Posts Tagged ‘Google Reader’

Easy blogrolls

September 4, 2008

One of my 23 things colleagues has just started her own blog (Yay Anne). She was talking about how difficult it was to add her blogroll by typing them in one at a time. I remembered that I didn’t do it that way but had to then remember just how I did do it.

This is how.

How to import links

In the add link section in the WordPress.com dashboard is an “Import Links” link. If you click on it you will see an option to import an OPML file either from a web address or locally.

To get your OPML file from Google reader go to “manage subscriptions” at the bottom of your feeds list. Then you will see an “Import/Export” tab. If you click the “Export your subscriptions as an OPML file” you can save all your feeds which you can then import to your blogroll. Unfortunately at neither end of the process to you get to choose a subset of your links to display. The only way would be to categorize your links or delete the ones that you do not want to show. A painfull process when I have 110 subscriptions.

I did mine from Feeddemon which allows you to select a particular folder to export. A very useful feature.

There is another way which Google Reader provides that you may see used. In the “Settings” under “Folders and tags” there is an option to make a folder public. If you do you will get a link “add blogroll to your site”. This gives a handy script for a widget which you could paste into a text widget to display a dynamic blogroll from just one folder. Except if you are using WordPress.com who do not allow javascript to be used for security reasons. 😦

Sharing bookmarks and clipped posts

June 11, 2008

One of the things we want to be able to do as librarians is quickly and easily share our newest discoveries with our clients and each other. I wanted to add a display for my shared, bookmarked and clipped items to this blog.

Sharing from an RSS reader
Social bookmarking like del.icio.us is an obvious choice but how about from my feedreaders. Google Reader makes it easy providing an RSS feed for both starred and shared items. But I recently shifted to Feeddemon, a desktop reader because Google Reader cannot see firewalled feeds such as those generated by our internal wiki. Feeddemon has a “add to clippings folder” which acts much like “starred items” in Google Reader. The trick to sharing them was to synchronize with Newsgator – Feeddemon’s online partner.

Problems along the way
Initially I synchronized all my feeds making them available to myself at any computer. The trouble was that for some reason a great number of my feeds stopped updating all at the end of May. It was a busy time for me so I initially didn’t notice. A trawl through Newsgator’s support forums indicated I wasnt alone but that Newsgator were treating incidents on a one at a time basis. I wanted my feeds back quickly. When you use Feeddemon the request for an update for a feed comes from your own PC. When you synchronize via Newsgator they come from the Newsgator servers then are downloaded to the PC. Switching off synchronization updated my feeds again.

Resolution
However, thankfully, turning off synchronization doesn’t turn off synchronizing the “Clipping folders” (don’t ask me why). And there is a RSS feed for it (very hidden but they give you the URL in very tiny font right down the bottom to the page). There is one last step. I wanted to have one place where everything I bookmark online can appear and I use del.icio.us for items I come across not in a reader. I took the RSS feed for my del.icio.us bookmarks and the RSS for my Feeddemon clippings and added both to a  Google Reader folder. I went to (confusingly) “tags” under the Google Reader settings and there made that folder “public”. Then going to “view public page” for the folder gives me the RSS feed for the mashed up feeds which I could add to a widget to display in the sidebar of the blog.