Ads in RSS

Google is beta-testing AdSense for RSS feeds. I hope this catches on, and encourages more content providers to put the full text of their entries in their RSS feeds, rather than just initial snippets, which makes the feed nearly worthless for offline reading. I’ve complained about snippety RSS before, as have many others. If the only obstacle to including full text in feeds is fear of lack of revenue, this should fix that. (Presumably the fear is not bandwidth-related — 1 or 2 kilobytes versus a fraction of a kilobyte per entry shouldn’t be an issue for anyone anymore, if it ever was).


  1. Jon Garfunkel Jan 28

    Is that the aim of RSS, to replace web browsing? With RSS you knock out the ability of the reader (user) to read/post comments. So much for the “we want a conversation not a lecture” mantra.

    I use my bloglines to read through the headlines and excerpts from many sites.

    I’m also not sure how AdSense (which makes sense, sort of) would encourage full-text.

  2. Adam Rosi-Kessel Jan 28

    Not “the” aim, but one purpose. I usually post comments through my RSS aggregator, anyway. There’s no reason you can’t do this.

    AdSense encourages full-text because many sites don’t provide full-text entries because they want you to see the ads on their website, which often are just Google AdWords anyway. If they could get the same revenue from the RSS feed they would hopefully not be as worried about users not visiting their site.

    Once you start following more than a few dozen blogs (or even more than ten!) it’s basically impossible to keep up by visiting each site regularly to see if there’s anything new. RSS is suposed to fix that, but is crippled when no full text option is provided.

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