Decision 07: (more…) vs. More

Funny thing, Rich has a draft in WP called “Time to Give Jake a Break”. You’ll notice it hasn’t been published yet. We are really buried preparing for OpenWorld, so keeping this blog going has been tough.

The title put me in mind of the trucking term Jake Brake. Signs like this one have puzzled me all my life. It’s Saturday, and I still have writer’s block.

Anyway, Eddie weighed in with some other readers against the (more…) tag that we use in our posts. So, I’ve decided to put it to a vote. In case you’re wondering, Google Reader interprets the WordPress “Read More” tag as (more…). I’m not sure what it looks like in other feed readers, but the issue at hand here is whether we should publish the full post on the main page or not.

Pro
The reason we use the (more…) tag is to keep the main page fresh, i.e. a long post tends to dominate the page, extending well below the fold. The Read More tag allows us to show more content for those who actually come to oracleappslab.com to read our material. Generally, people who want to drive traffic to their domains use this practice to draw readers into clicking through and moving around their sites. Oddly, a vote for (more…) is a vote for less.

I don’t care, but Rich said a long time ago that he preferred this method. I like Rich, and it’s important to keep him happy. So, a vote for the (more….) tag is a vote for Rich. Luz. I should put the (more…) right here to make you anti-types click through to read the rest.

Con
Obviously, a lot of our readership uses Google Reader (and other feed readers) to consume AppsLab goodness. For these people, the (more…) tag means they have to click through to finish reading a post, which defeats the purpose of a feed reader to some extent. As Eddie mentions, “I do not bother with partial feeds unless I have to, and usually I do not have to.” He stopped syndicating partial feeds a year ago. Again, oddly, a vote against (more…) is a vote for more, content that is.

So, do we keep the (more…) or not? There are already at least 3 votes against it, so right now, I call it 3-0 against.

Vote in comments, and save the complaints about better content. I know it’s thin lately. Think of it as weeding out the readership that doesn’t care. We’ll have more to say soon.

AboutJake

a.k.a.:jkuramot

30 comments

  1. I dislike having to click more in a feed (and usually won’t), but I understand its usefulness with respect to a blog home page. Fortunately, WordPress has a nice solution: the_excerpt();

    For each post, you can add an excerpt that summarizes the post. On the home template, call the_excerpt(); instead of the_content();

    You’ll have to take the time when posting to add an excerpt, but it keeps the front page tidy while not annoying your feed readers. Some WordPress users use the_excerpt for the top portion of their posts and then call both functions in their templates so that they don’t duplicate data. Just be sure to modify your feed-rss2.php, feed-atom.php files in /wp-includes if you do that.

  2. I dislike having to click more in a feed (and usually won’t), but I understand its usefulness with respect to a blog home page. Fortunately, WordPress has a nice solution: the_excerpt();

    For each post, you can add an excerpt that summarizes the post. On the home template, call the_excerpt(); instead of the_content();

    You’ll have to take the time when posting to add an excerpt, but it keeps the front page tidy while not annoying your feed readers. Some WordPress users use the_excerpt for the top portion of their posts and then call both functions in their templates so that they don’t duplicate data. Just be sure to modify your feed-rss2.php, feed-atom.php files in /wp-includes if you do that.

  3. Likewise, I use a feed reader and hate having to click-thru to get full content (and rarely do…)..

    Jeremiah’s suggestion sounds perfect; it recognises that using a feed reader and coming to the home page are two very different experiences, and it is articifically restrictive to try and do “one size fits all”.

    It would also be good if you can clean up the “archives” concept at the same time. Love the tag cloud, top posts etc … but I rarely use them. Most of the time when I come to your home page I want to just see your chronological list of posts. What month is irrelevant. Just current, old, older, oldest… its a continuum.

  4. Likewise, I use a feed reader and hate having to click-thru to get full content (and rarely do…)..

    Jeremiah’s suggestion sounds perfect; it recognises that using a feed reader and coming to the home page are two very different experiences, and it is articifically restrictive to try and do “one size fits all”.

    It would also be good if you can clean up the “archives” concept at the same time. Love the tag cloud, top posts etc … but I rarely use them. Most of the time when I come to your home page I want to just see your chronological list of posts. What month is irrelevant. Just current, old, older, oldest… its a continuum.

  5. Please, please, publish full feeds.

    If you want to keep the web page more “active”, just publish an excerpt on the web page, and truncate it at say 1000 characters. But let the RSS feed itself, be a full feed. It only takes a tiny amount of hacking to do this, and a good example of “truncation” in action are:

    * http://www.planet-php.net/ (look for the “Truncated by planet PHP”. This could be implemented better as the RSS feed is also truncated :()
    * http://www.planetmysql.org/ (look for the “read more” on the Web, but then realise that the RSS feed is the complete full feed)

    So I’d say Planet MySQL got it right at the moment. If you visit the website, you only get fresh content, all truncated and so on. If you grab the RSS feed, you get it all, no “more” link…

    I for one use Liferea or Google Reader to read the AppsLab blog, and if I’m offline, go on missing articles that I could have enjoyed.

  6. Please, please, publish full feeds.

    If you want to keep the web page more “active”, just publish an excerpt on the web page, and truncate it at say 1000 characters. But let the RSS feed itself, be a full feed. It only takes a tiny amount of hacking to do this, and a good example of “truncation” in action are:

    * http://www.planet-php.net/ (look for the “Truncated by planet PHP”. This could be implemented better as the RSS feed is also truncated :()
    * http://www.planetmysql.org/ (look for the “read more” on the Web, but then realise that the RSS feed is the complete full feed)

    So I’d say Planet MySQL got it right at the moment. If you visit the website, you only get fresh content, all truncated and so on. If you grab the RSS feed, you get it all, no “more” link…

    I for one use Liferea or Google Reader to read the AppsLab blog, and if I’m offline, go on missing articles that I could have enjoyed.

  7. >> the issue at hand here is whether we should publish the full post on the main page or not.

    Full feed please.
    Is there no way to have what you want on the home page but give full feed?

  8. >> the issue at hand here is whether we should publish the full post on the main page or not.

    Full feed please.
    Is there no way to have what you want on the home page but give full feed?

  9. no need to apologize for being busy Jake, I took it as a gift to allow me to catch up on past articles that I was falling behind on reading.

  10. no need to apologize for being busy Jake, I took it as a gift to allow me to catch up on past articles that I was falling behind on reading.

  11. An update: Rich will be installing a WP plugin to handle syndication of full feeds and truncated posts on the main page, similar to what Eddie suggests. We’re not able to FTP to our host now, so it might be a few days.

    The people have spoken.

  12. An update: Rich will be installing a WP plugin to handle syndication of full feeds and truncated posts on the main page, similar to what Eddie suggests. We’re not able to FTP to our host now, so it might be a few days.

    The people have spoken.

  13. Thanks for asking, listening and then acting Jake!
    Great trifecta. Wish more people would do all three if they are going to do any at all.

    Politicians especially;-)

  14. Thanks for asking, listening and then acting Jake!
    Great trifecta. Wish more people would do all three if they are going to do any at all.

    Politicians especially;-)

  15. Peter: According to that little Reader Easter Egg floating around yesterday, we have 87 subscribers using Reader. I’m sure there are other using other feed readers, too, and this plugin (if we ever get it installed) will let us do both. Win-win is good.

  16. Peter: According to that little Reader Easter Egg floating around yesterday, we have 87 subscribers using Reader. I’m sure there are other using other feed readers, too, and this plugin (if we ever get it installed) will let us do both. Win-win is good.

  17. Hi Jake,

    “Rich will be installing a WP plugin to handle syndication of full feeds and truncated posts on the main page”

    What plugin are you using to produce full feeds and truncated posts on the main page?

  18. Hi Jake,

    “Rich will be installing a WP plugin to handle syndication of full feeds and truncated posts on the main page”

    What plugin are you using to produce full feeds and truncated posts on the main page?

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