Blogger Recent Comments - RSS Feed is the Trick ~ BitterSweetLife

Monday, April 17, 2006

Blogger Recent Comments - RSS Feed is the Trick

Building on a Blogger Comments Feed

Blogger Subscribe to Comments

Once again, the level of technological sophistication on this blog has been upped. Mere days ago I was able to figure out how to generate an RSS feed for comments so that readers could track their favorite conversations.

However, I didn’t like the way that feed was coming through (no line breaks), so I upgraded, using a masterful hack from Singpolyma to generate a new comments (RSS) feed.

After that, it was simply a matter of tinkering to get a “recent comments” feature in the sidebar.

Few things are more satisfying than a tough h
ack, honorably conquered. If you're looking for a similar outcome...

1. First, you’ll need to first generate an RSS feed for your comments. I recommend Singpolyma’s comments-to-RSS hack because the paragraphs come through nicely formatted. (Implementing Singpolyma's method will involve a quick template edit.)

2. Once you’ve created your comments feed, an optional step is to run it through Feedburner in order to add enhanced features and make it look good. Not essential, but I do it for the extra cool factor.

3. Next, you’ll need to get your “recent comments” feed to display in your sidebar. To do this, I recommend Feed Digest. Essentially, Feed Digest takes an RSS feed and converts it to a piece of JavaScript you can customize and stick in your template.

4. Now, take the JavaScript that you created using Feed Digest and put it in the appropriate location in your sidebar. Obviously, some editing of your template will be required here - but that's nothing new, right?

And there you have it. You can shoot questions my way if you like, but seeing as how I barely managed to figure this out myself, looking for specific help along the way might be a better bet. As an arts & letters type, I do promise you that any answers I provide will be scripted in flowing, technological prose. ;)



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12 comments:

John B. said...

Off-topic . . .
Something's going on with your blog's font. I like the cramped, harder-to-read original font; larger sans serif fonts aren't terribly Bittersweet.

Ariel said...

Uh oh. This sounds like a problem, but it's not showing up on my Firefox browser. Is the font throughout the entire post larger than usual?

I guess I'll go fool with the html.

John B. said...

You appear to have fixed things, Ariel. I'm back to squinting now.

Ariel said...

What a relief. To read this blog without squinting would definitely detract from the atmosphere.

Will Robison said...

I have a metaphysical question that has been pondered for ages but none have been succesfully able to answer:

What is an RSS Feed? And why do you need one?

Andrew Simone said...

Man, I need an RSS feed of my comments...yeah, that would definitely help me street cred. After the semester is over, O.C., after the semester is over.

(such is my mantra about EVERYTHING these days...after the semester is over...)

Bulan said...

I had to post a comment when you mentioned singpolyma - I met him through mkPLANET, and have enjoyed some of the stories he has shared with us there. How cool to see his name pop up here as well!

I had to chuckle at a comment you made in an earlier post about the excitement of messing around with the template code here on Blogger. I have the same kind of fun, though my blog isn't nearly as html-advanced as yours... But it proves to me that I haven't yet reached the limit, and to keep dreaming big dreams for my blogger template. It's all too addicting, if you ask me! :)

- Dana

Whole Wheat Bagel said...

You'd think Blogger/Google would get a clue and add that feature instead of expecing people like AJ to go through as many steps as possible to accomplish it.

As a friend's signature says, "Miracles performed daily, the impossible takes longer."

Ariel, now that you've completed the "add recent comments to your blog in as many steps as possible" task, can you let your visitors select the number of recent comments that they want to see, or do you force them all to see the same number? I'm just askin... ;)

Kudos, BTW.

Ariel said...

"What is an RSS Feed? And why do you need one?"

I had a feeling this would come up. RSS has been understood in a variety of ways over the centuries, Will, but we're concerned here only with its modern usage: Really Simple Syndication.

I trust that makes everything clear?

Actually, I've been thinking I'd mention RSS feeds in an upcoming post, since I'm a big fan. In a nutshell, RSS is like a radio signal for your site. Anyone who wants to can 'pick it up' with an RSS reader or email service. So making your blog's RSS feed accessible is like making it available to a wider audience. (Blogger publishes an RSS feed for each blog automatically.)

OC, I'll come looking for your new comments feed in late May. Everyone knows you're hard up for streed cred.

"It's all too addicting, if you ask me!"

What are you talking about, Dana? It took me just 12 hours and 4 pots of coffee to get this working. Your accusation is clearly over the top!

Singpolyma seems like a pretty cool (and very tech-savvy) guy. Keep up the hacks!

Bagel, it's clear what you're up to, trying to force me over the edge with questions about visitor configuration. I'm not biting. ;)

Actually, so far as I know, the only place in the hack where the display can be edited is at Feed Digest. So the reins of power will remain in my hands.

Where they belong. ;)

Whole Wheat Bagel said...

Oh come one, you wanna bite, I know you do.

Singpolyma said...

Just and interesting point is that Blogger Recent Comments will generate a JS-include for your sidebar as well if you want -- thus circumventing FeedDigest :)

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Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife