I’ve Started a Links Blog

There are lots of websites I visit which are interesting, but for whatever reason don’t merit a blog post. Maybe I’ve just written about something similar, maybe they only rate a 5 on the interestingness scale, maybe I just can’t think of anything clever to say about them.

So, I’ve started a link blog. It lives in that sidebar there, and you can subscribe to the RSS feed for it if you’re so inclined.

Boring Technical Details

There were two other reasons I wanted to try a links blog:

  • I’m trying Google Reader instead of Bloglines.
  • I’ve been using Ma.gnolia more frequently.

Google Reader enables you to publish items to a public link blog (here’s that feed) by clicking ‘Share’ on the item you want to push out. I wanted to merge that with a tag-specific feed from Ma.gnolia, so that I could publish all the sites I’d found via both my news reader and general reading.

Merging two feeds–easy as pie, right? If only I had those excruciating two hours back that I wasted trying to achieve a correctly-sorted merged feed. I wanted a reliable service, and so first tried Yahoo Pipes (here’s my plumbing). That was a fiasco, apparently due to some kind of obtuse sorting problem.

I tried sundry other services like Feedshake and RSS Mix, but they either didn’t work or seemed highly unreliable.

I eventually settled for FeedBurner’s Link Splicer service, but they don’t support tag-level feeds for Ma.gnolia. So I’m stuck using Del.icio.us, and it appends each bookmark with ‘[del.icio.us]’, which is more advertising than I’d like to give them.

All in all, it was shamefully difficult to simply merge two feeds and have them display in a roughly appropriate sort order. It’s 2007, for God’s sake, can’t we solve this problem?


  1. When I switched from Movable Type to WordPress I spent a good deal of time getting the old RSS feed URLs (and there were 3 types of feeds) to forward to the Feedburner feed. Mind you, I don’t do front end work so I was flying blind. However, now that I’ve got everything pointing to that one feed, I can see the stats on it (how many subscribers, what RSS reader they’re using, etc.). I’m still in shock about there being 230-250 people who subscribe to my blog. Who are these people? Don’t they have better things to read? Are they that bored?

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