Better Blogging / Blogging Tips / Building a Better Blog / mobile viewers / RSS / Tips Reader, show full text or not?

mobilesThroughout the last 2 years I have been trying to accommodate mobile and tablet users by choosing responsive width themes. I have been happily noting I do have more mobile and tablet viewers. However, I have also noted something perplexing and wonder if my readers have noticed it too.

Have you noticed your page view stats are descending as your mobile and tablet users are increasing in number?

WordPress Followers, Likes and Stats

Every blogger wants more page views, readers, subscribers and comments. Along with many other factors, traffic is a page ranking factor and though I’m not a stats addict I do view my stats to determine whether or not the subject matter in my posts is drawing increased interest.

I don’t want anyone to have the ability to read the full posts on my blog anywhere other than by clicking into my blog and creating a page view stat by reading it on the blog I published it on. That is why I changed my RSS Feed for posts from full text to summary.

Dashboard > Settings > Reading
For each article in a feed, show
_Full text

It was my means of working around the fact that our followers and anyone with a blog who is logged into can “like”, “share” and “reblog” our posts in several locations such as the Reader, without ever clicking into your blog and creating a single page view stat. However, I have discovered some pertinent information about mobile viewers.

You asked whether users can choose to override your blog’s RSS excerpt settings – the direct answer to that is no, overriding your blog’s excerpt settings is not something users can choose to do or not do on their end. The mobile Reader itself does override individual blog settings by its very nature. It’s not something a user has control over. …

our Reader developers have let me know that the ability to display the full post from the Reader hasn’t yet been rolled out to all users, only some. They hope to launch it for everyone very soon.

via Reader, show full text? « Forums.

UPDATE: Nov 6, 2013, 2:41 PM

Related posts:
Mobile Growth and Blogging
Mobile Friendly Theme or Responsive Width Theme?
Is Your Blog Mobile Compatible?

63 thoughts on “ Reader, show full text or not?

  1. Yikes, as a user of WordAds, this information troubles me. It must mean fewer readers will see the ads. These more advanced “Reader” functions could virtually wipe out the individuality of a blogger’s blot. The blanding of the Blogosphere!

  2. You have explained how it is I now get more “likes” than I get page views. Just changed my settings to allow only excerpts. Thanks for solving the puzzle and for the suggestion to address it.

  3. I hope you can stand one more question about this. . . I opened an account at Quantcast and was given a tag that I want to use on my blog but I can’t figure out where to put it. I sent the question to Quantcast but haven’t gotten a reply. Can you tell me?

    • We bloggers cannot cannot access the header area of our blogs and insert any codes. Staff have already done this on every blog.

  4. I read the link you provided. I’ve been wanting to have Reader readers enter my blog to read each post. I don’t believe I’m seeing it here: how do I do that? Have been wondering for some time.

    I think you want to make a correction:
    “my RSS Feed for posts to from full text to summary.”

    I would normally not trouble you with a different question on your blog — AND I had planned to visit before the ques arose — but I ask bc it’ll be easier to explain when you tap the email notice that tells you I liked your post. WP has changed the notice so that we no longer get three link choices into the blogger who liked us. We get just one and a pretty sizeable picture of the gravatar. My photo does not show up when you tap open your email notice. You have to click PROFILE. How can I set it up so my photo is seen immediately next to my little About?

    Thanks so much, if you get to this.

    • Hi there,

      I think you want to make a correction:
      “my RSS Feed for posts to from full text to summary.”

      I don’t see anything that needs correction. I stated exactly what I did in the posts and have now provided instructions for you in it.
      Dashboard > Settings > Reading
      For each article in a feed, show
      _Full text
      “save changes”

      Re: your gravatar displaying on likes
      Please post to the support forum for assistance with that

      • Sure, to everything. I was a bit confused by the “to” and “from” together. I thought removing the first of the two TOs would make it easier for the reader .for posts from full text to summar…” If the sentence is fine for you as is, of course leave it. I wasn’t nitpicking. Just meaning to be helpful since I myself was confused.

        • Thank you so much for persisting. I’m visually challenged and did not “see” what you meant until I went back just now. I appreciate your eagle eye.

          • Chuckle. Actually, I aM persistent. Glad to help. I am technologically challenged – so it’s a wash. I went straight to the link you gave me and posted my avatar question, and see that I’m subscribed. But I did not get an email confirmation, which makes me question if my query went in. I’ll just wait for now.

  5. I have the same problem. People might be reading my stuff, but it will never show up in my stats because they don’t have the click on it to read it. How did you fix this again? How can I make it so that it doesn’t show the entire post?

  6. Hi TT,
    I’m reading and commenting on this at 17.02 in Feedly in my iPhone and I wonder whether I am showing up to you as a visitor in you stats?

  7. I do the “more” thing with full blown articles. When subscribing to blogs by e-mail I noted that I was able to read many people’s entire posts directly from my e-mail. That made me wonder if stats were garnered from e-mail, let alone RSS. So I came to the conclusion that if I want to see how many viewers were reading various articles I had to make something to grab attention and then you have to click in to read the entire article.

    I’ve been in a blogging funk lately and when I have posted something it has generally been rather short. I’ve come to let length dictate whether I use the “more” tag. If I just post a picture and a short clever quote then I don’t bother with it and consider that a “free” one.

    • Hi Jim,

      That made me wonder if stats were garnered from e-mail, let alone RSS. So I came to the conclusion that if I want to see how many viewers were reading various articles I had to make something to grab attention and then you have to click in to read the entire article.

      That’s the exactly that conclusion I reached too. When it comes to trying to ascertain growth another complicating factor is the fact we cannot block or delete the opportunistic Gravatar like button clickers with commercial sites. Bottom line: users have no reliable way to gauge audience growth.

    • Hi Jann,
      I hope you read all of these comments because it seems that setting our RSS feeds to summary to compel readers to read the full posts on our blogs thereby creating a page view stat doesn’t work when it comes to mobile users.

    • Hi Syd,
      I’m not annoyed by the existence of RSS feeds. I think they rock. What I don’t like is that my choice to display only a summary in my RSS Feeds in order to compel readers to click into my blog to read the full post thereby creating a page view stat is defeated in the case of mobile users.

      Is that what annoys you too?

  8. I never hit the like button without reading the full content. I don’t always understand everything I read but I try.

    • Hi there,
      I tend to use the like button when I read a comprehensive post and appreciate the content and work that went into it but have nothing meaningful to post into a comment box. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with whatever it is that they expressed to click the like button. I’m an introvert who isn’t “chatty” either online or offline. I try to be a good listener and I try to be open-minded as well. The way I view the “like” button tool is not as an approval button but as an “appreciation” button. So I’m the same as you I don’t click the like button unless I truly feel appreciative after reading the post.

  9. I read the forum thread – thank you. I don’t really understand it though.

    Jennifer mentioned Flipboard, which I have, and after reading up about it on the Flipboard site I see how I can add a bookmarklet on my laptop and then add a specific site to My-Flipboard using the bookmarklet on my iPhone. (Phew! – but I might give it a go.)

    By the ‘mobile Reader’, do you mean logging in to on a mobile and then clicking Reader?

    If so, then I looked at this post (it’s in my Reader because I follow your site) and I saw the excerpt and it said that there were 334 more words, a certain number of comments, and a certain number of likes.

    That’s all I could see in Reader. To read the whole post, I clicked on it and my iPhone opened another browser tab and brought me to your URL and I ‘liked’ the post and added a comment ‘#test’.

    In other words, when I was reading the whole of your post on my mobile, I was in your site URL at – not in Reader.

    There was not way to see the whole of your post within Reader itself.

    Is that what you mean, or have I misunderstood your point?

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for testing and responding. Your testing reassured me that mobile users do have to click into my blog to read full posts. That being the case then what does this mean?

      our Reader developers have let me know that the ability to display the full post from the Reader hasn’t yet been rolled out to all users, only some. They hope to launch it for everyone very soon.

      Maybe I think I have misunderstood this from the outset. :(

      if so, then what to do after one one has published misunderstanding?

      • No, you may be right. I am now reading your post on my iPhone in Feedly and I can see the whole post. I can get here by clicking ‘Visit Website’ or by clicking ‘Continue Reading’ – either way I am still within Feedly.

        • Hi David,
          Well there we go. Now we are getting closer to the truth about this phenomena. Those who use Feedly can read full posts without clicking into my blog thereby creating a page view stat on my blog. Now you know why I posted my sarcastic addendum to the support forums thread.

          As mobile use is exploding and we are moving towards a time when many will use mobiles and tablets only and not necessarily have a desktop at all I am concerned as there’s no way for us to assess blog growth.

          P.S. I really appreciate you and Joanna being kind enough to test this for me. I’m sorry about my delayed responses to your comments. I’m not well and have to rest a lot right now.

  10. If they’re gonna be changing the reader they should also remove the ability of people to like posts directly from the reader if a blogger has disabled “likes” on their blog. Many people just “like” posts without even reading them directly from the reader, even though I’ve already had my “likes” turned off for a LONG time because I was so sick of dealing with “like” spammers, and I still get them. I also still get tons and TONS and TONS of spam-followers and follow-spammers following my blog every day, but WP doesn’t want to give us anything we can do about that at all.

    I share your anger, I’m really angry about all this reader stuff too. I have noticed bloggers liking and commenting without even clicking through into the blog to generate a page view stat. Its obvious these people are mobile users.

  11. Thanks for this informative post. I will admit that I often skip pulling up a full post if the excerpt in the email notice doesn’t interest me. I suspect we all keep expanding the number of blogs we follow and eventually that can swallow a whole lot of time. Something I’ve never understood about Reader is how viewing in it registers in stats. I think someone mentioned that it doesn’t count as a ‘view’. Is that right? I think, not knowing how all that stuff works, tends to make me a bit skeptical of the numbers I’m seeing in my stats. When you come right down to it, I think comments and likes mean more to me than the stats. (Though I’ll admit to being fascinated by the countries my viewers are from! Pity it doesn’t extend to States.) ;)

  12. I switched to excerpts for the same reason you did, as well as to thwart scrapers. Now if only WP would take the Like button out of the Readers and email notifications so readers would have to come to our websites in order to “Like” something.

    How do you tell if a reader was using a mobile device? I haven’t noticed anything in my stats about that. Maybe because none of my readers have used one?

    • We don’t have detailed stats but my blogs are quantified so I can see the increase in mobile users there.
      Mobile Web (8%)
      United States
      Mobile Web (9%)

      Operating Systems for Mobile Web has more mobile web page views from iOS than other operating systems for mobile web globally.
      iOS 64% – iPhone (44%) – iPad (56%)
      Android 27%
      Other 8%

    • I think it could be but the developers have a hard task before them. There are many different devices being used to view blogs. We are gradually moving towards a time when mobiles and tablets will dominate. There will be a time when many will not even own a desktop.

      I thought that we could compel readers to click into the blog to read full posts on the blog but apparently that’s not the case when it comes to mobile users.

      My concern is that at present we bloggers have no reliable means of assessing blog readership and blog growth.

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