👓 Creating Custom RSS Feeds in WordPress – The Right Way | Philip Newcomer

Read Creating Custom RSS Feeds in WordPress - The Right Way by Philip Newcomer (Philip Newcomer)
There are a lot of tutorials floating around the internet that describe how to create a custom RSS feed in WordPress. Most of them have you creating a new page template, copying the code that WordPress uses to generate feeds into the page … Continue reading →

I’ve run into a lot of the sort of tutorials that Philip is talking about. This way, while more sophisticated and non-intuitive to the non-profession, seems much more solid. Makes me want to play around.

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Reply to Taylor Jadin about planet functionality for education

Replied to a tweet by Taylor JadinTaylor Jadin (Twitter)
It was a pretty productive Open Domains Lab for me. Got my sort "funnel" site set somewhat set up using FeedWordpress. http://taylor.jadin.me/

I’m curious to hear your thoughts after using it. It sounds like it has a lot of functionality overlap with Press Forward (for WordPress). Planet-like functionality is commonly requested in the education and technology space. Are there others? Stephen DownesgRSShopper perhaps?

 

 

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👓 Why I stopped using feeds | Manu Moreale

Read Why I stopped using feeds by Manuel Moreale (manuelmoreale.com)
I’m a fan of feeds. Whether is a curated RSS feed, a nice Twitter account or a great newsletter. All these are great tools to stay always up to date with things I care about and don’t miss out on “important news”.

While this seems like an interesting take on doing things, I view my feeds in my feed reader much the same way as I view the recordings on my DVR. They’re there waiting for the day or time I feel like visiting a particular channel and catching up. I definitely don’t look at it like a queue of things I might either miss out on or that I have to consume. They’re just there when I care to dip in and read a bit.

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Reply to Introducing Alhambra Source’s new publisher

Replied to Introducing Alhambra Source’s new publisher by Staff Staff (Alhambra Source)

Jon Thurber, a veteran journalist whose long career at the Los Angeles Times included serving as managing editor of the print edition, has been named publisher of the Alhambra Source.

Thurber held a number of other management positions at the Times, including news obituary editor and editor of the book review, and he was also a leader of the paper’s reinvention committee as the Times transitioned from a predominantly print product to refocus its efforts on digital publication.

“Jon has the experience and vision to move the Alhambra Source forward to an even more dynamic civic institution in Alhambra and the larger SGV,” said Sandra Ball-Rokeach, Professor of Communication and Sociology Emerita at USC Annenberg School for Communication and one of the founders of the Alhambra Source.

Congratulations both to and on the new publisher!

I’ve recently begun reading a variety of more local news sources, most of which are built on the WordPress CMS, as is your publication. As a digital native, I often prefer reading my news via RSS feeds, but I find it surprising that many local SGV sources have (accidentally?) broken or are mismanaging their feeds.

I notice that the Alhambra Source’s main feed only contains the “News Round up” articles which primarily feature news in other outlets. While this type of advertising for and promotion of others’ work is nice, I’m subscribed to many of them already and would prefer a single feed with all of the Alhambra Source’s own original work instead! In fact, because I automatically subscribed to the AS’s main feed without looking at the site first, I was under the mistaken impression that it only did aggregation rather than original reporting, an impression which is obviously the opposite of reality.

Because a “main” feed is not available, I’m forced to subscribe to 8 separate feeds to attempt to get all of the great work coming out of AS. This feels like a bit much and could be easily fixed on your back end. A better solution would be to have your main feed include all of your articles (perhaps including the News Roundup), and then still provide the separate category-based feeds for those who are only interested in the subsections of news. (This would typically be the default for an out of the box WordPress installation.)

Finally, I’ve noticed that your feeds don’t include any of the photos featured in the articles, which is a shame since the site has some generally nice photography (particularly in comparison to competitors) to go along with the stories.

If you need any technical help, I’m happy to assist as I’d love to see better local news and events coverage in the Pasadena/SGV areas.

Congratulations again!

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👓 NetNewsWire Diary #2: Switching to OPML | inessential

Read NetNewsWire Diary #2: Switching to OPML (inessential.com)
Since the earliest days of NetNewsWire, before 1.0 even shipped, I wanted to make the subscriptions list on disk an OPML file. It seemed like using the standard format for listing RSS subscriptions would be a good idea. But I was never able to make that happen — until now, with NetNewsWire 5.0d7.
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👓 How to Follow Instagram Hashtag and User Feeds Using RSS | Make Use Of

Read How to Follow Instagram Hashtag and User Feeds Using RSS (MakeUseOf)
Instagram itself doesn't provide a way to get RSS feeds for hashtags or users, but you can use a third-party service!

I really wish social sites would re-enable RSS or other feeds. This would be a great boon towards making much better and richer feed readers and related experiences. As it is some readers really just don’t know what to do with some of these feeds the way they’re generated.

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I’m spending some time this morning unliking/unfollowing corporate accounts in Facebook in lieu of following their websites via RSS. Since Facebook’s algorithmic feed isn’t really helping them, prioritizing them, or presenting them to me the way I like (without inordinate work) it just feels so useless. For the most part I’m reading most of them elsewhere anyway.

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👓 Suggestion: Dealing with Information Overload · Issue #280 · feedbin/feedbin | GitHub

Read Suggestion: Dealing with Information Overload · Issue #280 · feedbin/feedbin (GitHub)
I sometimes talk to friend about using RSS and I've heard repeatedly them abandoning it for the following reason. At the beginning everything is great, they love it. They don't have too muc...
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👓 New World NetNewsWire | inessential

Read New World NetNewsWire (inessential.com)
So much has changed since I last worked on NetNewsWire, and my thinking about it has changed too. The big things remain the same — NetNewsWire is at the intersection of my passions: reading and writing, the open web, and Mac apps. I want to make NetNewsWire a great app with lots of users. No change there. But so much else has changed. In 2002, when I started NetNewsWire, there was no Facebook and no Twitter, no iPhones, and most people hadn’t heard of RSS. People got their news by visiting a few sites a few times a day. People subscribed to email newsletters. That was about it.
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👓 My Feedly wishlist | Paul Jacobson

Replied to My Feedly wishlist by Paul Jacobson (Paul Jacobson)
Richard MacManus wrote about the state of feed readers as he saw it in his AltPlatform.org post titled “The state of feed readers”. He mentioned a couple things in his Feedly wishlist that prompted me to think more about what I’d like to see added to Feedly.

Feedly and custom sharing

Apparently there were a bunch of us thinking and writing about feed readers and the open web a year ago last June. Several week’s prior to Richard’s article, I’d written a piece for Richard’s now defunct AltPlatform entitled Feed reader revolution (now archived on my site), which laid out some pieces similar to Paul’s take here, though it tied in some more of what was then the state of the art in IndieWeb tech.

Around that time I began tinkering with other feed readers including Inoreader, which I’ve been using for it’s ability to auto-update my RSS feeds using OPML subscriptions from the OPML files I maintain on my own website. Currently I’m more interested in what the Microsub specification is starting to surface in the feed reader space.

I’m not sure if he’s played around with it since, but, like Paul, I was using some of the Press This bookmarklet functionality in conjunction with David Shanske’s Post Kinds plugin for WordPress to make posting snippets of things to my website easier.

Feedly has a Pro (aka paid) functionality to allow one to share content using custom URLs.

Screenshot of the custom share functionality set up from within Feedly.com.

While one can use the Share to WordPress URL functionality, I’d recommend the Custom Sharing feature.  Using the Post Kinds plugin, one can use the following example URL to quickly share things from their Feedly account to their personal website:

https://example.com/wp-admin/post-new.php?kindurl=URL&kind=bookmark

One should change the URL to reflect their own site, and one can also change the word “bookmark” to the appropriate desired kind including “like”, “favorite”, “read”, or any of the others they may have enabled within the Post Kinds plugin.

I personally don’t use this method as it only allows one custom sharing URL (and thus allows only one post kind), and instead (again) prefer Inoreader which allows one to configure custom sharing similarly to Feedly, but doesn’t limit the number of kinds and the feature is available in their free tier as well.

In addition to some of what I’ve written about the Post Kinds plugin before, I’ve also detailed how to dovetail it with sharing from my Android phone quickly in the past.

Highlights and Annotations

Also like Paul, I was greatly interested in quickly creating highlights and annotations on web content and posting them to my own website. Here I’m using a modified version of the Post Kinds plugin to accomplish this having created highlight posts and annotation posts for my site. Next I’m utilizing the ability to prepend http://via.hypothes.is to URLs on my mobile phone to call up the ability to use my Hypothesis account to easily and quickly create highlights and annotations. I then use some details from the outline linked below to capture that data via RSS using IFTTT.com.

Naturally, the process could be streamlined a lot from a UI perspective, but I think it provides some fairly nice results without a huge amount of work.

An Outline for Using Hypothesis for Owning your Annotations and Highlights

I will mention that I’ve seen bugs in trying to annotate easily on Chrome’s mobile application, but haven’t had any issues in using Firefox’s mobile browser.

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Reply to Jan Cavan Boulas about WordPress Microsub feed reader

Replied to a tweet by Jan Cavan BoulasJan Cavan Boulas (Twitter)

Jan, as I had mentioned to you earlier this year at WordCamp Orange County, the work on the IndieWeb concept of Microsub with respect to feed readers is continuing apace. In the last few months Aaron Parecki has opened up beta versions of his Aperture microsub server as well as limited access to his Monocle reader interface in addition to the existing Indigenous and Together reader interfaces.

My friend Jack Jamieson is in the midst of building a WordPress-specific Microsub server implementation which he’s indicated still needs more work, but which he’s self-dogfooding on his own website as a feed reader currently.

If it’s of interest, you or your colleagues at Automattic might want to take a look at it in terms of potentially adding a related Microsub reader interface as the other half of his Microsub server. Given your prior work on the beautiful WordPress.com feed reader, this may be relatively easy work which you could very quickly leverage to provide the WordPress ecosystem with an incredibly powerful feed reader interface through which users can interact directly with other sites using the W3C’s Micropub and Webmention specifications for which there are already pre-existing plugins within the repository.[1][2]

For some reference I’ll include some helpful links below which might help you and others get a jump start if you wish:

While I understand most of the high level moving pieces, some of the technical specifics are beyond my coding abilities. Should you need help or assistance in cobbling together the front end, I’m positive that Jack, Aaron Parecki, David Shanske, and others in the IndieWeb chat (perhaps the #Dev or #WordPress channels–there are also bridges for using IRC, Slack, or Matrix if you prefer them) would be more than happy to lend a hand to get another implementation of a Microsub reader interface off the ground. I suspect your experience and design background could also help to shape the Microsub spec as well as potentially add things to it which others haven’t yet considered from a usability perspective.

In the erstwhile, I hope all is well with you. Warmest regards!

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Reply to Stephen Downes on microsub readers

Replied to a post by Stephen DownesStephen Downes (downes.ca)
Building an IndieWeb Reader by Aaron Parecki
There's a lot to like in this description (I haven't tried out the actual product) of a reader that in many ways resembles what I'm trying to do with gRSShopper. This is a hard project: "there are a whole bunch of different parts to building a reader, many of which have no overlap in skillset: managing the subscription list, polling and fetching feeds, parsing feeds, data storage, rendering posts in a UI, providing inline action buttons to be able to reply and favorite posts, etc." There are some nice bits, especially the interoperability with Twitter and Github.
Also on Twitter

A WordPress plugin to help facilitate setting up these types of feed readers using Microsub was released yesterday: https://wordpress.org/plugins/aperture/

It’s obviously much more powerful if you’ve got Webmention and Micropub functionality set up too.

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🔖 Feed43 : Convert web pages into professionally looking RSS feeds

Bookmarked Feed43: Convert web pages into professionally looking RSS feeds. (feed43.com)
Offer your customers a convenient way to follow your news. Use Feed43 as a powerful information aggregation platform for your business. Or use Feed43 to streamline the way you read the news from websites you care about.
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Reply to Mariko Kosaka on RSS, blogging, and linkbacks

Replied to a tweet by Mariko KosakaMariko Kosaka (Twitter)

Webmention is the more modern specification now as some have mentioned. I wrote a piece on it in @alistapart recently which includes some background, UI examples, and links to more technical resources:
https://alistapart.com/article/webmentions-enabling-better-communication-on-the-internet

It is a small part of an #IndieWeb suite of open protocols including Micropub, WebSub, and Microsub for allowing site to site communication and interaction which goes to the broader scope of your question about RSS feeds and blogs. See also: Lost Infrastructure

I keep meaning to provide a better overview of it all, but this recent pencast overview captures a chunk of it. Aaron Parecki’s article Building an IndieWeb Reader captures some of the rest of the microsub/reader portion.

 

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