Blend'd & Burnt

Posted 24 July 2007 under , , ,

One of my biggest gripes about this site design is that it doesn’t handle short posts very gracefully. With that in mind, I decided to add a Quick Links section, using the Textpattern link-management interface to create short posts linking to external sites. That went off without a hitch. Things got more complicated, though, when I wanted to roll this new content into my existing site feed.

To catch everyone up, feeds are a way to subscribe to a website, much like you would a newspaper. Rather than visiting a website to see if it’s been updated, you subscribe to the site’s feed using a feed reader (I use Vienna), which then checks periodically for new content and, when something new is available, downloads it to your computer and notifies you. A more thorough explanation of feeds can be found here.

Unfortunately, Textpattern doesn’t have any way to create a unified feed of articles and links, only separate feeds for each. I’m already using FeedBurner to manage my feed, and I thought I might be able to use it to splice the article and link feeds together. Sadly, because of some potential property rights issues, FeedBurner doesn’t offer this seemingly obvious feature.

After a bit of research, I stumbled upon FeedBlendr, a new service for combining multiple feeds into one. I handed it my article and link feeds, and it returned a lovely blended feed, which I then plugged into my existing FeedBurner account. The result? A brand new feed of articles and links, with no interruption of service for my (7) subscribers.

Please enjoy the new Quick Links section. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go afk and punch myself in my trendy web 2.0 face.


About Me

I’m a Ruby on Rails and JavaScript developer living in Durham, North Carolina and working at Viget. I’m also an avid reader, traveler, cyclist, musician, coffee fiend, and friend of birds.

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