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An old link whore crawls out of the Stone Age.

Michael David Crawford
newcomer@vancouverdiaries.com

January 13, 2007

Copyright © 2007 Michael David Crawford. All Rights Reserved.

Real Simple Syndication Roxors My Boxors.

Thanks to all the folks who responded when I asked how to set up RSS for static, handed-coded HTML pages. No WordPress for this old codger - I cut my teeth on Hollerith cards. Kids these days...

Without further ado: please subscribe to the all new:

I knew you'd say "-1, Buy An Ad," so I did.

If you have a website that shows syndicated RSS feeds, you could really help me out if you'd syndicate The Vancouver Diaries too. That is, I'm asking you to do for me what Shrook.com does for Kuro5hin.

Inside: How To Subscribe and A Poll: Will you subscribe to my feed?


I'm gonna add feeds to all my many websites.

But before I do, I'm going to learn about what one can do with RSS in more detail. I get the sense that it has a lot of features I haven't taken advantage of yet. Perhaps you can give me some tips.

For example, I could have a feed just for my live performances. My fans could find out immediately when I schedule one, as the updated items would pop up in their RSS readers.

The Shrook website accepts feeds submitted by the Shrook RSS and Atom client for Mac OS X. Happily for me, I have a MacBook, so I just now submitted my feed. (Sorry, citizens of The Evil Empire and Lunix, The Open Sores Operating System aren't allowed to participate.)

Heh. Turns out you have to pay a subscription fee to keep your Shrook account. Their longest option is for two years. But then I just dropped a ten-spot on a K5 text ad. Thems that has, gets.

You can even subscribe to RSS feeds from your Kuro5hin account - that's how we get notified of K5 Private Messages.

To do so, click your User Preferences link at the right of the page, then click the Interface link towards the top of the page. Scroll all the way to the bottom for the large list of feeds. Clicking one of the links shows a preview, checking a checkbox then clicking Save Preferences at the bottom adds the selected feeds.

(The preview for the Asian Sex Gazette may not be what you expect.)

I submitted my feed to Kuro5hin, but it hasn't been approved by the admins yet.

Subscribe To A Feed? How?

You need an RSS reader, also known as a News Aggregator. There are some web based ones like Shrook.com, but I discovered last night that the really cool ones run on one's own computer as GUI applications, where they can do a great deal more than is possible with a website. Here are some, mostly found through reviews at About.com:

Got a favorite reader that I haven't listed? E-mail me at newcomer@vancouverdiaries.com and I'll add it.

To add my feed to your reader, right-click (on Windows or Linux) or control-click (on Macs) on my feed's URL. You'll then need to paste it into your reader's interface for adding subscriptions or feeds.

To add any other site's feed, look for the Feed Icon - The Feed Icon - or a small graphic button that says "XML" or "RSS" and copy its link to your reader. I have the Feed Icon at the top-left of each of The Vancouver Diary's pages. Kuro5hin has a blue XML button at its pages' bottoms.

Some readers are capable of automatically discovering a page's feed; Apple's Safari can do it, for example. I have enabled this by linking my RSS feed from a <link> element in my pages' <head> element. Readers that support auto-discovery can add my feed just by adding http://www.vancouverdiaries.com/ as a feed, or, with Safari, just by visiting the page. For my feed, the auto-discovery link is as follows:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="rss.xml" />

Coming Soon: How You Can Roll Your Own RSS Feed

Mister Markup

Professional Tools for Webmasters and Web Designers.

In the next few days I'll post a brief HOWTO at Mister Markup on using XML::RSS::FromHTML from the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network to add RSS feeds to static, hand-coded sites. It's actually meant to work with any site, not just your own, but as we shall see, there are some limitations.

(I give a too-brief synopsis in this comment on how I did it. It won't help if you don't know Perl.)

If you prefer Python, Kuro5hin's SaintPort pointed out this recipe for scraping pages using Internet Explorer.

He also pointed me to How To Create A RSS Feed From Any Web Page. If you're not technically inclined, there are several websites that will make feeds for you - for any site, not just your own! They are:

Enjoy!

It's time for me to go to bed now. I've been up since yesterday. They're gonna throw away the key this time...

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