In 2010, I posted to this blog that I was going to stop reading Gizmodo because their RSS feed went to excerpts only. It’s a way for publishers to monetize readers who use RSS feeds. Basically, you’re given an excerpt of the article with a read-more link to see the full thing which takes you to the website and all of the adverts. I don’t read websites that publish excerpts. If it’s not full-text, I simply unsubscribe assuming that site doesn’t provide a way for me to pay for a full-feed.

Brian Lam, former editor of Gizmodo (now at NYTimes after they bought his company Wire Cutter), emailed me after that post was published with an updated RSS feed link (vip.xml) which was full-articles. I’ve used it to this day.

This week, the posts remained full-story w/o any read-more links but all of the image links in the RSS feed became broken. Here’s what I see:

Gizmodo RSS Feed Issues

Gizmodo RSS Feed Issues

There’s the title, date-stamp and opening image then blank space. I scroll down to the text but no other images appear. This makes it challenging when an article contains a lot of images or a movie link to YouTube. The only pro of the situation is that I no longer have auto-playing GIFs which BTW, someone at the site works full time making GIFs day in and day out to accompany almost every article. I’ve hated RSS GIFs for a while and none of my RSS Readers give me a way to disable them from playing and distracting me. If your’e able to read something and absorb it while a 400×400 pixel GIF plays on repeat in the same window, good for you!

but I digress…

I thought maybe Gizmodo changed their feed again so I tried 3 total XML feeds that all work technically.

  • There’s my current feed which has broken images and lots of white-space: http://gizmodo.com/vip.xml.
  • There’s the full-content RSS Feed: http://gizmodo.com/index.xml which now only publishes excerpts with read-more links
  • and there’s the partial content RSS feed (with ads) http://gizmodo.com/excerpts.xml and this behaves exactly like the full-content feed (partial content, read more link and no ads that I can see).

FYI, here’s a screenshot of the current feeds and how they look:

Partial Text RSS Feed Gizmodo

If anyone knows how I can get full-text RSS back for Gizmodo, that would be great. For now, I’m removing the feed once again. To be honest, their content was most certainly on the decline since Gawker was shuttered. A lot of celebrity and political content and much less about technology these days which is the only news I consume.