Your opinion matters: full versus short blog feed

Major headacheUnfortunately, I've started discovering the downsides of blogging: someone is actively stealing my content and publishing it on a number of blogs. I don't mind people quoting me (even larger passages of my text) as long as the proper credits appear somewhere in the post, but straight copy from my blog feed is too much.

Obviously, the easy stopgap measure would be to change the feed format from full to short, which would only pass the first few lines of every blog post into the feed, resulting in a bit more effort on your end, as you'd have to click on the post link in the feed reader to view the whole text. Would this be a major nuisance for anyone?

20 comments:

  1. For me the content is valuable most. The form is minor issue.

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  2. the full feed as proven very useful to me as i aggregate a *lot* of different feeds on netvibes.
    but i don't really understand what would change in the effective steal if you reduced the form factor. the baddies could still monitor the feed, follow to your blog, copy n' paste and take credit.

    name the 'tards to the hall of shame, so everybody knows who they are.

    quality blogs like this one has proven unvaluable over the time. post stealing leech driving excellent authors to close just drive the quality down.

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  3. Hi,
    i'm qouting you sometimes in my Hungarian blog, but the source is allways your blog:) This blog is very good, i think short vs long is the same from the readers point.

    Xcke

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  4. Please keep the full RSS feed. Moving to short format will not stop people in any way. Cut and Paste is just as simple from webpage as it is from a RSS feed.

    While the full feed is useful for people who read your website.

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  5. @edouard/jeremy: Stealing from a feed with automatic tools is way simpler than stealing from a web page, as the post content is nicely formatted and ready to be published (enclosed within well-known XML tags), whereas you have to parse HTML and find where the content is if you want to copy-paste from the web page.

    BTW, we're talking about large-scale scam here, not simple stealing of a post or two. Look at these URLs:

    http://rg443.1gb.in/WordPress/?s=IOS
    http://a0000.blogspot.com/search?q=IOS
    http://x443.spaces.live.com/

    This ***** is stealing 150 posts per day from various blogs. I am almost positive he's not investing his time in copy/paste operation. Or am I just over-reacting?

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  6. Well son of a ** ...

    I added your feed to my iGoogle homepage, only seeing the titles. Never bothered to click the "+" symbol, so before today, I never even knew there was a "full" version right in the feed. Dangit!!

    I guess for me, it would even make a difference. Just be sure to keep using interesting, descriptive titles!!

    - Mike

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  7. Short format. Click if interested in more.

    Won't stop the bottom feeders, but might make it more difficult.

    Come on, folks - how hard is it to click on an URL if you think the content is relevant to you?

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  8. Short format is fine,
    "Just be sure to keep using interesting, descriptive titles!!"

    Cheers.

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  9. Short content, means more clicks to read, which means why bother posting it as a blog in the first place. You may as well post it on a webpage.

    The whole idea of a block is that you get headlines or articles that you can then subscribe to. Personally, I read many of these offline, so a short (headline only) post is totally useless.

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  10. @anonymous(the-last-one): to be honest, the only reason I've started a blog was because the publishing process (and a few extras like archive-table-of-content and categories listing) was easier than if I would create my own web site (but I am slowly regretting the decision, based on how limited Blogger is).

    However, I hear loud and clear what you're saying about offline reading, so if I decide to go with the feed in short format, I'll make sure you'll still get the content in suitable form.

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  11. I have not had anyone stealing my content on a large scale, but it always gets to me when I check referral links and people are leeching my bandwidth by linking to my videos without proper credit given.

    Do what you need to do to protect your content. Your time is valuable. Just don't get discouraged and stop blogging. This is one of my favorites.

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  12. Hi Ivan,

    Your blog is great and thanks for all the hints and tricks.

    I think we all face this same problem especially if your blog has all the good contents.

    You stop one there will be another, it's like cat and mouse game. As long as you have good content they will always come after you.

    Cheers ;]

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  13. Just continue to write, in any form. Thanks!!!
    --
    mtve

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  14. like in every spectrum where ever there is a value there are the scavengers, I hope and believe that those scavengers are small percentage of the ones that are well aware to your contribution and like my self (on a very smaller scale then you) hope it will not affect the continue of IP (intellectual Properties) Sharing

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  15. I just want to say that I check your blog everyday for some months... for me it's on top10, so please keep writing your great posts whatever is the format that you think is best for guarantee your author's copyright.
    Cheers!

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  16. please keep full content. the reason i use rss feeds is so i don't have to visit a site on a regular basis to read the content.

    short feeds are irritating because few people know how to write such that it is easy to tell from that short blurb if they are really interested in reading the content.

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  17. I much prefer full content. Only a few feeds I read give just a few lines, and I invariably like them far less because they force me to click through to read it. The name of the web is still about ultra-accessibility and speed. The more clicks or hunting, the less interest and hits, especially when one reads a lot of sites in a reader...

    In regards to the stealing of content, that's terribly unfortunate and really sucks. I definitely don't agree with such theft. However, on the other hand, what are you truly losing by this spammer adding you to his/her list of blogs they scrape for their splog? I know, I know, it's your words and content...but, I wonder if one can just let it go? Maybe put your name in the text at the bottom of each post, that way they also grab it each time?

    Regardless what you do, great blog and amazingly useful!

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  18. Given the choice, I REALLY prefer the full format. It allows offline reading, and allows it to be integrated nicely with the rest of my blogs I read.

    That being said, I will always take something over nothing, and would hate for you to be discouraged by some a$$hat stealing your work. Do what you need to do.

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  19. I've recently discovered sites stealing some of my content as well. Its very annoying especially considering some of the work you put into it. Sent a couple of mails to the website owner but they were ignorned.

    I think you should keep the full feed. I love your blog, its been invaluable in my CCIE study.

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  20. Well, with the Blogger-attached footer at the end of every post, at least it's clear where the information came from (plus I get extra incoming links and references to my blog :).

    I'll probably splice our product announcements into the full feed, so if they blindly steal the content, we'll get some more exposure ;)

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Ivan Pepelnjak, CCIE#1354, is the chief technology advisor for NIL Data Communications. He has been designing and implementing large-scale data communications networks as well as teaching and writing books about advanced technologies since 1990. See his full profile, contact him or follow @ioshints on Twitter.