the iCite net > news / blog > a permalink

news and thoughts on and around the development of the iCite net
by Jay Fienberg

Blog conversion, some lessons learned, part 2

posted: May 6, 2003 8:23:41 PM

One thing that I learned that is a very important factor to consider in the development of the iCite net is that most blogs do not provide links to RSS versions of specific posts. The RSS feeds on most sites, like those listed on the right side of this blog page, syndicate only the most recent posts--usually some number set on the blog engine, mine is set to 10, which controls both the number of posts in the RSS feed and the number of posts that appear on the blog home page.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I think this use of RSS for only the most recent entries comes out of the news / diary style of blogs. So, if the blog is principally an interface to current news, the RSS newsfeed is designed to reflect that (and, in some sense, to amplify that by delivering to your newsreader or news aggregator the latest news).

I have heard some people talk about how newsreaders and news aggregators should be only showing posting reverse chronologically, and not separate them out by source. If the blogs you read are news / diary oriented, this probably makes good sense. But, I use my newsfeeds (in Feedreader, which is still pretty so-so) more like a library that tells me when new books come in and what sections they come in. Actually, that is how I would *like* to use my newsreader--it doesn't work too well for this. iCites are meant to help with this, actually!

So, as it turns out, it is easy in blojsom to compose a URL that links to a specific post (the permalink for that post) and that renders the post in RSS. You will see at the bottom of this post permalinks for the HTML, RSS 0.92, RSS 1.0 (RDF), and RSS 2.0 versions of this post. This was one of my customizations to blojsom that turned out to not require any backend programming--I just had to compose the URLs. Nice!

I bet most blog engines can do this too. But, you are probably wondering why anyone would want to link to a specific post in RSS. I don't think any human would want to do this, but if a machine wants to grab syndicate-able versions of posts and re-syndicate them, it is convenient that every post has a RSS permalink it can refer to.

More soon on this, as this is a neat part of the iCite net.

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