Ad in RSS feeds?
January 12, 2005 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Are ads in RSS feeds possible/good/bad or just ugly? [MI]

I run a blog-style website focused solely on a class of popular shiny plastic gadgets and I'm thinking about adding some sort of text ad to my RSS and Atom feeds. I use Google Adsense on the site itself, but AFAIK they don't allow Adsense in newsfeeds.

Blogads and Pheedo seem to offer just this sort of service. Anyone have experience with either of these? Or newsfeed ads in general?
posted by turbodog to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
They're bad.

A popular site that I used to read started putting ads in their feed. I immediately unsubscribed.
posted by bshort at 2:35 PM on January 12, 2005

I'm with bshort on this one. I really, really hate ads in feeds. If you must have the adviews or clicks, start making your feed summaries only. That way people will click through to read the content and see the ads on your site, where they belong.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:46 PM on January 12, 2005

Some sites are starting the ads in the RSS feed thing. I understand their reasons, but frankly I think it's gauche.
posted by xyzzy at 2:53 PM on January 12, 2005

Response by poster: Ah, good idea. I didn't think about using summaries instead of the full text, like I do now. That would probably be a good first step.
posted by turbodog at 2:53 PM on January 12, 2005

Unless the content was in some way completely unavailable someplace else, I'd unsubscribe from a feed that had ads. I don't feel the same way about reading sites with ads. Totally agree with the summaries/ads on site approach, though I read fewer and fewer feeds that are just summaries lately as well.
posted by jessamyn at 3:01 PM on January 12, 2005

I'd deal with an ad or two, but only if they came along with a story.
posted by sled at 3:03 PM on January 12, 2005

I will deal with small text ads on the periphery of an RSS article. That is probably inevitable. I don't like feeds that don't include the full article, though, and will probably not subscribe to them.
posted by selfnoise at 3:04 PM on January 12, 2005

Part of the appeal of RSS feeds to me is not having to download ads with my content. Putting ads in the feed negates that benefit so I'd unsubscribe.

Are the click throughs worth enough to lose a percentage of your readers?
posted by fenriq at 3:27 PM on January 12, 2005

If I started finding ads in the RSS feeds I read, I'd not only unsubscribe from the feed, I'd stop reading the site it came from, and try to get other people to do the same thing. I'm just of the mind that we have to resist the creeping ubiquity of advertisements however we can.
posted by Hildago at 3:32 PM on January 12, 2005

Most of the Gawker Media sites run shout-outs to their sponsors on a weekly basis, and these posts appear in their RSS feeds. I find this sort of thing ok (better to see a text post about sponsors than look at all the ads on Gawker realted sites), but much more than that and it gets irritating.
posted by arielmeadow at 3:45 PM on January 12, 2005

I think it really depends on how it's handled. If it's disguised as a regular link, I think that's a no-no...
posted by jackofsaxons at 5:40 PM on January 12, 2005

Feedburner has started to allow feeds to include ads. They're included as images, so if you're using a web-based aggregator, it's easy to train your browser to block images from the feedburner site. You might have to block them at the proxy if you're using a desktop aggregator that doesn't have the 'block images from xyz.tld' feaure.
posted by jimfl at 6:34 PM on January 12, 2005

Perhaps against the stream, I'd rather have the occaisional ad in an RSS feed and continue to have the entire article syndicated. I often unsubscribe from feeds because I get annoyed with reading the first paragraph--or less--before being drug to the site.

Bonus points if the ads are clearly marked yet clever enough to make me read them.
posted by sohcahtoa at 5:22 AM on January 13, 2005

It strikes me that if you had asked "Are ads on my blog possible/good/bad or just ugly?" you might get a very similar response, so (from my perspective) I'd take it with a grain of salt. People love ad free content, of course, but I'd suspect this is coming along and may become as acceptable as putting ads on your blog at all.
posted by rustcellar at 8:27 AM on January 13, 2005

They are neither inherently bad nor good.

If a single ad per feed makes you unsubscribe, then the person providing the feed is better off without you as a reader, since you're not interested in helping him/her defray their cost.

Alternately, if the feed is of such marginal value to you that the presence of a single ad makes you unsub, then you're better off not reading it.

Personally, I'd rather have overt ads than shill-content.
posted by lodurr at 11:31 AM on January 13, 2005

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