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Freakonomics: ‘The Last Word (for Now) on Our RSS Feed: An Excruciatingly Long and Boring Post That Will Please Exactly No One’

Actually, it pleased me greatly to read this, given that I’m thinking about and working through the exact same issues regarding offering full feeds here on DF. What happened is that the Freakonomics weblog used to offer full feeds, but since starting their partnership with The Times, now only has an excerpt feed. Regarding why they don’t just offer a full content feed with ads:

But the Times and its advertisers aren’t crazy about this option. (Nor are they alone, apparently.) Why? This is the fundamental point: many advertisers do not value feed readers as much as they value site readers, since they believe that feed readers are far harder to measure and track.

It’s certainly true that feed subscribers are harder to measure, but, I think this is shortsighted. Subscribers are readers who, by the act of subscribing to the feed, show themselves to be regular readers. I think that’s a valuable audience — and so far, sponsors of the Daring Fireball feed think so too.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007