November 08, 2005

Metapost: Opinions about Ads in RSS Feeds

by peterb

A quick poll for those of you who read Tea Leaves via a newsreader or bloglines. Please comment on advertisements in RSS feeds. Do you hate them? Are some types of ads OK and others not OK? Or do you not care at all?

My personal feeling is that I can easily accept (and ignore) a text ad that is a couple of lines, but if you make me follow a link to read the full text of your article, I hate you.

What do you think?

Posted by peterb at November 8, 2005 06:52 PM | Bookmark This

If you do add feed ads, for the love of god don't make the mistake of having them CHANGE so my newsreader keeps marking posts as new because they showed up with a different ad.

Personally I hate RSS ads and use an ad-blocker in my feed reader to complement the ad-blocker in my web browser, but in general they're not too much worse than banner ads.

Posted by Nat at November 8, 2005 09:36 PM

I find I don't mind text ads too much, as long as they're static.

Mercy, please: no graphics. Geh.

Posted by Goob at November 8, 2005 09:42 PM

I'm mostly asking because I was solicited to add them to Tea Leaves. I have a hard time believing they'll be worth it, mostly because I personally would never click on an ad in an RSS feed in a million years, so I can't believe anyone else would. But I was curious.

PS: Except for the ads on this weblog, which help pay for our domain name registration. Click! Click on the ads! It will make you healthy and strong! It cures heartbreak and psioriasis! Muhahahahahahaa!

Posted by peterb at November 8, 2005 11:02 PM

I don't care either way about the ads. The most important thing for me (I use bloglines) is getting the whole post in my feed. I hate having to go over to a site to read the rest of post -- and usually, I don't. I should only have to click over to a site if I wanna comment, in my opinion --

PS -- Keep the alcohol-related posts coming. As a non video game person, the booze related posts are really what keeps me visiting this blog :)

Posted by green LA girl at November 9, 2005 12:56 AM

Bloglines user. I don't mind small text adds in the RSS. I prefer bloglines to visiting the actual blog because it gives me consistent formatting across sites and it's very easy to consume lots of posts and sites. Text adds in RSS don't interfere with that. Excerpts and forcing me to click to get to the main site do.

Posted by RJB at November 9, 2005 08:07 AM

More or less I won't subscribe to a blog that doesn't put full text in the RSS. So I know what you mean.

The one problem I have with my RSS feeds is that my spiffy layout for inset screen shots in posts about games doesn't quite work. But that's just because I'm too lazy to figure out how to do it right.

Posted by peterb at November 9, 2005 08:13 AM

Another bloglines user for the same reasons.

I think ads in RSS feeds are lame. When I'm looking for something with Google, there's a non-zero chance that I'm looking to buy something... so AdWords are fine. It is a different story when I'm reading blogs. The ads are just noise, like those damn inserts in magazines. Just say no.

Posted by Mark Denovich at November 9, 2005 11:29 AM

Hey, YABU (Yet another Bloglines user) here. I don't mind RSS ads for the reasons mentioned here and because I don't notice them anyway.

You must do what you feel is right, of course. It won't stop me from reading either way.

Posted by Tony at November 9, 2005 01:09 PM

Anything that gets between me and what I want to read is bad. If feed ads do that, they're bad.

As they are now, the ads on the blog itself are fine because they don't disrupt the flow of content. They are properly restrained and keep to themselves, like introverts at a party.

But if you start mixing ads *into* the content -- and feeds are content -- you will have invited drunken extroverts to crash the party and shout, "Look at me, my hat is a sponsored lampshade!" You wouldn't invite jerks like that to your house. Why invite them to your blog?

Posted by Tom Moertel at November 9, 2005 01:13 PM

Ads suck. Partial-text feeds suck. Lets be honest about this, is this something you want to see in EVERY blog? Because I sure as hell don't. I stopped reading BoingBoing because they started adding annoying ads. That is, until I found an alternate feed that strips out the ads. If you want to have some additional content (like comments) as a reason to get people to visit the site and see the ads, fine, but ads in the feed itself do nothing for me except get in the way. And honestly, there's very few feeds I'd subscribe to that use them.

Posted by knight37 at November 9, 2005 05:03 PM

I hate partial feeds much more than text ads. (Graphic ads are *almost* as bad as partial feeds.) Man's gotta make a buck, and they're ignorable noise anyway.

(BTW, if you had Japanese schoolgirl ads in your feeds Mark might change his mind...)

Posted by Chris Winters at November 9, 2005 06:11 PM

Personally, I'm all for text-based RSS ads. when placed at the bottom of a post in a feed, they're non-intrusive, and if sticking an ad that I'll barely notice in front of me helps you make money at what you enjoy doing, then I'm all for it.

After all, all the RSS ad-haters need to remember that every time a feed is queried, it consumes bandwidth, and bandwidth costs money. And full-text RSS feeds are bigger and therefore consume more costly bandwidth.

So in my not-so-humble opinion, RSS users can suck it up so that sites can afford to continue providing RSS feeds.

Posted by Tiff at November 10, 2005 07:50 PM

I can live with small ads in the feed, but clicky-linkz I hate, and I will not read anything that forces me to click them first. (I'd rather pay, actually, odd as that is on the net.)

Posted by Will C at November 10, 2005 08:31 PM

Now that PithHelmet ( ) supports NetNewsWire ( ), feel free to knock yourself out with as many ads as you want. :)

Posted by Mark at November 11, 2005 09:46 AM

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