Rather than just preaching how feed readers could easily accommodate both titled and title-less items, as I have been, I put up a prototype that illustrates, with real data.
Here’s what a NYT feed looks like in the prototype. It’s an easy case because the NYT feeds are uniform. Every post has a title and short description and links to its story. So this is a base case.
Now here’s a tougher case — the Scripting News feed, which contains both titled and title-less posts. But it still looks great, both kinds of posts.
I will publish the source for this tomorrow, and hopefully skilled UI designers will have a look and then maybe we can approach the developers at each of the feed reader developers, and get past this.