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.

If this kind of stuff has any value, please support me monthly on Patreon or a one time PayPal kibble toss
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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