There are a lot of blogs that I read regularly. In order to stay on top of them, I’ve come to embrace RSS feeds. Years ago I used to simply bookmark the URLs and visit all the blogs one by one. With the burgeoning blogs I read though, that’s a very time-consuming undertaking, so I very much prefer to read via RSS feed readers.
What are RSS Feeds?
RSS feeds are a means to syndicate updated information from various websites or blogs. This means that instead of visiting every single blog to check for updates, I can sit down with my mug of tea, while Feedly aggregates all the updates in one feed. I then only need to open up an app for RSS Feeds on my iPad (I use Newsify, occasionally Feedly‘s official app) while lounging on my balcony.
Perks of RSS Feeds
Saves Time and Data
The main reason I like RSS feeds is that they save time. I can hop from one blog post to the next without having to load new websites. This is particularly great when I’m on the move and leeching off my mobile data plan. My 4GB are precious, alright! I also save time because I don’t end up visiting blogs that don’t have new updates. This maximises the pockets of time that I have to read blog posts.
RSS feeds pull the latest updates fairly quickly from all the blogs. This means that I can easily see at a glance what’s new. And I can decide if I want to read it immediately or wait till I have more time. If I had to visit a hundred blogs to see what happened in the past two to three hours, I’d never get to do anything else.
When RSS Feeds are Redundant
Given the wonderful perks of RSS feeds, there’s nothing much to complain about, no? Wrong! For me, RSS feeds become redundant when only excerpts are shown and I’m forced to visit the blog anyway. I visit blogs when I want to comment. But I decide if I want to comment after reading a blog post. Being forced to visit a blog via an RSS feed is counterproductive. I lose interest quickly and move on to the next blog post in my RSS feed.
In fact, I always wonder why anyone bothers setting up RSS on their blog if they’re not actually going to allow their whole content to be available via RSS feeds. I suppose, there’s the hope that throwing a bone will persuade readers to chase the meat. Not me. There’s enough meat to go around on my RSS feed. Inconvenience won’t attract me.
For example, take a look at the photo above with my review of Scarlet and how it shows up in RSS feeds. There’s just the cover and two sentences. In order to read the rest, you’d have to visit my blog. Who has time for that? And then some readers might think that that’s all there is to my review — the book cover and two sentences gushing about the book. Doh.
On the other hand, I know of bloggers who genuinely didn’t know how to adjust their RSS settings, so that their entire blog posts would be available instead of measly snippets. If you need help, here’s how to allow complete blog posts to be show up in RSS feeds.
How to Show Full Posts Instead of Excerpts
Go to your settings under your dashboard. Select Reading. Then look for the option, “For each article in a feed, show”. Change the setting from “Summary” to “Full Text” and you’re golden! This applies to both WordPress.com and WordPress.org blogs.
I’ve not used Blogger since 2007 but Google Support is very helpful and explains how to change your site’s feed settings. Be sure to set “Allow Blog Feed” to full. Other than that, the set up’s simple.