Descriptons Are

OK, so it looks like a couple people* in the community are
not happy with the new “descriptions” feature. They are of course
entitled to their own opinions, but I will NOT be
removing this feature.

And nor should you; my argument was for more choice not less so
that the reader could choose. Of course publishers have every right
to make their content available in any way they see fit.

I have made it 100% optional. In fact, in the admin section,
it actually says “OPTIONAL”. I am not sure why this has become such
an issue. If you don’t like a blog using it, don’t read it. Will
some people stop reading a particular blog if the blogger chooses
to use them? Maybe, but I guess it depends on the quality of the

Well, I’ve never seen the admin section so I wouldn’t know about
that. If occasional posts are long enough that it works better to
have a description that links to them then that seems reasonable,
although in my mind there is a fundamental distinction between
these captured by “post” vs. “story” in many systems.

I personally am quite bothered by the, “I will take my ball
and go home attitude” if this continues and the assumption that
this is some how related to showing ads on the blogs, which is
completely ridiculous. If you could always have it “your way”, I
would have received a pingback or trackback about these posts and
not had to hear about it through IM and email.

This isn’t the way that I would portray the argument and it has
nothing to do with showing ads. It’s the reality of life in a world
where we are so overloaded with information. I have so
many competing calls for my attention from closed circulation
industry press to magazines, mailing lists, news groups, web sites
and blogs that I simply don’t have enough time to read everything
I’d like to. Full RSS feeds are a way to maximise my reading time
and to look at feeds when I wouldn’t otherwise have web access.

I appreciate the goal of driving community by having people
visit the site to enable them to see and add comments and other
links. There’s always a dilemma about whether you should add a
comment on someone’s site or write your own blog entry. I guess
pingback and trackback try to work towards solving some of these
issues [apologies for not being sophisticated enough to be using
either of them ;o)]. I know some people publish RSS feeds for
their comments too.

I am frequently tempted to remove comments from my site because
I think they have dubious added value. I think that if and when I
reach the point where I can record referrers and maybe try to
understand these pingback and trackback things that they may

“As an end-user, I really prefer RSS feeds that have
distinct abstracts in their <description> elements rather
than just blasting the content in there.”

Don Box

Yes. I think it really is an end-user preference as Don suggests
(okay, I’m being a little disingenuous reading it that way,
but…). If I had an RSS aggregator for my Smartphone then I
probably would want abstracts then too. I think it depends
who, what, and where you are reading.