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Home » Archives » July 2005 » How many words should the extract in the RSS 1.0 feed contain?

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07/07/2005: "How many words should the extract in the RSS 1.0 feed contain?"



On my main Oracle Security blog i have been generating an RSS 1.0 feed for quite some time, almost from me first writing the feed in fact. I use the gm-rss.cgi script written by Bananbob, which does an excellent job.

Just to digress a for a minute, I did look into whether there was an RSS 2.0 script available for Greymatter a long time ago as well but with no luck. I even asked on Greymatter forums, again no luck. Anyway I have recently been reading up on RSS, 0.9, 0.91, 0.92, 1.0, 2.0 and Atom and now understand the differences between all of them and also I understand how to create my own RSS 2.0 script for greymatter. When I get the chance I will get around to creating it and I will release it here.

Anyway back to the plot. A few weeks ago I noticed a post by Tom Kyte in his blog about just putting a teaser (a few words) in his RSS feed, so i decided to do the same. The discussion and reasoning is shown in my post titled "Changed my RSS feed to spit out the first 20 words and a link to the entry".

This has worked fine for a few weeks and I am getting a better indication of who reads my feed rather than just taking the RSS/RDF file. I got an email yesterday from David Best about the number of words i include in the feed (currently 20) where he said the number of words is too small to make a proper judgement on whether to go ahead and access my page and read the entry. I have had a look into this and have decided to double the number of words to 40. This post is the first to test out the new output in the feed. Letís hope it meets with better approval.