The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, March 04, 2004

The old Rubik's Cube of RSS continues...

Loyal readers may recall the teething troubles associated with the introduction of the Atom feed a month or two back.

Now, we have new challenges. (Pause for hearts to sink.) Forbes is talking about The Coming RSS Revolution. (Can you say dotcom bubble?)

And an exciting - no, really! - new gizmo is being offered by the guys at Feedburner. It is in what they euphemistically call Pre-Alpha. (Reminds me of pre-owned.)

One of the tricks it has is to count RSS (and Atom) feed users: not previously available, I think - at least for those of us operating a no cash in, no cash out blogging policy.

What you do is input the feed URL, and you are given what they called a burned URL, on which the gizmo operates.

At the moment, I have switched the RSS feed button to the burned URL [1]. New readers, therefore will be counted.

However, the existing RSS URL still works. But readers using it are not picked up by the gizmo.

I need a new RSS URL - as quick and reliable as the existing one [2]. And also free. Several other sites provide RSS using the same software as furnishes the existing URL. The one I've tried has the hanging problem. As does Feedster [3].

As before, I am disposed to view these matters as educational - though I can understand why some readers might find it hard to share that view!

For the moment, no feed URLs need be changed in newsreaders.

When I've sorted out the problem of the new RSS feed URL, I intend to switch off the existing RSS URL. (Otherwise, I'll hardly feel the benefit of counting RSS users, which is rather the object of the exercise.)

When it happens, you will be the first to know.

[I mention all of this in part to alert fellow bloggers; so far as I know, the Feedburner thing has only started in the last fortnight, and is certainly well worth looking at for blog use. For bloggers unable to create RSS feeds at will, it's slightly more of a challenge!]

  1. But not the Atom URL.

    The burned Atom URL hangs when it meets a character it doesn't like. Which the regular Atom URL did when it first come onstream. But now no longer does.

  2. Which rules out Blogstreet, for example, which updates only once a day, at best.

  3. Which strangely hangs on a different character to the other RSS site. Different version of RSS?


The Feedburner site is timing out: I've restored the old RSS URL for the moment to the left hand column.

Clearly, a reliable feed comes several country miles ahead of fancy add-ons.

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