RSS Readers

Google Reader debuts

Google Reader launched yesterday and I’ve just had a quick play with it this morning. It choked on my initial import of my opml feed from feed on feeds, but that is because the description field in the exported data did not end with a set of double quotes if the descriptions were more than 3 lines long (for some very strange reason). I edited the file and started the import and now have lots of feeds in google reader. I’m not sure if I like the interface or not yet as it doesn’t load up feeds with old items, instead you just get new data so I don’t have a lot of feed items to read through. However I have found that clickable links in feeds do not appear in the google page so you have to load the original source (which is a bit pants really) Hmmm looked like that was just that one particular blog – (under the stairs) as others seem to be working ok now.


I’ve just come across gregarius which is another self hosted web based rss reader. This one looks pretty good and includes a decent search facility. It’s an alternative to feedonfeeds. I’m not sure which one I prefer at the moment. Although gregarius looks nice, has ajax for its user interface it seems to be a bit slow and the read/unread methods are clunky.
You can get unread messages in a view but unlike fof there are a lot of clicks needed to mark certain posts as read. With FOF I used to view all unread posts and if I had to stop reading due to time constraints then I’d click the link which said “select all to here” which would select all the posts from the top of the page to where I had clicked and then a “mark as read” button would be clicked and all those posts would disappear from the unread view and I’d be left with the rest to read when I next got some time.
With Gregarius it looks like you have to either have all unread posts marked as read or individually select each post to be read by clicking on the edit icon, clearing the unread checkbox and then checking ok. Repeat for 100 posts and thats a lot of clicking!
Update I have the double click plugin installed now but thats still a lot of clicking and you have to watch you dont click on a hyperlink within the body (which could be a pain if the entire body is hyperlinked such as in photostreams.
Be warned that an import of opml will overwrite any existing feeds that you have in gregarius!

Feed changes

I’ve changed my RSS feed this morning due to a couple of new features that Feedburner have released. They spent thursday adding new features to Feedburner to celebrate to their last day in their old office (most people would have spent the day moving furniture!) One of the features is the ability to geotag an RSS feed so the absoblogginlutely feedburner feed now has the general location from my zipcode added. I’m not sure which rss readers will use this information but I’m sure it won’t be long before aggregators start to add this functionality in. I’ve also removed my flickr feed from automatically being included as I don’t always want my flickr photos included in this website feed so you may want to subscribe to my flickr photos here

Speaking of bloglines……

I still don’t get the benefit of using bloglines, but maybe that is because I’m using someone elses aggregation of feeds. If I look at Mikes main website I can see his clips on the right hand side – this is the first page I’m looking at.
If there is an item that looks interesting I click on it which takes me to the second page containing three links on the right hand side.
The first link, larger than the rest and in bold is actually a link to the current page that I’m on (and therefore rather pointless and confusing).
The second link has the same anchor text as the previous link but actually links to the post that Mike is referring to – this is the link that I need.
The third link points to the same place as the second link but contains the text “source blog” which again seems to be redundant as I know that from the second link.
When I click on either of the last two links it finally takes me through to the content – 2 pages after the initial link (and this is meant to make things easier to track?)

So, having whinged, what would I do to “fix” this?

  1. Loose the first titled link as it is just too confusing and redundant.
  2. Drop the third link or change the text so it gives the name of the blog/website that you are quoting (and possibly linking to the home page rather than the individual item).

Have I got all this right or am I missing something and overcomplicating things?

claiming my feedster blog

Anyone else having problems with feedster? I’ve been trying to claim my blog but as it won’t let me log in with my username and password it is a bit difficult to do. If I put in my email address (which is not my login id) then the new password gets sent and I can read it, but when I put it into the form it tells me that the username/password is incorrect. Emails to the feedback contact don’t get answered.
Then this morning I went to check and found that my feed has been deleted at the request of the user – huh????? The only thing I’ve done is changed my default feed on the web page, but the old feed still gets published and I didn’t explicitly ask for it to be deleted. grrrrr

New blog features

I changed my rss feed location to Absoblogginlutely on feedburner as this should hopefully reduce the amount of traffic that I use, I only need to provide 1 feed, flickr photos can be included and I also get an easier method to track stats and clickthroughs from the feeds. You the user, should not see that much of a difference. At the moment I have not put in redirects for my current feeds, so current subscribers will use my feeds, new subscribers will get the feedburner feed.
I’ve also signed up for a gravatar with a new email address so expect to see that on your blog comments soon and I’ll soon be adding the plugin to this site for comments.

new fof style

Willy Morin posted his stylesheet for Feed On Feeds, the (web based) rss reader that I use. However his files were uploaded in some weird compression routine so I’ve reloaded them up as a zip file which can be downloaded here.
As I also use the non frames version I edited the css slightly and saved it as fof.css in the fof directory (as well as keeping his download in the frames directory). The edits I made are in the extended entry.

fof 1.3 released (again)

FeedOnFeeds 1.3 has been released. The best thing about this version is that it has a “mark all read that i’ve actually read” feature. In other words each item has a mark read above this item so that if you are really busy and have to go and do some work instead of reading your feeds, you can click to mark all the items above the current one, and then click mark as read. That way all the ones below the current item are still unread. Without this feature you ended up reading the same item a couple of times as you tried to catch up with your feeds.
I put again in the subject as I seem to have already downloaded 1.3 in the past.