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 the Development Director at Viget in Durham, North Carolina. I’m also an avid reader, traveler, cyclist, musician, coffee fiend, and friend of birds.