Tag Archives: rss
May 4, 2015

Dumping Feedburner


feedpress-logo-love-rssI've finally dumped Feedburner.

If you're subscribed to this site's RSS feed you should *hopefully* be reading it via Feed.press

I'll post more about why I switched over to Feedpress, but suffice to say that Feedburner is probably going to be killed off by Google at some point and I'd prefer not to be "stranded" :)

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January 29, 2012

Captain Obvious Says Blogging Regularly Gets Traffic

I posted a few weeks ago about how I was going to go on a diet and change my lifestyle.

Yesterday marked 3 weeks on the diet, so I posted a "status report" / "progress report" (I work in IT - you'll have to excuse the IT-esque terminology!).

What I didn't go into were some of metrics related to my weight loss / diet blogging.

On the technology.ie podcast Conn and I are going to be talking more and more about sharing tips and tricks with people to help improve their websites. So one of the things we thought we'd talk about was "breathing life into an old blog". My dieting and weight loss blog isn't the case study, but it's still quite interesting to see how traffic etc., on there has developed over the last few weeks.

So a bit of background first.

The site had been left idle for quite some time - there hadn't been a single update since November 2009. It was also running MovableType. Much as I love MT I've been moving all my blogs over to WordPress due to the phasing out of MT development and also it's a lot easier to get a WP based site tweaked quickly and easily.

So I migrated the existing content over to a fresh WP install and gave it a "new coat of paint" with a relatively simple theme from Woothemes. James had done a logo for the old site a couple of years ago, but it had never been used, so he updated it slightly and that gave the site a slightly more "professional" look.

I've had Google Analytics tracking set up since the beginning, so it was simply a matter of adding the correct code into the theme's options (it supports it "out of the box").

I hadn't had Feedburner configured for the RSS feed for some odd reason, so that was rectified.

In terms of RSS traffic the numbers aren't exactly stellar, but they're growing:

Fat.ie Feedburner stats January 2012

NB: feedburner wasn't setup before January 2012

What about web traffic?

fat.ie Google analytics stats January 2012

fat.ie Google analytics stats January 2012

You can click to enlarge the graphic, but the basic metric to note is that since I started posting on there more regularly ie. practically every day, since the beginning of the month the traffic has been going up. I'm cross-posting and sharing the posts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, which is driving some of the visitors, but there's also a few that are following it via RSS, or simply following it without subscribing.

I'm tracking the site's "progress" using multiple tools, but the obvious "take away" is that the more fresh content you produce the more traffic you'll get.

Another one of my sites, for example, has been left on "auto pilot" for the last couple of months and the traffic has dropped quite a bit as a result. There is "fresh" content on there practically every single day, but it's not original, so the search engines aren't giving it much "weight", which makes sense.

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January 20, 2011

Where Do People React To Blog Posts?

Once upon a time and it wasn't really that long ago, you would post a blog entry and people would either comment on it directly, or they'd write their own post and link to you.

In 2011 with people cross-posting their RSS to multiple targets such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (and a load of other places) some people are saying that they aren't getting the volume of comments they used to. At least not on their blogs. They're seeing the reactions on the other platforms / networks

I've seen this to a certain degree, but what about other people? Is this common? A trend? A fad?

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May 10, 2009

Playing With Lifestreams and SweetCron

sweetcron logoA few months ago Stewart mentioned Sweetcron as a "lifestream" solution (You can see his here).

A "lifestream" basically acts as an aggregator of all your online activities, as many of the online services that people use, such as Twitter, Flickr etc., publish your activity via RSS.

I'd already been experimenting with Movable Type's Motion, which is a pretty cool addition to an existing MT powered site, however having a separate, standalone, solution was not without its attractions. I registered michele.ie a few months ago, but apart from using it to test our Exchange mail hosting I hadn't really done anything with it.

So last night (and very early this morning) I decided to setup Sweetcron on one of our shared hosting plans. Our hosting system allows you to split your domain up across multiple hosting plans and platforms, so while the main site is now on a Linux web server the email is still on Microsoft Exchange.

I chose to setup the webspace to use PHP5, since PHP4 is defunct. In terms of the database I opted for MySQL5, since it's also the more recent version.

I'll have to admit that I hadn't used FTP for a long time. I have a habit of just doing things from the command line, but once I'd got over that it was easy enough to setup.

The documentation for Sweetcron is a bit sparse, but the basic install is easy enough. On our system you just need to remember that the MySQL database server is NOT "localhost", as the basic configuration file assumes that you're running everything on a single server.

The one step that isn't documented clearly is how to setup a simple cronjob to automate it for you. Fortunately someone else had done that already, so adding the cronjob via the hosting control panel was fine.
You just need to execute the following command every few minutes (or hours):

curl http://your/true-cron/url

You can find the actual URL in the Sweetcron admin panel. So just set that command to run via the cronjob manager and off you go.

The basic install ships with two themes, but there are several other themes available which range from the very simple to the incredibly complex. I still haven't settled on which one I actually want to use, as they all handle parts of your "stream" differently. In order to avoid duplication issues I think I'll stick with a theme that doesn't pull in the full content from blog posts and just provides a link to the original source.

So if you're bored and want to know what I'm up to you can head over to my new personal space and see!

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April 20, 2009

RSS Feed Tweaks (Again!)

I've made another couple of minor changes to the RSS feed from this site, so any feedback would be appreciated.

What's changed?

I've added a daily delicious bookmarks thing as well as my Flickr feed.

If you think these shouldn't be there let me know and I'll remove them

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January 31, 2009

Syndicate Irish Job Listings

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for technicaljobs.ie logoIf you want to publish job listings from TechnicalJobs.ie there are a couple of options open to you.

For the more technically minded the site offers RSS, both global and by job category.

But if, like me, you just want something nice and simple, then you can grab a little Javascript widget


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January 10, 2009

TechnicalJobs.ie Now Live

technicaljobs.ie logo

As part of my efforts to actually get sites online TechnicalJobs.ie is now up and running.

What is it?

It's a very simple job board which allows people and companies to post their job vacancies for free.

If you want you can subscribe to the site in an RSS reader OR put the latest jobs on your own site using a little widget

Thanks to John for the logo!

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January 4, 2009

Pet Hates – Newsletter Popups on Blogs

While I can understand that bloggers want to encourage people to subscribe to their RSS feed OR email newsletter, do they have to annoy us with popups?

A lot of bloggers seem to have adopted a really annoying popup system that loads EVERY single time you visit their blog. Every time.

Haven't they heard of cookies? You know, those little things that you can store so that you won't annoy your readers with the same damn popup every single time they visit YOUR site.

ShoeMoney uses it, for example, and it's really putting me off following any links he posts to his site on Twitter.

And he's not the only one ....

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August 24, 2008

Google Feedburner – Broken Integration?

Image representing FeedBurner as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase, source unknown

I've had a feedburner account for a long time. I've also had an adsense account since shortly after Google launched it.

When Google finally announced that RSS ads were going to be available to Feedburner users I was quite excited. If nothing else I wanted to try it out. If it didn't work out as well as I'd have liked I could easily drop the ads.

Unfortunately things weren't quite that simple.

My Adsense account is a Google Account, whereas my existing Feedburner account isn't, so I basically had to transfer or merge stuff together to get it working.

Now I may have made a mistake when I added a completely new feed into Adsense... I'm not 100% sure.

In any case I've now ended up with the rather annoying situation of having two feedburner accounts and no way of transferring feeds between them, as the "key" is coming back as invalid, while the confirmation email contains a link to the wrong place. Basically I cannot log in to Feedburner via the main page for my new account.

Kind of frustrating!

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August 19, 2008

RSS Working Again

I really should not be allowed operate electronic equipment at the weekend!

I discovered a short time ago that I had managed to remove my RSS feed entirely!

Now that takes some doing.

I'm almost impressed with myself...

It's back again now, but I really do need to put aside some time to work out what I've managed to accidentally nuke.

On a side note, I have to say I am impressed with the widgets in MT. They're finally making sense to me, so I won't be editing the main templates as much moving forward - widgets are the way to go!

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