Blog Pile

Syndicating “Best of Show”

I’ve took a little twist on RSS to deploy it in another fashion here at CDB. This was partly to response to a post by James Farmer as he tried to find an alternative approach to blogrolling.

Maybe not understanding Radio as much as I should, I commented that it might be feasible to create his own RSS feed his blog could subscribe to. Not being able to clearly explain it in text, I decided to code an example on my blog.

Here is what I did- on my right side “links” i have a section called “Best of Show” where L list the title and link to my recent presentations. Until now, what I did was to edit my template every time there was a new one (and there were four this month).

I thought I could just create my own RSS feed for this content, display say the 5 most recent on the front page, and display them all on an individual page.

Now I can update both by editing my RSS feed. Simplifies my life! Here is what it took to pull this off in MovableType and the MT-RSS Feed plugin:

First I had to set up a feed, using the Webreference tool described in Writing RSS 1-2-3. You can find this feed at:

Where I used a format of:
Title contains both the presentation title and the date in parentheses.
Link URL for the online version of the show
Description – the abstract.

On my front page, I use this code:

<MTRSSFeed file="">
  <MTRSSFeedItems lastn="5">
» <a href="<$MTRSSFeedItemLink$>"><$MTRSSFeedItemTitle$></a><br />

<div align="center"><a href="show.html"><em>all best of show</em></a></div>

which gives me the titles and links for the 5 most recent items on the front page of the blog, along with a link to the page with the full list.

On my Full listing page template (create a new index template in MovableType that saves as “show.html”), my template uses:

<MTRSSFeed file="">

<h2 class="date"><$MTRSSFeedTitle$></h2>

  <div class="blogbody">  
  <h3 class="title"><$MTRSSFeedItemTitle$></h3>
  <p><$MTRSSFeedItemDescription$><br />
  <span class="posted"><a href="<$MTRSSFeedItemLink$>"><$MTRSSFeedItemLink$></a></span></p>

Nad that is all- now I just hand-edit my RSS feed, pop it to the server, and rebuild index templates. Dynamic.

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


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