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Smashing Magazine:
10 Useful RSS-Tricks and Hacks For WordPress
December 03, 2008 @ 10:28:41

Smashing Magazine has a few helpful RSS tips and tricks for WordPress users out there:

Let's take a look at 10 useful, yet rather unknown RSS-tricks for WordPress. Each section of the article presents a problem, suggests a solution and provides you with an explanation of the solution, so that you can not just solve some of your RSS-related problems but also understand what you are actually doing.

Here's their list:

  • Control When Your Posts are Available via RSS
  • Redirecting WordPress Feeds to FeedBurner Feeds
  • Insert Ads (or Anything Else) in Your RSS Feed
  • Format Your Images for Feed Readers
  • Provide Your Readers with a Feed for Each Post
  • Exclude Categories from Your RSS Feed
  • Display Any RSS Feed on Your WordPress Blog
  • Use Category-Specific RSS Feeds
  • List RSS Feeds by Category
  • Get Rid of RSS Feeds the Clean Way
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Christoph Dorn's Blog:
Your Mac can talk FeedBurner stats via PHP!
September 18, 2008 @ 17:35:39

In a recent post to his blog Christoph Dorn shows off a cool little trick to getting your Mac to respond to your (vocal) request for website stats from FeedBurner.

You have a blog and you are proud of it. Your sense of self-worth depends on how many people are following it. Making a detour to FeedBurner every day (the feed stats only update once a day) to check on your vitals is simple and does not take long (with a bookmark) but there has to be a more automated way.

His better way involves tying together the speech recognition that OS X offers, the "say" command line tool and a PHP5 script that can go out and read/parse the FeedBurner XML information for your website. Throw in a little command line script and some set up in the Speech tools and you have a handy little script that can fetch your latest stat information just from your request.

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Mark Jaquith's Blog:
WordPress 2.0.6 Feedburner issue, and fix
January 08, 2007 @ 13:57:00

For users that have just updated to WordPress 2.0.6 (you have updated, haven't you?), you might notice some problems with the feed and how it plays with The Feedburner service. Unfortunately, there's a bit of a problem that can cause it to serve up a 304 error when the feed's requested.

The WordPress folks know about it, though, and have already responded with what you'll need to fix (a small amount of PHP code) to get things back in working order.

It's actually related to the Server 500 error issue that 2.0.5 had (and 2.0.6 fixes)' it just affects a different set of people. The solution to one problem caused the other. One symptom of the problem is the following error message from FeedBurner as it tries to request a WordPress 2.0.6 feed.

They've even isolated it down to those running mod_php on their servers as opposed to FastCGI/CGI or Lighttp users. Users experiencing the issue can grab this updated functions.php file or a patch if you so choose. There's even a guide to editing it manually if you'd like to get your hands dirty.

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Chris Shiflett's Blog:
PHP Tidbits
October 25, 2006 @ 07:34:05

Chris Shiflett, in working on a new, cleaner and leaner version of his site, shiflett.org, has come across a few "PHP tidbits" that he shares in his latest entry.

Just for fun, I'd like to share a couple of quick PHP tidbits with you that I wrote instead of starting on the real project at hand.

This post is the first of them, demonstrating two things . The first of which how you can make a useful tool with the SimpleXML functionality of PHP 5 and a REST API (like his example from Feedburner). His example grabs the statistics from the Feedburner API and pulls out the circulation number with two lines of code.

The second bit of functionality he shares is a quick function for shortening URLs to make them a bit easier to manage. It insets the ellipsis into the middle of the long URL to make it easier to squeeze into that layout.

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Ben Ramsey's Blog:
Create an Image from XML Data
May 19, 2006 @ 05:50:53

In the ever-continuing work that he's been doing with SimpleXML lately, Ben Ramsey shares a new bit of code

It's not really a "problem," but FeedBurner's FeedCount image is a rigid 88 pixels wide, and I wanted to include it on my homepage under the "syndicate" heading, an area that I've defined in my template as having only 80 pixels in width. The 88 pixels were throwing things off, so I used the width attribute of the HTML img tag to solve the problem. Unfortunately, it just squeezes the image, making the text in it appear fuzzy.

FeedBurner conveniently provides what they call their "Awareness API," which is a RESTful interface to retrieve (as XML data) the same exact information displayed in the FeedCountTM image. I simply fired up an image editing program, shuffled things around a bit until the image was a nice, clean 80 pixels wide, and saved it as the base image (shown to the right) I would use for generating an image similar to the one FeedBurner provides.

He explains what the script does via the SimpleXML call and gives the code to accomplish it. It's a short bit of code, but quite powerful when combined with the API from Feedburner - grabbing the data from a local image and integrating the text response from the API. It's great that they have that too - definitely a wise move to allow users even more flexibility in integration for their site.

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