Blendr Blog


Keepin' your feed blending real.

New FeedBlendr Features

Well, being an overcast, kinda dull Saturday here in San Francisco, and being a little whacked out on cough medicine as I am, I decided it was a perfect time to roll out a few features that either people had asked for, or just that I had wanted to include. Here’s what’s just gone live:

  • Author elements of the output feeds contain the original author information from the source feed, and I make an extra effort to find an author’s name regardless of where it was stored in that feed.
  • The source feed details are now appended to the actual content of the post. This is intended to make it more prominent, and to make sure that it doesn’t overwrite author information in the case where there are multiple unique authors per blog.
  • I’m now storing the title of feeds, so that I can start building a public index of feeds involved in FeedBlendr’s engine (coming soon). I’m also using this in the source attribution process.
  • I’m removing (or at least attempting to remove) duplicate entries from blends now. As an example, if you blend 2 similar tags on Flickr, you should now only ever see each image once, even if it would normally appear under each different tag.
  • Updated the subscribe page to include information about the individual feeds included in a blend.

I have a few more features coming before I start serious work on the next one of my feed manipulation tools, but it shouldn’t be too far off now. Coming up soon are:

  • HTML (probably through JavaScript) output of a blended feed.
  • Public index of blends/feeds in the FeedBlendr index so you can find interesting feeds to check out.

7 Responses to “New FeedBlendr Features”

  1. Papasik Rugasik Says:

    Unicode is not supported. See Feed 398 for examples.

  2. Marshall Kirkpatrick Says:

    Good luck with all this! Have you seen Peter Cooper’s FeedDigest.com ? It does a number of the things discussed above. I use it most often for the RSS to HTML function, but bandwidth has really seemed to be an issue.

    Your clean out the fridge approach sounds helpful. I wonder if you’d consider taking on the kind of feature that Wotzwot.com is struggling with – relatively high level scraping of feeds from sites that don’t have their own. They’ve decided to employ a rediculous solution to the problem of innactive feeds – everyone has to plug in a new code every month to keep the feed active!

  3. Pietro Says:

    I think the one thing that should really be there is the possibility to have the results in the order of how many feeds are they present in. So, if I blend 25 feeds from delicious, and something appears in 20 of them, it should appear above things that only appear in, say 10.

    Also a big thing would be to organise an API so that it is possible to use the blender automatically. So when I write on my blog an entry with 10 tags, I could have on the sidebar automagically the blend of the rss feeds from my blog of the entries tagged with those tags. This summed with the previous suggestion of the order would make the tool really useful.

  4. beau Says:

    Marshall: Thanks for the kind words and pointers. I won’t be offering any services (or at least not as a direct part of FeedBlendr) for creating a feed from a site which doesn’t provide one; it’s outside of what I’m trying to provide here, and there are other services out there that already appear to do a good job of it (FeedYes.com and Feed43.com for example).

    Pietro: Your first point is an interesting one, although I don’t know if it really meshes with the idea of RSS generally being time-ordered. I could possibly include a custom (namespaced) element in the blended feed which showed a count of the number of times an entry existed in all source feeds, then you could do your own sorting upon output. The second point you make about an API is something that I’m working on already – it’s only a matter of time.

  5. fiend Says:

    Regarding you future bandwith problems, you can always use Coral ( http://coralcdn.org/ ), actually you can cache your entire site on coral (or just the pictures or just my comments heheheh) ^_^ uhhh and keep up the great work

  6. benjymous Says:

    Regarding the removal of duplicate entries, I’ve found it’s not succeeding if you subscribe to multiple Slashdot feeds

    e.g.

    http://rss.slashdot.org/Slashdot/slashdot
    +
    http://rss.slashdot.org/Slashdot/slashdotGames

    = http://feedblendr.com/subscribe/5441

    In that current feed there’s two entries entitled “The Myth of the 40 Hour Game” which have the same body text, but have slightly different link urls, which I guess is the issue

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    […] like Feedblendr and Blogbridge have solved this problem for simple RSS aggregation. However things are different when it comes to social network […]

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