I have long been an advocate of full RSS feeds for reasons outlined in this post.
I do, however, understand why most news outlets opt to keep partial feeds. News websites, unlike blogs, typically show you just the headlines and a short summary of each story on the front page — just like a partial RSS feed. Blogs, meanwhile, normally show the full post on the front page. They tend to have less content, so a full feed would be perfectly manageable.
So it is a surprise that The Guardian has announced that all of its RSS feeds will be full feeds from now on. According to the people at Google Reader, The Guardian is the first major newspaper in the world to do this, so hats off to them.
It’s great news for the end user. But I have to admit that I’m feeling quite queasy just thinking about the amount of bandwidth guardian.co.uk is going to go through from now on. It’s one thing for a little blog to publish full RSS feeds, but it’s quite another for a large media organisation to do it. It might tempt me to start subscribing to some of their blogs again though.