Please, Mr. Denton, will you restore full-text RSS feeds to Gawker Media?

Media criticism.
March 11 2010 5:57 PM

Make My RSS Feed Full, Goddamnit!

Or please, Mr. Denton, will you undo the damage you've done to Gawker Media?

(Continued from Page 1)

Seeing as Felix Salmon started this week's argument, let me conclude by returning to him. In his 2007 piece, he quoted the anecdotal views of Mike Masnick and Robert Scoble, both of whom insist that full-text feeds, being more comprehensible to the reader than the chromed and tail-finned average Web page, increase the chances of a piece being read and forwarded to another reader. As Salmon points out, he's willing to skim through oceans of material in an RSS feed that he'd never attempt to read on a Web site. RSS feeds can be consumed offline, too, Salmon points out, which also increases their influence.

As long as I'm channeling Salmon, let me steal his conclusion, too. Publishers "should stop thinking of websites just as websites, and start embracing all of the rest of the Internet—not only HTML but also XML and anything else that will bring their content to their readers," he wrote.


Every time a Web site makes itself harder to read and traverse, it jettisons potential fans. So what's it going to be, Nick? Are you going to invite me back to read your sites properly, or is it over between us?

Addendum: @angliobibliofile directs my attention to this Greasemonkey script  for Firefox that expands truncated RSS inside Google Reader. Highly recommended. This Just In: Another RSS workaround.


There are also all of those cool Greasemonkey scripts for popular sites that shave off all the ads and navigation so you can hear yourself read. But that's for a future column. (This Merlin Mann blog post made me laugh. Check it out.) Got RSS ideas and complaints to share? Send them to For Purity of Essence links, see my Twitter feed. (E-mail may be quoted by name in Slate's readers' forums; in a future article; or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

Track my errors: Yet another novel use for RSS feeds, one that show no sign of catching on! This hand-built RSS feed will ring every time Slate runs a "Press Box" correction. For e-mail notification of errors in this specific column, type the letters RSS in the subject head of an e-mail message, and send it to

Become a fan of Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.


War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.


It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

The Only Good Thing That Happened at Today’s Soul-Crushing U.N. Climate Talks

  News & Politics
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 4:45 PM Why Is Autumn the Only Season With Two Names?
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.