E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Adding RSS Feeds per Category or Why I Really Like WordPress

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In the past, and in a couple of occasions, people have been asking me if I would be able to look into the request of placing RSS feeds per category in this particular weblog, so that folks would be able to filter even further the content they could grab themselves from elsua.net. The last one of those instances was actually coming from a fellow IBM colleague, Fabián Gradolph, in this particular weblog post, where he suggested I should look into it and see how easy it would be to implement, in order to help folks filter down those different weblog posts in Spanish. Well, while I am still thinking about that and how I am going to be sharing those Spanish speaking weblog posts over here I thought I would share with you why I really like WordPress.org.

Yes, indeed, I really like, and enjoy, WordPress.org. It totally rocks! And all that for multiple reasons, which I am sure I would have the opportunity to detail as we go along, but here is just another one as to why you would want to consider WordPress .org in order to host your own weblog and get the most out of it.

I was expecting that it would eventually become very difficult to actually syndicate the content per category using this particular weblogging engine, so I was ready to start digging all over the place, asking a few people about it, going through some trial and error scenarios and so forth in order to get it going, but wouldn’t you know it; a quick search through Google just brought me into this particular WordPress Support article: Separate RSS feeds for Different Categories.

In there you would be able to read how by just updating the call to wp_list_cats with this text:
wp_list_cats(‘sort_column=name&optioncount=1&feed=RSS’); you would be able to get WordPress to auto-generate an RSS feed for each of the different categories that you may have created. And voilá! Off it goes. elsua.net has now got the option to syndicate all your content per category and straight into your favourite feed reader client. Awesome!

Now? How long did that take me ? About 15 seconds? Including the upload to the FTP? Perhaps. And I am ready to go. Yes, they say that social computing is all about empowering end-users to share their knowledge, collaborate and dive into the conversations but you cannot deny that it also helps lower the technology barriers even further so that anyone can actually do it. Like I have just detailed above. That is, indeed, one of the reasons why I really like weblogging, and in particular WordPress.org. Incredibly powerful, to say the least.

I doubt it would ever get any easier than this, but I am certainly that it is actually that easy. You can now go over to the weblog’s homepage, check out the right column section where you would be able to find the categories and next to each of the category names, the number of weblog posts thus far you will now find the (RSS) option that you can just copy and paste into your default feed client of choice and start grabbing that content from there onwards. Fantastic!

So if you ever thought that weblogging was just for techies, examples like this one show us otherwise. Now, I was also going to tell you about a new category that I have created but then it would make this weblog post rather long, so I am leaving it here for an upcoming weblog post to indicate what it is all about. I am sure you would all like it. And I got a whole bunch of material already piled up for it. Thus stay tuned ! (And subscribe to it, if you wish, whenever it is ready!)

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  1. Great idea…you could make a drop down menu for these category feeds…see the blog post at Improbulus: http://consumingexperience.blogspot.com/2005/12/feeds-partial-or-full-how-to-have-both.html

    You could also run each of these through feedburner, so you can track statistics…for me the next step would be to ask Feedburner if there is a way to combine all the feedburner feeds for your blog into one feed and promote one chicklet, …I mentioned this in the end of a past post: http://libraryclips.blogsome.com/2006/06/23/rss-feed-for-your-feedburner-circulation/ Actually, this is mentioned at the end of the Improbulus post.

    For those people that don’t have category feeds, you can use the Blogdigger search engine to hack up feeds for your categories, see this past post:

  2. Hello folks ! Thanks a bunch for dropping by and for sharing your thoughts ! John, that is, indeed, a superb idea and something that I think I may be give it a try really soon, specially as I am finding out that the list of categories is actually growing up rather fast and would probably need to figure out a way to trimmer it. And your suggestion about the weblog post that Improbulus created to get things going is just terrific ! Now I just need the time to implement it. Hopefully, over the next few days if I can manage to find the time for it. We shall see.

    You could also run each of these through feedburner, so you can track statistics…for me the next step would be to ask Feedburner if there is a way to combine all the feedburner feeds for your blog into one feed and promote one chicklet

    Actually, I think that what you describe above is already available by making use of the Feedburner Plugin 2.1. I have actually set it up in my weblog and, unless I may have messed up things really bad, it is up and running successfully. It would actually collect all of my weblog’s syndication feeds and will just consolidate them into one, Feedburner, with the really useful results that it would be able to track them all and help you keep a count of it all. For instance, ever since I created the weblog post arund the creation of the categorised feeds I have seen how the number of subscribers continues to increase, effectivly, over time. So it may be worth while having a look into it.

    Thanks as well for the great tip of making use of Blogdigger to do some further tweaking of syndicating information resources.

    Dennis, thanks for the tip as well on Squarespace. I actually knew that they were offering this feature and thought it would be rather interesting for those who are not sold out on Feedburner and see if they would be able to make it work for them. Or not. One thing for sure is that it would make things a lot easier to manage and thinking how elsua.net is about to go bilingual it just made sense to me, so that folks would be able to subscribe to the category or categories they would feel more. However, with that said, I think this is something that I am going to watch over time and see how successful it is. If it sticks in I may do some further work on it and see how it develops. If not I think I would leave it as is.

    Thanks again for the feedback comments and for dropping by, folks!

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