Spurred on by Tom's recent post titled "RSS
" I have changed my own RSS feed generator to just write the first 20 words of each posting to the RDF file. Tom discussed his desire to know how many people were actually reading his blog entries and he couldn't do this if the complete entries ended up in the RSS file as he then did not know if people actually read the posts or not or simply pinged (I know this might not be the correct terminology but I think it is?) the RSS file to see if it has changed. The main Oracle blog aggregator site is Orablogs
and it takes the RSS feeds from a lot of bloggers who write about Oracle. This is a great site but I notice that sometimes when someone posts a long entry in their blog most of the orablogs page is taken up by it. I have done it myself a few times as well. I think Tom is right, it is nicer to have the teaser and to then have people come and read the article if they want. Orablogs will also look cleaner. I have noticed a few bloggers recently seem to have teasers that I am sure did not have before. I am hoping to get a better picture of how many people read my blog entries.
Anyway I have changed my blog to output just the first 20 words to the RSS file
and to also add a [read more] link at the end. This was the tricky bit to do. I use greymatter for my blog and greymatter doesn't support RSS file generation natively. I used the gm-rss
perl script to create my RSS file. They offer some advice as to how to just add a specific number of words to the blog RSS file but they didn't give any clues on how to add a [read more] link at the end of the 20 words (or how ever many words you want). I managed to work this out for myself after a bit of revision on greymatter template variables. Anyway I hope that those who take my RSS feed like the new method!
Here goes with the first test run!