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October 18, 2004

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Why Is Hiding the RSS? Let it Out!

Under the powerful Google umbrella, is a huge player in the blog-verse offering totally free, hosted blogs, and they are now even looking less cheesy than a few years back.

But for being the heavy weight, they are keeping RSS Feeds a hidden gem only known to those that care to put on their geek headlamps and peer inside the cave. What do I mean?

By default, all Blogger blogs automatically generate RSS. You do not even know it is happening. But here is the kicker... the default publishing templates all lack the tiny bit of HTML that would make them visible. The templates lack a link to the RSS Feeds that are published anyhow.

Thousands of Feeds lie there totally alone, shivering in the cold.

For example, Stephen Downes recently noted today Scot Aldred's new e-learning blog. Dude, where's my feed? It is not to be linked anywhere because of this ommission in their template.

But here is the secret trick-- just tack on atom.xml to any Blogger hosted site, and you get the feed.

So while Scot's blog sits visibly at, you can get the feed at! They even render the XML so it is screen readable, rather than the typical stream of ugly XML code.

Why is this happening? Is RSS that scary? Is it being kept only for the chosen few who know where to look? Why is Blogger hiding the Feeds? Perspiring minds want to know!

Blogger, let the Feeds out!

blogged October 18, 2004 12:32 PM :: category [ wide world of blog ]
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Actually, the feed needs to be enabled under settings, site feed. I don't think they're hiding it, it's just not enabled by default.

Commented by: Peter Nguyen on October 18, 2004 02:50 PM


Enabling the feed does not put a link in the template. That is a manual process.

I have found numerous feeds by tacking on the atom.xml when there was no link.

Either way, just about every other blog system out there auto enables feeds and a link for it on the front page.

Commented by: Alan Levine on October 18, 2004 03:28 PM


Actually it's worse than that, some RSS agregators don't "speak" Atom, but you can use Feedster to convert one to the other... How stupid can the clever geeks at Google get!

Commented by: Tim on October 18, 2004 04:53 PM


Blogger is aimed at non techies, and the editing, creation process does this well. I failt o see why feeds ought to be unearthed when (a) they exisit and (b) it would be about 30 characters of extra template HTML to add a link.

Okay, so Atom is all powerful and not RSS, but whatever flavor of syndication is there, amke it available so folks can use it.

Commented by: Alan Levine on October 19, 2004 08:54 AM

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