April 12, 2004
Bloglines update

First of all, Kriston Capps has moved Grammar Police off of Blogspot and onto its own MovableType-friendly domain. Among other things, this means he now has a working RSS feed. Update your blogrolls and aggregators accordingly.

I'm more or less at the point where every blog I've blogrolled and which has an RSS feed is now in my list of Bloglines subscriptions. As such, as this more accurately reflects my actual surfing habits now, I've decided to make my subscriptions public. You can find them at the following URL: http://www.bloglines.com/public/kuff. There are still maybe five or so non-RSS blogs out there that I read - basically, if you see it in my blogroll but not in my subs, it has no working RSS feed that I know of. (If you're one of those bloggers, please drop me a note!) There's a couple of people I still need to pester about this. Ultimately, I'd like to retire my Blogrolling account so that there's one less thing for me to keep track of. I may eventually use Bloglines' code to display my subs; we'll see. I may also eventually expand this list, now that I'm feeling like I've finally got it organized in an optimal way.

Steve Bates was kind enough to send along his recipe for do-it-yourself RSS creation for those who don't use an all-in-one blogging package - it's underneath the More link for the curious. The less adventursome can also check out RSSify, but if so please do try to keep it up to date.

Next up on my list of things to try with Bloglines: moving a few email subscriptions over, especially those from my mostly-a-spamtrap Yahoo mailbox.

* Using your browser, visit the RSS feed of just about anyone who uses RSS 0.91 or 0.92 (note: 1.00 will not do; it's not really RSS at all... long story... and 2.00 is rather hard to maintain manually). You may also use a HaloScan comments feed as a starting point; that's what I did.

Recommendation: use my feed as a template.

* View the source. Save it to a file with an .xml extension. If you maintain a local copy of your blog, you might as well save it in that directory, the one you FTP from. For example, the local copy of my feed is c:\webs\stephenbates\yellowdoggereldemocrat\doggerel_feed.xml .

* Modify the obvious things in the header of the .xml file to reflect your own blog.

* Delete all but one of the item entries. In that one entry, replace its elements with those of your own most recent blog post. It is not necessary to use a CDATA enclosures, but if you do so, you may insert HTML tags, including links, in your item entry description, title etc.

* Save the file. Place a page-relative link to it in your main page or template. E.g., mine is something like


There's a free XML button available if you prefer that; it's free, and a lot of people use it. If not, call the link "Syndicate" or "XML" or "RSS" or something that a feed reader will recognize.

* Upload the XML file and the main page with its new link, using FTP or whatever you usually use.

* When you create a new blog post, in your XML feed file, copy-paste an item entry at the top, and modify its title, link and description to whatever you want shown for your new post. If your XML file contains more than about 10 items, delete one off the bottom; there's no point in keeping all the old entries. Then upload your blog page and your XML feed file.

That's about it. As I said, it takes me about a minute to add a new item entry to my RSS feed after I write a new blog post. But if you don't want to mess with even that, you can use RSSify. Its only problem is that, on some Blogger blogs, it incorrectly recognizes the first link in a post (NYT article or whatever) as the permalink for the post itself. The Farmer of corrente is working on trying to find a workaround for that.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 12, 2004 to Administrivia | TrackBack

Gracias, Charles. Do let me know if the RSS feed isn't working properly. I'm a Mac user, so I never know if what I call functional extends to the larger 95%.

Posted by: Kriston on April 12, 2004 10:20 PM