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Thursday, January 25, 2007


RSS feed?

Or more specifically: two people now have asked how to get one for this blog, and I'm afraid I don't know what they're talking about. The Wikipedia entry is confusing, and I'm not very technical. So, if anyone has any idea what's required, please let me know so we can sort this out.

RSS feeds, as you have probably deduced, are used by people who want to keep an eye on the latest updates to a site, without necessarily having to open that site in a browser window.

The good news is that Blogger has RSS support already built in. If you log into your Blogger 'Dashboard' and go to 'Settings', then look for the 'Site Feed' page, you should see some options (exactly what you'll see depends on whether you use their 'Advanced Mode' or not).

Once you've told Blogger to provide a feed, and saved your settings, you may or may not need to edit your blog's 'template' to make the feed visible. (It will appear as a link, or possibly an icon. People who want to 'subscribe' to your feed will use this link/icon to do so.)

Blogger's 'help' pages should tell you more about this. It shouldn't be too tricky, I think - have a fiddle and see what happens.
Further to the previous, the relevant help pages are here.
Thank you. I followed your instructions up to a point, but then...

How do I tell Blogger to provide a feed and save my settings?!

Here's the thing. At the moment, it says that my site feed URL is http://www.kitwhitfield.com/atom.xml. The 'site feed path' is blank, as is the 'feed item footer'. I think people want RSS rather than atom, but this is as much as I understand. Any technically-skilled person who can help me sort this out gets enormous gratitude.
Right - your site feed is basically already working! (It works as a 'Live Bookmark' within Mozilla Firefox, anyway).

Ideally, you'd want to add a button or a link in your blog template - but in the short term you can just tell people: http://www.kitwhitfield.com/atom.xml

This page gives a couple of examples of how you could make the feed link visible on your blog. You would need to copy-and-paste a small amount of code into your blog template. If you can find the part of your template where the 'I Power Blogger' button is, you could try adding something like this above or below it:

<p id="postfeeds"><$BlogItemFeedLinks$></p>

Atom is basically just a form of RSS, and a widely-supported one. Most software that can read RSS feeds will read Atom feeds as well - chances are, the Atom feed is all you need.
Thank you! I think I'll try the template when I'm feeling strong... Really appreciate the help :-)
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