figured out what I want to do, but this input is very helpful!

    Well, your blog has bucketloads of sass and is worth any number of clicks to get to. (And sorry to hear about the bike and the a--hole who stole it!)

    Morning, Amanda!
    An eConsultancy! It sounds really important, like a Sultan from a foreign Consulate running a internet consulting empire. So if you don't know the answer to which is better, full or partial, I'm guessing there are good arguments for both.

    Hi Bunnygirl--thanks so much for letting me know that! I'm figuring the people who don't like partial feeds are much less likely to say so, so I'm guessing your comment probably represents a lot of other people. I really don't want to irritate you guys too much, so this is good information to have.

  7. I'm just behind in my reading, Crabby, but here I am! Another person who ... reads partial feeds LAST. That means after all the blogs I don't read right as soon as I see them. After the blogs I'll get to sooner or later, AND after the blogs that I'll get to when I get to them (those can pile up; I found some that are ten days old!).

    Just 2c on the matter. I'd miss you if you went to partial feed. Or I'd show up later than I have been.

  8. Susan,
    Good to know! Because I do think if you feel that way a lot of others probably do too. Thanks for the 2 cents.

  9. I asked my very smart, techie hubby, about this and basically he offers the following advice. 1) Full post RSS feeds may perform better because the content crawlers have more content to crawl. This of course would increase advertisement to your site. 2)With every article that you publish begin and/or end it with a hyper-link to your site and your name, i.e. by Crabby McSlacker @ (with the latter being the hyper-link). This will ensure that anyone reading you article on a fake blog will be aware that the article was written by you and was intended for publication on your site.
    I am going to adopt this format at and leave my RSS feed preference set to 'full article' as I want all the advertisement/traffic I can get.
    Hope this helps and thanks for stopping by my blog. You should read my comment response as I'm excited about the possibility of the Cranky & Christina Cupcake Diet.

  10. I've found (and heard from a lot of others) that most people want full feeds. As to plagiarism, I've found my posts all over the place. The thieves usually take the copyright notice off and kill the links. I don't think there's any good way to stop theft completely. But if you come up with one, please let me know.


    (I don't have a blogger account.)

  11. Hello Cranky and thanks for a fun and interesting blog!

    I reed all my blogs via RSS, and it is really convenient to have them all in one place. Unfortunately your question does not apply to me, since my reader has the options "show feed view" and "show website". Maybe it is still telling that I always use "show website", since some blogs are partial...

    The problem of plagitarism is new to me. What is it?

    I can recommend for all RSS flows. I have blogs, Flickr-photos, news, everything in one place! Really smart, otherwise I wouldn't read blogs, and could actually concentrate on my work...

  12. Please, no partial feeds. :(

  13. Thank you Christina, that was really helpful information! And I must pop over and discover what's up with the cupcake diet--when I see the word cupcake I am powerless to resist!

    Hi Deb,
    More good info. And yeah, I don't mind when people republish the stuff with a link, but a couple times now I've found it with no links purporting to be written by someone else (Norabarnacle alerted me to one of them). I suspect whatever notices I put up would just be deleted. On the other hand, I can't believe such scummy sites would have too many readers, so I'm trying not to lose much sleep on it.

    Thanks Pelikan!
    Netvibes does indeed seem like a cool reader. I tried the whole Google reader thing and found for some reason I don't use it. If I decide someday to get set up again, I may try netvibes.

    I'm starting to see a trend here... this is really helping, thanks!

  14. As long as there is some sort of feed so that I can see when you've updated your blog on my reader I am a happy camper. I usually just click on the title and read in the actually blog. Because I usually have to say something anyway and you can't comment from the far as I know. Plus, I need my daily dose of cupcakes.

  15. thanks norabarnacle!

    I realize that I'm starting to lean towards keeping things as they are... there seem to be enough regulars who might feel inconvenienced with a partial feed.

    Thanks for everyone's input!

  16. I'll read whether it's partial or full - do your thing, Crabby! ;)

    (glad you posted the cupcake art!)

  17. Sara, thanks so much for sending it!
    (But I am NOT going to look at your latest gross-out video over at Healthbolt, I swear!...OK, how big did you say that tumor was? Must not click link, must not click link...)

  18. "people aren't going to bother going to Cranky Fitness just for the Comments."

    Of course we are! Crabby without comments would be like...cupcakes without icing?

    Mary Anne in Kentucky, blogless

  19. Mary Anne from Kentucky, welcome!

    Readers & commenters like you are definitely the icing on the cupcakes.

    Thanks so much for stopping by & saying hello.

    (And Crabby selfishly hopes that you won't get a blog of your own but will instead spend your time at blogs like this one sharing your thoughts and making us bloggers (we bloggers?) very, very happy!)


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