Unless you are among the people who rely exclusively on twitter to keep up with their favourite blogs and the latest news, you have surely run into the same problem as me. I have noticed a recurring pattern in my browsing habits. Everytime I check my feeds in Google Reader, I star/pocket some item after I have read them. Why? I want to read the comments.
News posts are all right, most of the comments can be ignored as the raving of fanboys. What about reviews, analytical articles and editorials though? These (usually) invite intelligent comments from the readers. Arguments and debates spark up and expand the story in way the original author never can. The simple solution? Subscribe to the comments feed which is available on a few blogs but then I will have to traverse through every comment on the site which is kinda unacceptable. Especially since services like Disqus make it easy to see the most popular/recommended comments in a jiffy. Maybe the sites which provide truncated feeds have got it right. Apart from ensuring page views for advertisers, they give you the complete experience after you click through to the main site but that defeats the point of RSS for me. Also, when I am accessing my subscriptions on my mobile, viewing the full we page isn't normally an option given the constraints of connectivity and my data plan.
My suggestion for this mess?The top comments should either be included at the bottom of the article or dynamically generated on clicking the link. If the site employs some sort of custom commenting system, a browser extension could pull in the comments when the feed is viewed.
If you have faced this dilemma or (gasp!) solved it, do tell.
Update: I wrote this post in October 2012 but it lounged in my Drafts folder. Obviously, Google Reader is long gone now but this problem still exists with Feedly, Digg Reader, AOL Reader and all other RSS based systems.