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NoFilmSchool's RSS Feed Going Excerpt-Only (Everything Else Staying the Same)

01.31.11 @ 4:57PM Tags : , , ,

“Oh my God dude, you win this award and all the sudden you think your site’s too good to give away all the content for free?” Well, no, everything is staying free. I’ve even said no to some offers for sponsored posts. The only thing that’s changing is the RSS feed is going from full to partial, meaning those of you who get NoFilmSchool updates via a feed reader — and statistics show that there are not too many of you — will have to click through to this here site in order to read the full article. Most sites only offer a partial RSS feed as it is, and this is not an indicator that things are going to change around here in any other way. That’s it; move along, there’s nothing to see here.

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  • I catch the new articles in a RSS reader, but then always come here to read. Am I right in thinking that the all the articles will still be shown, but just have a very short summary of the article, first sentance or whatever.

    Congrat’s on the award!

  • Please give a good amount of detail – enough for the reader to determine if they wish to click through. I’ve seen a few blogs go to excerpts only, and their excerpts are uninformative and cryptic so I stopped reading at all.

    Love your content!

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Hamish. Unfortunately this is controlled by WordPress and is very difficult to change — it’s one of my (few) pet peeves with WP, actually. Hope it’s enough for you!

      • From my experience, I think you actually have complete control over the excerpts (unless you’re using a version of WordPress that’s several versions old). If you don’t define an excerpt, then WordPress relies on the “automatic excerpt” function, which selects the first 55 words in the post.

        Check out this, from the WordPress Codex (http://codex.wordpress.org/Excerpt):

        “To add an excerpt to a post, simply write one in the Excerpt field under the post edit box. An excerpt can be as short or as long as you wish. Usually, given its purpose, a couple of sentences is fine.”

        “When a post has no manual excerpt and the post template uses the the_excerpt() template tag, WordPress generates an excerpt automatically by selecting the first 55 words of the post.”

        • Aha! Forgot about that. I will do my best to do manual excerpts (everything up until the “More”), which is what I wanted to do in the first place. Still, it’d be nice if you could do this automatically instead of manually. Splitting hairs, I suppose.

  • Jeff Pedersen on 01.31.11 @ 6:11PM

    Please explain to us the reason for this. I follow 10 different Video sites on top of all of my news sites. As a fellow techie and artist, I will have to pair down if sites require me to go to their site to navigate. It’s all about convenience. I was under the impression that you can embed ads in the RSS feed and that upon viewing each article it counts as a page view as it has to query your surver for the article. I don’t mean to whine, but if gimping your RSS feed is so you can make money and stay in business thats fine, just disclose that. Thanks.

  • Yes, you can insert ads in the RSS feed, but it’s complicated and doesn’t always work. Plus, people very rarely ever click on ads when they’re in an RSS reader, in my experience. So, yes, that’s the reason for the change — because folks pay to run ads here, I can’t very well give away the whole post ad-free when someone else is effectively sponsoring the site. If I could simply insert the ads into the feed, I would, but as I said, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

    The feed should still be very convenient — the titles and excerpts should let you know if the full post is something you’re going to read. I hope! This excerpt-only approach is already true of most large sites; I will certainly look into keeping the feed full, but integrating the ads into the feed is not something I’m qualified to address personally.

  • Kevin I. Slaughter on 01.31.11 @ 8:09PM

    just a note of dissent. I understand the reason, maybe it’ll work out for you better this way, but not for me. Especially if I click through and am greeted by a giant pop-up ad every time I want to read a post.

    • That pop-up should only show up once a month at most. And it’s not like the feed is going away completely… I see your points, and I’ll look into other options, but let’s just see how it works out for the time being.

  • This sucks! It might be a small audience but it is also a dedicated audience.

  • David Fulde on 01.31.11 @ 11:45PM

    Okay, that’s fine. I use more of an RSS updater (Using the rockmelt browser, just in the tab) so it won;t change anything for me :)

  • Meh.

    Don`t be evil.
    If there is small number of peaple who read via RSS it will not change anything.

  • It’s kinda cute when people complain about free things, isn’t it? :)

    • Lisa Clarkson on 02.4.11 @ 4:05AM

      Yeah, can you believe when all those folks got mad that Gmail went down? What a bunch of jerks. It’s kinda cute when someone tweaks his business model and it has consequences in his user base, isn’t it? :)

  • OMG! When did people become so frickin’ greedy!! Koo, you do an amazing job and I can honestly say reading your blog has greatly helped my career (as I’m sure it has for many of your readers)! And the fact that you’ve been so generous should not be wasted on any of us. I can attest that you have saved me hundreds (if not thousands of dollars in man hours and knowledge) so those people complaining should see about enrolling in film school, and then really have some money prob’s to complain about! Keep up the excellent work Man. And THANK YOU! P3p0

  • Man, I can’t believe people is so offended by this. This site gives away lots of info and an AWESOME, nicely designed DSLR guide like noone else online, and all people can think about is: “no way I’m opening a tab on my browser to read the article because it wastes 10 seconds of my time”??? I use a feed reader but always click on the articles of the feeds I like just because I find that way more practical.I think that if this is the best for nofilmschool, it’s fine by me.

    Or a better idea, you can tell the people against this the budget all the ads pays you and ask them to pay it instead. That way everybody wins, they still get to read your blog on their precious feed reader, and you still get the same amount. Perfect! ;)

  • Haha!

    The content is free. Duh! It doesn’t mean there is not a right way to do things. I have supported this site in both linking and donating to it. It is not like I don’t appreciate what is being published here. But the point of having a feed is not to have to go to the site. You can have ads in your rss feeder if you want to make a penny off that audience. I usually find that people who use RSS are usually bloggers. They will repay the pageviews you might lose out by directly linking to you.

    And if it is such a small audience that goes through an rss feed, then what is the motivation for making this switch.

    • Ajit,

      If people are paying to run ads against your content, in my opinion you shouldn’t give it away sans ads — what are the sponsors paying for, then?

      Also, I find that the images and videos are often unformatted in the RSS feed and it makes for an ugly post — not what I intended. My hope is that the excerpt will be enough for someone to know if they want to read the full post, and clicking through to the site from an RSS reader is not very different from home page visitors clicking “More” in the first place.

  • I read the blog through google reader mainly from my phone. I’ll definitely miss having the whole article to read inside it. Will probably not read articles that I otherwise would have now. I totally understand the reason for making the switch, but yeah, sad day for me.

  • Russell Steen on 02.4.11 @ 1:42PM

    With Netflix, ESPN live streaming and my DVD player, I go for weeks without turning on the TV, and when I do, the number, content, and awkward placement of the commercials really grates, and I just turn it off. I can see that advertisers will soon all switch to the internet where it is easier to target an audience and measure the response, but when I am forced to wait for an ad to play I can’t help but think it’s because of idiots who can’t figure out why TV audiences are shrinking. Instead of taking advantage of the ability to make ads that viewers will want to, and thus voluntarily watch, there are still those using the “hold em hostage and blast em all over and over” method. We come to these sites to be informed (and entertained) with the ability to control and respond to what we see, not to be put on hold and delivered to sponsors. You must be careful not to lose the viewers your advertisers want to pay you for.

  • I’m not putting anyone “on hold” here at NFS! There are no interstitial advertisements or anything that forces someone to wait to access the content — there are simply ads that run alongside the content, and those are absolutely necessary — without them, the site would not exist (long term, at least). Tis a small price to pay (nothing, in fact), in my opinion…

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