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Comments on: RSS Implementation Help

Comments on Ask MetaFilter post RSS Implementation Help

Published: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 14:44:04 -0800

Last Build Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 14:44:04 -0800


Question: RSS Implementation Help

Thu, 29 Dec 2005 14:30:19 -0800

Basic RSS question-- I'm trying to add RSS to my site, and since I'm teaching this to myself, I'm confused.

I tried to use this template--
I don't understand about the 15 separate items. My blog has more than 15 posts. Do I update the RSS template instead of posting straight from blogger?

By: captainscared

Thu, 29 Dec 2005 14:44:04 -0800

The items are for each individual show name and description so if you have 15 posts you need to fill out 15 of the "items" on the form.

By: madmath

Thu, 29 Dec 2005 14:44:41 -0800

But my blog has more than 15 posts, close to 1000.

By: bpt

Thu, 29 Dec 2005 14:45:13 -0800

RSS and Atom feeds are usually automatically generated. What weblog engine is your site using, if any? Blogger? Blogger's documentation describes how to enable generation of an Atom feed. (Atom is a syndication format similar to RSS, but it's better specified and is an Internet standard.)

Your RSS feed doesn't need to contain every blog entry you've made. It's for notification of new entries, not accessing your archives.

By: captainscared

Thu, 29 Dec 2005 14:46:21 -0800

Most people use the feed for the last ten or so most recent posts. After that you overwhelm your audience and if they really like you they know to go to your page for earlier posts.

By: madmath

Thu, 29 Dec 2005 14:47:15 -0800

So when I make a new post, I go to the template I posted rather than Sorry, this is probably so basic.

By: adamrice

Thu, 29 Dec 2005 14:47:50 -0800

Blogger already supports an alternative syndication format called Atom. Here's Blogger's help section on syndication.

You probably don't need to generate an RSS feed in addition to an Atom feed, and you are probably generating the Atom feed automatically.

Feeds usually do not contain all the posts in your blog, and usually are generated automatically by the blogging tool. That script that you linked to might be useful for generating a one-off RSS file (especially as a demo of what an RSS file should look like), but would be a PITA for regularly updated sites.

By: captainscared

Thu, 29 Dec 2005 14:50:00 -0800

You should probably use one or the other. If Blogger generates atom feeds, I'd do that as it does so automatically. I think the more importaant issue is to make sure you know where you are "pinging" to notify directories that you have updated.

By: jessamyn

Thu, 29 Dec 2005 15:04:27 -0800

I write my own RSS feed for a site I update on my own, without using Blogger or Movable Type or Wordpress. Any major blogging tool will do either an RSS feed or an Atom feed and if you have either one, you should consider yourself set. Here are the steps I take making my own RSS feed

1. write blog post
2. go to rss feed file. remove the oldest post from the bottom and add my newest post to the top
3. escape the HTML characters from inside the tags, basically replacing the angle brackets with the HTML code for those characters
4. upload the RSS feed to my web space
5. check it with feed validdator
6. use pingomatic to tell sites like technorati and feedster that my content has changed

I update like once or twice a week so this isn't that hard and I have a bunch of macros to do most of it. You can see what my hand-generated RSS feed looks like here, if it's helpful. RSS is more forward-looking than retrospective, so most people have between 10-25 posts in it. To get to older sites people will just go to your web page and/or archives.

By: charmston

Thu, 29 Dec 2005 22:05:18 -0800

It appears to me that you aren't understanding the exact purpose of RSS. Dave Shea does a very good idea of exactly how it works.

By: cillit bang

Fri, 30 Dec 2005 05:50:26 -0800

Your RSS/Atom feed should contain your most recent 15-ish posts, and ideally, should update automatically. If you're using Blogger, just use the automatic Atom generator.