Full Feeds are Better
Jonathan Bailey has written a great article on why full RSS feeds are better than partial feeds, and I totally agree with him. I have removed all my partial feeds, and continue to do so as I don’t find they provide me with the experience I want, and with so many sources for news and information, I’d rather stick to those that make my day easier by providing full feeds.
Despite these limitations to truncated feeds, there is still a case that they may provide some limited protection of your content. However, that protection comes at an extremely high price.
Survey after survey has shown that users overwhelmingly prefer full feeds. Some have even said that they refuse to subscribe to a short feed and, according to FeedBurner, who manages over 800,000 feeds, there is virtually no difference in the click-through rate for partial vs. full feeds.
In short, truncating your feed will likely cost you a decent percentage of your feed readers and those who remain are no more likely to click through to your site than they were when the feed was full. Your site and your readers will most likely suffer due to your decision.
The bottom line is that any benefit that may be derived from truncating your feed, especially if you currently offer a full one, is vastly outweighed by the drawbacks. Content theft is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with, but it is not one that is worth crippling your site over.
If you are a fan of truncated feeds, check out the post on Blog Herald, and I hope it changes your mind.