24 February 2007

Blasts from the past

From today, I'm allowing subscriptions to another feed (we love choices, don't we? :)). With the latest buzz being piping our existing feed and re-order them by published date, I think one (annoying but) good aspect of Blogger's native way of handling feeds got overlooked. But a brief history.

How we used to do it

In the old Blogger, the feed wouldn't be altered if you edited a post from your archives, like it does in the new Blogger. Mostly, edits used to be typos, or little bits of added information. These updates didn't need the posts in the feed jumping around. However, sometime later, someone discovered the RSS feed which would be sorted by the 'Updated' date, and not 'Published' date. Steve and I came up with a 'Recently Updated Posts' widget (weren't called widgets back then) for the sidebar. That was when we had a choice between the two feeds.

The primary (ATOM) would be sorted by published order, and secondary (RSS) would reflect the updated order. All was goood.

What we do now

Now, all the feeds are sorted by 'Updated' date. This is good only if you are like Phydeaux3 who doesn't touch his posts once they've gone into your archives, unless there is a major update. It's actually the best, because then a major update brings the post back into focus. However, we have been spoilt.

We (well, I atleast do) still edit old posts if we find a typo, and that minor change makes the post jump right to the top and show up as new. That can be very irritating, because an old post might show up above a post which you just posted, and hence may steal focus away. I'm trying to change that habit though, and I guess we all will have to at some point of time, unless Google opens the Blogger feeds to all the GData queries. The Pipes method does exist though, and that's what I use as my primary feed.

But I'd like to leave the decision to you. So what happens now is that I offer two separate feeds - one ordered by the 'Updated' date (the new one), and the old one is still ordered by the 'Published' date - and you can pick which one you want to subscribe to, as per your convenience. You can subscribe from the icon in the address bar, or the syndications list at the bottom (I just love choices!). You can subscribe to both too, if you want to be extra generous and give a slight boost to my readership counts! :)

Happy weekend!


Efendi said...

but i wanna have the full feed back :(

Aditya said...

Why? You don't like the way my blog looks? :P

The reason I've summarised the feed is that I'm running a little experiment, to see how my page views are affected. If there isn't any change or there is a negative change, I'll put the full feed back :)

Avatar said...

i hate partial feeds... HATE them.

i will drop you from my 5 readers... i warn ya.. :(

Ramani said...

You write about one topic in the post and people worry about something else in comments!

By reading everything in feed readers, I think we are sort of moving back in time when there was only text :) Though it helps much for fast reading of numerous blogs, I think it is a one-way communication medium and doesn't stimulate feedback/discussion because there's no way to see others' comments. This is also a reason why I offer only summary in Feedburner. But I post only rarely, mostly about hacks. If you are going to write frequently, people may want to avoid trips to your blog.

Aditya said...

I can't help it! I stimulate the complaining process! :P But I'm not the only one who suffers from this ... rather, I think people here find the closest-to-the-topic thing to talk about! :)

I think it is a one-way communication medium and doesn't stimulate feedback/discussion because there's no way to see others' comments.

Exactly my point. I'll be raising another point to why I'm doing this in my next post. As far as saving people the trip, I guess I'll revert my primary feed to full, and make the new sorted by 'updated' feed summarised. But in due time...

Sumesh said...

@adithya:thanks for taking a peek at my blog, and i promise i wont take "pot-shots" at senior blogs.
also, a quick correction, i did not mean that blogger-hacked is hard to read, but as it is loading, the fixed bg-image makes it hard to read...and i am certainly impatient when deepak[or you] rolls out a hack, i cant wait that extra second to read...!

P.S: avatar's bloggeratto is not public, and you have written that he is working on something big. i have not seen his blog, not a bit(i started reading hack blogs only in January), so is there any way i can have taste of his hacks?[i came to know from purplemoggy's blog that he pioneered the peek-a-boo navbar..cool!]

Aditya said...

Haha! Well, I didn't mean to imply you were commiting any crime! It happens. You're new, you'll see the way this sphere works very soon :)

As far as Avatar's blog goes, when I said he's working on something big, I didn't mean hack-wise. Avatar doesn't hack. He's more of a visionary who conceptualizes ideas, gives them out to the people like Deepak, Steve and me to code it out. Bloggeratto is not a hack blog, but it does track 'everything' to do with blogs and the blogosphere, so hacks fall under it as well. He's currently giving it a face lift, for the new Blogger, but being lazy that he is, it's going to take a while.

(P.S. And he thought up the idea behind the peek-a-boo navbar, but I coded it :))

Avatar said...

yeah sumesh, in simple terms, my part is like when i write litegraphy (comics), i write and others draw it.

but don´t worry i will return soon.

P.S: but that don´t mean i will not code eventually all by myself..