April 14, 2010

Pied piper of Yahoo

The problem:
I have a blog and a website - the blog is maintained by blogger, and the latter manually by me. Now I want to syndicate (via Feedburner) updates to either of these locations, transparently to the end user.

The solution - Part 1:
To begin, I did not have a feed for my website. So, well, I went about creating one. A couple of sites got me started. I would strongly urge the use of the <published> tag in addition to the other recommended ones. What I came up with, continued after the break:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<feed xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
 <title>Site title</title>
 <subtitle type='html'>"It will be intelligent, and it will make you think."</subtitle>
 <link href="http://www.anarchius.org/"/>
 <link rel="self" href="http://anarchius.org/atom.xml" />
  <name>Ravi Kiran Nagavarapu</name>
 <rights>This work is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License</rights>

  <title>Title of entry</title>
  <link href="http://anarchius.org/"/>
  <summary>Summary of entry</summary>

The solution - Part 2:
Next, I had to splice the two feeds together. After some research, the options boiled down to two - Yahoo pipes or Google reader. Hoping to keep it all in the family, I started off with Google reader. However, try as I might, I was not able to get Google reader to re-sort all entries by published date, and instead I had all my website manual feeds first followed by my blog entries.

Onto Yahoo pipes. The pipe itself was pretty simple. Spliced the two feeds, redirected that into a sorter, and took the output as my feed into Feedburner. That said, I loved the ease with which Pipes seemed to manage the data pretty transparently. It was pretty cool. I am sure the next time I want to do something, I am going up against a constraint I dislike, but till then, it was pretty cool.

Updated the feed on Feedburner, allow it to re-sync, and presto. My feed is now one standard feed for the entire site. All I have to do is drop in the subscribe button all over the site and I am done.

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