How’s that for a guilt trip? Unless you’ve been stranded on a desert island the past few weeks, you probably know many Bloggers have made the decision to truncate or shorten their blog feeds to only show a short excerpt of their post. I didn’t hop on the truncation train at first because I wanted to do a little research to learn as much as I could about how widespread scraping and stealing of blog feeds actually is. The news was not good.
It’s very widespread and getting worse with each passing day. There are not enough hours in the day to get all the content that’s been stolen in Blogland off the evil sites that are doing the stealing. I’ve completed three more DMCA forms just this week.
Often when you do shut them down, they just start up a new blog under a different name and start stealing again. The bad guys have decided why bother with spending hours buying supplies, doing projects, taking pictures and writing posts, just steal from blog feeds instead. (Read more about how to stop Scrapers here: Stop Scrapers from Stealing Your Blog Content) There are so many sites doing it now, it would be impossible to name them all and I definitely don’t want to send them any additional traffic.
Change: Most of Us Don’t Like It
In Blogging, as in life, nothing ever stays the same. We get settled into our daily routine watching our favorite shows or reading our favorite books or sites, then a change comes along. Here’s a secret: Bloggers don’t like changes anymore than you do. Changes often cost precious time, creative energy and money.
I thought one Blogger (who recently started truncating her feed) put it well when she said she could either spend her hours each day creating beautiful projects and posts or she could spend them filling out DMCA forms, SPAM reports and talking with lawyers about getting her posts off evil sites. Understandably, she opted for the former and I’m glad she did because I enjoy her posts. I’d much rather have her time and energy go to blogging and not policing.
A Frustrating Day:
Today I hired a talented developer to create the friendliest, prettiest truncated feed you’ve ever seen for those who subscribe to the BNOTP feed. I envisioned a feed that shared at least a full paragraph along with a photo (or two) so you could get a good feel for what the post was about. Then you could decide if it was worthy of a visit to BNOTP to read.
Sadly, I received discouraging news. A picture happy feed will not work for my blog. I probably won’t even be able to provide a good solid paragraph in there, just a title. The reason is when I create a post, the paragraph and picture for the feed would have to go in the exact same location where something else on my blog already goes: the post titles for each link under the categories at the top of BNOTP. So, the best we could do (until someone creates a better plugin) is to provide the title of the post in the feed. (Insert 114 frowny faces here.)
Update: My intrepid developer may have a fix in the works. Hopefully you’ll see a picture and an excerpt from the post in the feed that goes out after all. Yay!
Why I Subscribe to Blogs With Truncated Feeds and Have Signed Up For Even More
I will not be un-subscribing to the feeds I read where the Blogger has decided to truncate the feed. I will even continue to add more blogs to my feed reader no matter if the Blogger truncates or not. Here’s why:
Reason #1. I still want to know when a new post goes up. If I unsubscribe, I’ll have no way to know and I’ll either forget to click over to the blog to check, thus missing some great posts, OR I’ll waste time clicking over when a new post may not be up, yet. A feed, truncated or not, let’s me know my fave Bloggers have something new to share.
Reason #2. I’ve been using Google Chrome as my main browser now for a couple of years and I love it. It’s fast (of course, it’s by Google) and it has lots of bells and whistles the other browsers do not. If you download the Chrome browser and use Google Reader as your feed reader, you can still read a full post without having to physically visit the blog. Awesome, right?!
Yep, it’s magic…Google Magic. Don’t ask me how they do it, but it works. I posted all about it here: Google Reader Inline: Read a Truncated Feed without Leaving Your Google Reader
In case you are wondering, you can have several browsers on your computer, most folks do. I have Chrome as my main browser, but occasionally I use Firefox and Internet Explorer. Chrome is my fave for so many reasons, other than the fact it’s so fast. I love all the extensions they offer, like the Google Reader Inline extension. They remind me of Apps for the iPad or iPhone, since they add additional functions to my browser.
Reason #3: Finally, the third reason I will not be un-subscribing to blog feeds where the feed has been shortened is because I love all the Bloggers who have been providing great posts to me for years. I know it’s not their fault that the bad guys are stealing their hard work and I know they are simply trying to protect themselves from future abuse.
I’m glad they have chosen to spend their valuable time creating posts that will inform and delight rather than spending it writing emails and filling out forms. I want to support them in any way I can.
I know it means a lot to a blogger when they see their feed number growing. It’s a huge pat on the back and one way I can say, “You’re doing a great job and I don’t want to miss a single post.”
Show Support for Your Favorite Blogs:
If there’s a blog out there that’s given you pleasure or made your day a little brighter, maybe shared a helpful tip or sparked a new idea, show them your support by subscribing to their blog feed or to their email alerts. Follow them on Twitter, in Google Connect or “Like” their FaceBook page. They will so appreciate it and it gives them a boost to work even harder.
Now that I’ve made the decision to truncate my feed to stop the ongoing abuse from the evil scrapers, it is my hope you will not leave/unsubscribe to BNOTP e-mails or the BNOTP Feed. I understand if you must and I promise I won’t chase you down the street, hanging onto your leg, begging you to stay.
But I’m not making any promises I won’t stalk you or occasionally drive by your house to see if you’re home.
Thanks again for always being so supportive. I feel so blessed to have you here…don’t ever forget that.