Archive for January, 2006

Auto-discovery of Feeds

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

I almost forgot to mention another spiffy new feature that I added with the latest update to FeedBlendr. Now, if you enter the URL to a blog’s homepage and it has auto-discoverable feeds linked from it, then I’ll find them automatically, and use them to blend with.

As you enter a URL and jump to the next one, FeedBlendr will scurry off and go looking for feeds (checks if the URL you entered is a feed, if not, then tries to auto-discover one from there), and then if it finds one, updates that URL. Ahh the wonders of AJAXy goodness.

This should make it a little easier to add the feeds you want just by pasting in the address of the blogs you read.


OPML Feed Import

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

More News! FeedBlendr now supports OPML by allowing you to either upload a file from your computer or specify a URL if you have an OPML file available online somewhere (HINT: If you maintin a blog-roll through then you can grab a URL direct to an OPML version of your blog-roll from their “Get Code” link).

Once you upload or link to your OPML file, FeedBlendr will read it and grab out all the tasty feeds you’ve listed, then go grab them all and blend them up for you. Just like before, you’ll get a single new feed to subscribe to which will now contain everything in your OPML file.

Please let me know using the comments or these contact details what you think of this!

GZipping Feeds

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

I’m now GZ-compressing all output from FeedBlendr, so please let me know if this causes you any problems by commenting below.

This is an intermediate step in trying to reduce the amount of bandwidth required to serve up blends from this site.

On a related note, FeedBurner turns out to be a no-go as a caching/features partner for now at least, so I’m looking into as an alternative to at least give me some caching, even though they won’t give me any extra cool features like FeedBurner could have :-(

FeedBlendr to start FeedBurning?

Thursday, January 19th, 2006

So FeedBlendr has only really been publicly operational for a couple of days now, and already I’m transferring around 120Mb of data per day. This is cool, but it’s also a little concerning. I love providing a service, but I don’t want to kill my hosting plan through abusing my bandwidth.

But wait, there’s hope.

The guys over at FeedBurner really know what they’re doing when it comes to managing feeds and providing added value. I got to thinking “gee, it’d be nice if I could manage all my feeds through FeedBurner, which would not only give me a break on my bandwidth, but it’d also allow me to add some cool features to those blended feeds.” Enter the FeedBurner Feed Management API! Genius.

I’m looking into what it’ll take to transfer everything over to automatically publishing all feeds created on FeedBlendr through FeedBurner, and adding some options for cool things like FeedFlare to blended feeds. Updates here as they happen…

UPDATE 2006-01-23: I’ve noticed that according to this post, normal accounts are restricted to 20 burned feeds. Obviously this would be a problem for FeedBlendr (there are already nearly 80 blends running), so I’m contacting the guys at FeedBurner to see if there’s something we can work out between us.

Introducing FeedBlendr!

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

I’m pretty happy to announce that FeedBlendr is now live, and ready for your blending pleasure. You may be wondering what this does, and why you should care? Well let me tell you.

I read a bunch of blogs and news sites via their RSS/Atom feeds, but I found that organizing them and managing individual feeds is a pain. I also realized that I never really went through the process of reading individual feeds, since I just checked all my current, unread items. I’m using the wonderful Vienna News Reader on my PowerBook, and I find that I only ever look in the Smart Folder ‘Unread Articles’.

That got me to thinking – why do I even bother categorizing and grouping all my feeds in separate folders, when I barely ever actually use those folders once I’ve configured them? I started thinking that combining feeds into a single, date-ordered stream would be pretty useful, and from there, I heard people like Dave Winer over at Scripting News talking about the idea of a River of News and that made sense to me. He was (is) talking about making a whole new feed reader to work like that, but I had already started working on bringing it to everyone, without requiring them to change reader.

Thus FeedBlendr is born!

Enter in a bunch of feed URLs, and then click the big ol’ BLEND button, and you’ll get back a single URL. From that new address, you can get a blended version of all of those feeds, ordered (hopefully) by the date of individual posts, so you can have your very own river of news (or tasty blog-smoothie as the case may be).

A simple tool that hopefully scratches a simple itch. Hope you enjoy it.