Increasingly, more sites are using RSS/XML feeds, which is good because I don’t have time to visit all of the sites that I like. But, even among the sites that have XML feeds, I notice that a large number of them have abridged feeds that include only a snippet of text. Sometimes the feed doesn’t have enough information to adequately convey what the post is really about. And often the links aren’t carried over in the truncated feeds.
I ask myself: why would anyone use a truncated XML feed? The only reason I can think of —other than ignorance about how to enable the full feed— is that the weblog’s author doesn’t want people to read their posts in news aggregators. But they provide an abridged feed to tantalize people who are reading in an aggregator and entice them to visit. In short, the only logical reason for not giving a full XML feed is to keep up their hit count.
But, admittedly, I’m making some assumptions here. And the major assumption is: does it count as a hit to a site when a news aggregator picks up the XML feed? I’m sure it depends on a lot of things, but I really don’t know. Personally, I don’t care much about hit counts so I’m perfectly satisfied to provide a full feed and to let people read my posts in their aggregators. But I would like to know how RSS/XML feeds affects hit-count statistics. And, more importantly, I’d like to see more sites provide full feeds.