Buh Bye, Feedburner — Hello URI.LV

I was using Feedburner to provide provide my email subscriptions. Rather than wait for Google to kill Feedburner,1 I have moved my email subscriptions to URI.LV. If all works as planned, those of you who subscribed to my blog will continue to get my new posts (including this one) without disruption. If not, I’ll have some debugging to do.

I also had been using Feedburner to serve my RSS feeds. Same dealio; now URI.LV is doing this.

The subscribe buttons at the top and left now connect to URI.LV’s email newsletter service. RSS feeds should be automatically go to the right place.

Fingers crossed. Looks like it worked. I’m so happy. :-)

1With Google killing Reader, Feedburner is next. Some would argue Feedburner has already received the fatal blow and we just don’t know it.

Buh Bye, Google Reader — Hello, Feedly

I’m one of the 500,000 making the jump to Feedly. I read scan 228 feeds, so quick navigation from one item to the next is of prime importance. Reader’s j/k shortcuts are permanently wired into my finger memory and I was overjoyed to find that Feedly also uses them.

I’m playing with Feedly’s touch interface on a 7″ tablet, but finding it not near as efficient, not even as Reader’s Android app.

It is exciting to see all the development taking place in RSS readers, now that Google is leaving. This may actually be a good thing.

I posted this as a comment at TinyScreenfuls, but figure it was worth a post here.

What about you? Are you an RSS feed consumer? Now that Google’s leaving, what tool will you be using?

Embed Your Quora Activity on a WordPress Page

Quora seems to be the next big thing. It’s certainly a very useful site interesting.

I display my Quora activity on a WordPress page. It’s not hard. Here’s how you can do it, too.

  • Download and activate the RSSImport plugin.
  • Create a page and use the RSSImport shortcode to show your Quora RSS feed. Your Quora RSS URL is the URL you see when you click on your name in Quora with “/rss” appended to the end. For example, my Quora RSS URL is:

http://www.quora.com/Brent-Logan/rss

The shortcode you use can be as simple as (make sure the feedurl matches your Quora RSS URL):

[RSSImport feedurl="http://www.quora.com/Your-Name/rss"]

To give me more control in the display, I use a more complex shortcode:

[RSSImport display="10" feedurl="http://www.quora.com/Brent-Logan/rss" displaydescriptions="true" truncatedescchar='' html="true" start_items='<ul class="quora">' end_items='</ul>' before_desc='<div class="description">' after_desc='</div>' start_item='<li class="item">' end_item='</li>']
  • Optionally, create some CSS to style your embedded Quora activity. I am using:
/* ----- Quora Page ----- */
ul.quora {margin: 0; list-style-type: none; }
.quora li { line-height: 1.2; margin-bottom: 1em; border-bottom: 1px dashed #ddd; }
.quora li>a { font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.4; }
.quora .description { margin-top: 0; padding: 0 0 0 20px; line-height: 1.2; font-style: normal; color: #222; }
.quora .description>div:first-child { text-indent: -20px; }
.quora .user { color: #222; }
.quora .rep { color: #222; }

This CSS may not be pretty, but it styles the embedded Quora activity to look much like Quora.

There are other ways to embed your Quora activity. The easiest is to use WordPress’ RSS widget to display your Quora RSS feed in a sidebar.

Good luck!

Update: My final CSS before deactivating my Quora page was:

ul.quora {margin: 0; list-style-type: none; }
.quora li { line-height: 1.2; margin-bottom: 1em; border-bottom: 1px dashed #ddd; }
.quora li>a { font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.4; }
.quora .description { margin-top: 0; padding: 0 0 0 20px; line-height: 1.2; font-style: normal; color: #222; }
.quora .description li { padding-left: 2em; }
.quora .description>div:first-child { text-indent: -20px; }
.quora .user { color: #222; }
.quora .user:hover { color: #fff; }
.quora .rep { color: #222; }

Update Your Blogroll Automatically

I used to use WordPress’ built-in blogroll capabilities. No more — it was too much work. My blogroll now updates automatically to always show the feeds I’m reading. Here’s how you can do it, too:

  1. Set up Google Reader as your RSS reader. I suspect other online readers would also work, but I know Google’s does.
  2. Create a tag to apply to each feed that will show up in the blogroll. Being quite the original, I used blogroll.
  3. Apply this blogroll tag to those feeds you want in your blogroll. If you read a lot of feeds, this can take some time. Use it like I did to delete feeds that no longer update or that you don’t really read anymore.
  4. From Google Reader, select Settings > Tags and make the blogroll tag public, then select “add a blogroll to your site.” I chose the “none” color scheme so I could style the appearance myself. If you are putting your blogroll on a Blogger blog, you might want to select one of the pre-styled versions.
  5. Cut and paste the code from the previous step to display where you want it. WordPress has widgets (or the K2 Sidebar Modules that I prefer) and Blogger has template settings to configure your blog’s appearance.

That’s it — you’re done. Next time you subscribe to a new feed, decide whether you want it displayed on your blogroll. If you do, apply the blogroll tag and it will automatically show. Delete a feed from your reader and it’s gone from your blogroll. No additional work is necessary.