RSS Changes

[05/04/09] Smitten Kitchen switched this past weekend from full to partial RSS feeds, a change that affects both RSS users and those that receive email updates. Did this sound like gibberish to you? Don’t even worry about. Are you one of the infuriated masses ready to storm Smitten Kitchen headquarters in revolt? Oy vey, let’s calm down for just an eensy minute.

A little background: I’m an avid user of RSS feeds, thus I have been resistant to making this change for the nearly three years this site has existed. Unfortunately, having a full RSS feed leaves a site wide open to content theft. Thieving sites can filter the entire content of a site, photos and all, into another URL and seriously, good luck finding it. Except I have (and probably only five percent of what’s out there), and in the last three months this has gone from a level I’d call an Occasional Inconvenience to Rampant paired with Absolutely Ridiculous That I’m Not Doing More to Protect This Content. Spending 10 percent of my workweek filing DMCA takedown notices and chasing down website hosts is not reasonable or sustainable and while it’s a shame that some badly intended folks ruin it for the good ones, in the big picture? It’s a single extra click and we firmly believe that this site is worth that single extra click. [Okay, and you hurt our feelings just a little bit when you suggest that this click is the difference between us keeping your attention and losing it.]

Still bent out of shape about it and want to talk tech for a moment? Believe me, we spent a lot of time thinking about what we think makes for a good or a bad partial feeds. Bad, in our opinion? One sentence excerpts, worse if they are the first sentence and not a post summary, or worse, just a title and/or not a single photo to lure you in. Good? Enough of a taster that you might get curious to learn what you’re missing. It took some time, but we found a solution (this plugin for those of you WordPress nerdlets out there) that allowed us to both protect our content but still have the partial feed exactly the way we think a partial feed should be.

Still want to storm the SK headquarters in revolt? Please bring cookies. It’s been a long few weeks.

[Take me back to smittenkitchen.com!]




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