Don’t like truncated feeds or partial emails

In my real life away from work (as if there is one nowadays) I read feeds and receive emails about interests not connected with government. One thing that gets my goat is reading a partial feed or an email with teaser text followed by a link so that I have to click through to read the rest of the article.

Today I got a response to a petition from the Number 10 website (its really nice that they have created a response mechanism for petitions that get a decent audience. It shows that they are listening and I think its a great service altogether).

This is what the email said:

You signed a petition asking the Prime Minister to xxxxxxxxxxxx

The Prime Minister’s Office has responded to that petition and you can view
it here:

http://www.number10.gov.uk/xxxxxxxxxx

Prime Minister’s Office

Petition information – http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/xxxxxxxxx

If you would like to opt out of receiving further mail on this or any other
petitions you signed, please email optout@petitions.pm.gov.uk

Question: why do I have to click through to find out the government’s response? Its a small thing, I’ve no idea what usability experts find out from thousands of depth interviews of internet users (perhaps I should) but it doesn’t feel right to me. Personally its one click through I could do without. Any chance it could be fixed?

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  1. I am speculating, but it could be due to tracking click-thrus and interest levels.

    As most email clients now block images by default, it has become increasingly difficult to track the open rates for emails – which has in turn lead to an increase in tracking click-thrus as a measure of how people react to an email.

    A lot of people might have signed up simply because their friend said to do so – or because it was a bit of a media hype, and were not really that bothered about the issue.

    They can take the petition stats, throw in the click-thru stats and get a clearer picture of how interested people really were in the topic.

    I semi-agree with RSS feeds. My personal blog has full feeds – but my commercial blog has partial feeds as I need to deliver adverts to the customer when they click onto the full webpage. RSS adverts just don’t earn enough – yet.

  2. @Ian: good points, especially about commercial feeds and click through tracking.

  3. It’s a complex area and there are good arguments on both sides but I can’t see that it would hurt just to say “Yes, we accept the petition | No, we don’t accept the petition – details here”.

    At least that way you know the broad brush response and can click through for more info.

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