June 18, 2011

ah ha! creating RSS feeds in static Blogger pages

UPDATE: 11/3/2013
Feed2JS has moved and that means previous feeds won't work unless you update them. I've updated the links below.

This post reminds me of one of THE reasons why I'm keeping this blog on technology.  I’ve been searching for about a week and a half to find something I had already found!!!  I wanted to create a static Blogger page with RSS feeds.  I know that Blogger has it’s own RSS feed widget, but I don’t necessarily want it sitting in the side over there.  And I remember that (long ago) I had finally found a way to add RSS feeds into a Blogger page but for the life of me, I could not find the answer again…but ah ha!  Here it is!!!

The original tip comes from here where he sends us to a recommended tool called Feed2JS.  It's a FREE tool and project to turn feeds into java script for embedding into html pages.

Here are the actual steps.
  1. Create a new page in Blogger
  2. Find the RSS feed that you want.  Most websites will offer an RSS feed and if you’re in Firefox, you can click on the feed and get a nice looking page.  The feed URL looks something like this: http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/feed (see how it says feed at the end)
  3. Then go to Feed2JS and follow the instructions to get your feed to exactly the way you want it.  The site asks for a number of things including the following:
    • URL (the feed URL)
    • Show channel? (displays information about the publisher-- I usually select "yes")
    • Number of items to display (I usually show about 5 items)
    • Show/Hide item descriptions? How much?  (I enter 0 for no descriptions, 1 usually results in way too much detail)
    • Show item author? (I usually select "no")
    • Use HTML in item display?
    • Show item posting date?
    • Time Zone Offset (I usually leave the time alone by entering "Feed" (no quote marks))
    • Target links in the new window? (I usually enter "y" for yes)
    • UTF-8 Character Encoding (IMPORTANT-- check the box so that commas, dashes, etc, show up correctly)
  4. After entering the above information, click Preview Feed to see what your new feed will look like.
  5. When you’re ready, click Generate JavaScript
  6. Copy the script
  7. Go back to your Blogger page, click Edit HTML, and paste your script into the page.
Should be all set!  You could repeat these steps to include multiple feeds on one page, but I should point out that it works best if you add all the feeds at the same time (otherwise it seems to do some funky things).  It's also java script so some places may not allow it.  Click here to see an example.

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