Blogger Hacks, Categories, Tips & Tricks

Thursday, December 01, 2005
Comment Feed Added
Has been plenty of original-content action in the comments here over the past couple of weeks, far beyond the usual nature of comments. It has been pointed out to me that it would be useful if this stuff could be tracked. I have decided on a two-part solution. Part 1 is the introduction of a comment feed. Part 2 is in progress...

Want a comment feed? Followed the steps that I inferred from Stephen's Singpolyma Tech blog. Once again, the community hacks up features that are useful & interesting. Thanks, Stephen.

Here's what you need to do if you want a comment feed on blogger too:
  1. Check that you can forward stuff from the e-mail account that your comments are copied to. (I switched from Yahoo Mail to G-mail so that I could do this, although Yahoo Mail Beta may offer this feature....)
  2. Head to Mailbucket. They take e-mails and make them a feed. As they say on the site:
    MailBucket is an experiment in alternative methods of email management. For now its only feature is a public email-to-RSS gateway: forward your email to slurp@mailbucket.org and have your news reader pick it up at mailbucket.org/slurp.xml (where you choose slurp, having checked that it's not already in use).
  3. Set up a filter in your e-mail to take original comments copy them, and forward them out to mailbucket. I chose subject [Freshblog] and not {re:}, hoping to filter out e-mails that are replies to messages that I send about comments.
  4. Put a link on your site to allow subscription to the feed.
The bonus is that this will give you a recent-comments html block that you can post into your template too.... so 'tis perhaps goodbye to the BloggerHacks recent comments script? We'll see.

Stephen has a whole other layer of overlaid hackery in operation too, running the feed through feeddigest. What does the extra step do for you, Stephen?

Update: Occurs to me that I don't know Feeddigest, but then I don't want to consolidate more than one feed, either, & I am already pretty familiar with Feedburner!! So, zipped the mailbucket.org/slurp.xml feed through feedburner, and am now pleased to present the Freshblog comments feed. Now if we go plum crazy with original content in the comments again, we'll all be able to keep up easily. Cool!!

Posted at 2:32 PM by John.
6 Comments:
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Blogger Johan Sundström said...
Statistics! (I'll bet ;-) Statistics are good.

This will be a rather good hack, once it starts getting the MIME decoding right; at the moment it adds =20s for space characters near newlines, for instance.

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Blogger Greg said...
This is a great idea. Comments are more like email anyway. Is the missing piece here the means to tag your comments? As Johan at ecmanaut explains, this would allow conversations to develop more naturally across blogs.

Eventually we'll probably see the stuffing comments into the Google Base.

What tools exist for auto-tagging RSS feeds? Just thinking about it, the concept of "auto-tagging" (based on keyword or similar) sort of undermines the point of tagging and is prone to abuse. But, under limited circumstances like this, could add to information richness.

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Blogger Singpolyma said...
The reason I run my feed through feeddigest is to have the comments displayed in my sidebar... the feed itself I use through feeddigest mostly because at the time I thought it a good idea to mask the feed's true URL (since then anyone could theoretically SPAM my comments feed if they know how mailbucket works), but later realised that since all links take you to mailbucket before coming back to my blog this doesn't really mask anyway. I now have the feed still set that way (1) because I haven't changed it from before and (2) because then my feed and my sidebar stay in synch.

On filters : The way you filter works, I suppose, but just thought I'd make a note of how I do it... I have my blog set to mail me at singpolyma+techblog[at]gmail.com, and then my filter is just "to:singpolyma+techblog[at]gmail.com", and voilĂ , no false positives ;)

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Blogger Sam said...
You're a god... This is an amazing workaround for another of Blogger's oversight! Thanks thanks thanks!

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Blogger Ariel said...
What a great idea.

I'm having a hangup, though. After setting up my gmail fwd and customizing slurp, I'm not able to find my feed. I'm wondering if MailBucket is down...or if there's some lag time before the feed is available?

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