Over my Christmas vacation, I intended to get caught up on my blog reading… but that unfortunately didn’t totally happen. Oops! However, I recently discovered an app that has greatly improved my blog reading experience, and wanted to share it with all of you.
Have you ever added a blog to your RSS reader and been irritated to discover that the blogger has set up their feed to only show “excerpts?” That is, your reader shows a few sentences or maybe even a few paragraphs, but then you get the dreaded “click here to continue reading?” That pisses me off so much – to the point where I unsubscribe from all but my very favorite blogs that employ that tactic. For one thing, it tells me that a blogger is more concerned about pageviews / money than about their user experience… which makes me wonder what else they would sacrifice for readers in the interest of making money? I definitely don’t trust a blog’s product reviews to be unbiased if they show excerpts!
I often read blog posts on my phone (using Feedly) when I’m on an elevator, in stairwells, etc – and since I don’t have cell service in those areas, anything that’s not queued up in my reader (i.e., anything I have to click through) is something that needs to get saved to read later. However, that’s where Full Text RSS Feed comes in. If you change the URL from which your reader is fetching the posts, it can force a pull of the entire blog post right to your reader – even if the blog author has set up their feed to be excerpts only. Huge time saver!
To use the service, change the feed URL (the one you input into your reader to subscribe) to have fulltextrssfeed.com/ at the beginning of it. So if you wanted to subscribe to my feed using the service, you’d add fulltextrssfeed.com/50by25.com to your reader. (Luckily, that’s just an example; since I don’t truncate my feeds, you can just use 50by25.com for me.)
In case I didn’t explain it clearly, there is also a URL generator over at FullTextRSSFeed.com that can help you out. And for the rare instance where you type in the FullTextRSSFeed-ified URL and it doesn’t seem to work properly, I’ve been able to fix it by going to the blog directly, finding their exact feed URL (typically something like 50by25.com/feed or 50by25.com/rss/feed) and putting that part after fulltextrssfeed.com/, rather than using only the domain name. I think occasionally the fetching service doesn’t go through the redirects to find the feed properly, but using the URL of the feed itself fixes that problem.