Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp

what happened to my rss feedsThe more observant and astute of you will have noticed by now that we have made a big change to our RSS feed, and the title of this post reflects what I am now reading in my inbox every morning, when I get up for my cornflakes.

What’s the problem?  Well, we have now moved from a full text RSS feed to a summary feed or a “snippet” feed. This means you will now only see a summary of each post in your RSS reader, and in order to read the full post, you have to click through to the post on the actual MakeUseOf site and read it there.

what happened to my rss feeds

Now before you set up the portable rack to stretch us for our sins and holler at us in the comments, let me clarify that we have a perfectly good reason for making this change, and it definitely wasn’t a desire to annoy any of our readers. Indeed, I know myself how annoying it can be to only have summary feeds, especially if you are reading your feeds without an Internet connection.

The reason is that too many unethical sites were “scraping our feed” and passing off MakeUseOf’s stories as their own. This meant that these low quality sites were duplicating our content and ranking for it on Google and other search engines. We don’t have a problem with sites using our articles but in return, we insist on a clear linkback, as well as author attribution. These content thieves were not doing this, and they are not the kind of people to honor any takedown requests. Therefore, we began a fiendishly clever plan and moved to summary feeds.

If you absolutely cannot live without your full text RSS feeds, you can still have them and at the same time help us defeat the scrapers. Simply plug the RSS feed into Full Text RSS Feed. Then put the RSS feed address it gives you into your RSS reader, and hey presto, you have your full MakeUseOf feed back.

what happened to my rss feeds

Look at that, life is wonderful again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Katharine Wood
    June 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    While I'm ok with this decision, there's a problem with your feed in feedly. The site no longer works with Feedly's "preview" feature. Feedly lets you load the article in a frame right in feedly, and ever since you guys changed your feed to snippets only, the site won't load at all in Feedly's preview frame. It's strange since I can read other snippet only feeds (Lifehacker, Gawker, etc.) just fine with the Feedly preview feature. This site is the only one it's not working with. Maybe you could look into this? The Preview frame loads the actual webpage, ads and all, so it wouldn't be taking anything away from your page hits or whatever.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 21, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      Are you still experiencing this issue, Katherine? Please get in touch with me if you do. Tina at this domain.

      • Katharine Wood
        June 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm

        Yeah, it's still not working. I have switched to the full feed trick just to get around that. At first I thought it might be an issue on my end, but I subscribe to hundreds of feeds and this is the only one that has this problem, plus I got a brand new computer since making this comment and it does it on this machine too. I even tried disabling all my chrome extensions and that didn't work either. Like I said, I used the site above to get the full feed, so it's no longer a pressing issue for me, but it'd probably be good for you guys if you get it sorted out. Thanks for addressing it! :)

        • Aibek Esengulov
          June 26, 2013 at 8:26 am


  2. Vampie C.
    June 4, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Thank you for the heads up.

    It's a pitty, but I understand.

    Guess i'll have to click a bit more a day now :-)

  3. Daniel Escasa
    June 4, 2013 at 6:17 am

    I myself don't mind, since that's the way most of my other RSS feeds work anyway. If the summary reveals that the article is about something that doesn't interest me at all — e.g., Blackberry or Windows Phone, sorry fans :) — or if it's geo-specific, e.g., only for the US or Europe, I simply mark the feed as read (using Feedly here).

    In sum, without the summary, I'm forced to open up the entire article — the summary lets me mark the feed as read, and is therefore more useful for me.

    And of course your mileage may vary.

    And besides, MUO still has the full text feed so I don't really see what the fuss is all about. With all due respect

  4. Nuno Catarino
    June 3, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    I define your move to resume feed as a workaround to increase the site traffic. Am I wrong?
    I just stopped reading your articles and viewing your high quality news, just because you tried to make a few bucks more.

    • Mark O'Neill
      June 3, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      As I said, our reason for doing this was purely to stop people from scraping the feed, nothing more. You don't have to hunt for any ulterior motives behind it. All we are doing is protecting our brand, our SEO position and our authors hard work.

      I hope you resume reading our articles again.

  5. David Moreira
    June 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Doesn't bother me also, using TheOldReader.

    • Jamie
      June 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      How do you like TheOldReader? I didn't jump ship from Google Reader right away, I figured when it was closer to July there might be new RSS readers/existing ones might add more features.

      I think a problem I had read about TOR is that it could be unreliable? Has that improved? And how long have you been using it?

  6. Ben
    June 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I was definitely affected by the change. I totally stopped reading your "Cool Websites and Tools" posts, because I usually just skimmed to see if anything was worth checking out. Now I have to click just to get the preview. Doesn't seem like much but when you've got dozens of other feeds to go through...

    Anyway, thanks for the workaround, I'll try it out.

    • Mark O'Neill
      June 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Ben, definitely do the workaround with the fulltextfeed site. You'll have the feed back the way you remember it from before.

  7. Jerry
    June 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    It didn't really bother me. I figured it was for financial reasons, and even then I totally understood that sites need to ensure readers help them make money or else they can't stay a working website.

    Just be sure to always make the summary text interesting and providing enough details to make me want to continue to the full article.

  8. SaapeXD MoHods
    June 3, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Why does it matter if an article is scraped? LOL! XD

    • Mark O'Neill
      June 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      As I explained in the post, people who scrape the feed can pass the feed off as their own, and therefore the posts as their own. That means Google considers it duplicate content, and we get penalized in the search rankings.

      This leads to a loss of visitors to and over the long term, a decline in revenue, which affects our ability to hire writers to write articles. MUO doesn't exist on fresh air - we need money to operate!!

  9. anonymous
    June 3, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Yours was one of few sites that provided the full text, and that was great. I must say your decision disappoints me. People can still "scrape" your content using the workaround provided. I for one all you to reconsider. Thanks.

  10. Luke
    June 3, 2013 at 11:23 am

    It hasn't bothered me. I use reeder so I can just turn on readability and get the full article.