Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Getting full articles in RSS

Most sites practice the annoying habit of truncating their RSS feeds. Their motive is simple: an article snippet forces you to visit the site to read the whole thing, so they get more traffic, and hopefully ad-clicks. Still, it is annoying, especially on my phone, where the sites aren't guaranteed to display well and loading them isn't fast either. Fortunately, there are sites and scripts that will take a given feed and send the complete articles to your favourite reader.

The first (and my preferred) option is Full Text RSS Feed Builder. No secrets here: it really does build full text RSS feeds. Head over to the site, enter the desired feed into the box, and hit "Submit". You'll be given a new feed with articles restored to their full text. When I first tried the site, it didn't seem to work with many feeds, but it now seems to work perfectly with Lifehacker, Wired Science, and Scientific American. It isn't perfect with BBC Science & Environment and Technology feeds, but it only consistently skips the audio and video entries, which I tend not to read.

After experimenting with FTRFB (for want of a better abbreviation) above, I wondered if there were Yahoo! Pipes that would accomplish the same thing. It appears that there are. Just search "full text" and try some of the entries. I haven't tested these as fully. It appears that some pipes work and some don't. Good luck.

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