Missing Link still missing

What with Troppo being down all weekend, I wasn’t able to work on Missing Link, because I couldn’t access my blogroll. However, once Jacques restored the blog to the land of the living, yesterday I set about logging all 150-odd blogs into Google Reader. I’d been meaning to do it for ages, because it should make the job of compiling Missing Link significantly quicker and easier. It’s not a perfect solution, however, because there are quite a few blogs that simply don’t have a functioning RSS or similar feed. Mostly these are older Blogspot sites; although Blogger now offers a range of feed options, so presumably the bloggers that don’t have them simply haven’t bothered to update. Surprisingly there are a couple of quite prominent and newer sites that don’t seem to have feeds either, as far as I can tell. Andrew Norton is the most obvious. I’ll endeavour to remember to check his blog manually for updates each time I do Missing Link, because he’s a prominent “A” list blogger whose work needs to be abstracted in any “blog current awareness” service worth taking seriously. Nevertheless it’s a damn nuisance and I certainly won’t be able to manually check more than a couple of non-RSS blogs.

Accordingly, the general situation is that if you don’t have a functioning RSS or similar feed, your blog almost certainly won’t appear in Missing Link. That probably won’t worry most people, but the fact remains that if your blog doesn’t have a RSS feed, you’re almost certainly missing out on lots of readers anyway. A significant proportion of serious blog readers nowadays rely on feed readers, and almost never manually surf the web looking for blog posts, so if you don’t give them a feed subscription option they simply won’t read your blog.

Finally, the WYSIWYG visual editor feature here at Troppo seems to have disappeared in the course of Jacques’ repair work. It’s very fiddly and time-consuming to prepare Missing Link in the absence of a visual editor, and I don’t have the spare time any more what with being back at work after annual leave. Thus Missing Link won’t be appearing again until the visual editor is reinstalled. Sorry about that.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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5 Responses to Missing Link still missing

  1. Robert says:

    Andrew Norton does have a feed: http://www.andrewnorton.info/blog/feed/

    As a general rule, any WordPress based blog will have a feed if you tack /feed/ on the end of the address.

  2. Robert says:

    Actually, would you mind listing some of the non-RSS sites you have in mind? It may be that someone can point to a feed that isn’t obvious, and failing that I’m sure those bloggers will set up a feed if they know you’re considering them for inclusion.

  3. Ken Parish says:

    Thanks Robert. I’ve added Andrew to my Google Reader, along with the IPA’s Chris Berg, to whose blog Andrew refers in one of his posts. My moderate right grouping in Google Reader is starting to look fairly healthy again, after I culled it and the RWDBs to remove moribund blogs (some of the seemingly disappeared RWDB bloggers seem to post from time to time at A Western Heart).

  4. Ken Parish says:

    It wouldn’t be easy to do Robert. I didn’t note the non-RSS ones down as such. I just noted that most of those where I couldn’t find feed seemed to be Blogspot blogs which had been around for quite a long time (and presumably were established before Blogger offered RSS). To provide a list I would have to go through all 150-odd blogs on my blogroll one by one. It took me almost a full day to do this to enter the Google Reader subscriptions, and I certainly don’t have that sort of time to devote again. However I agree that there may be some blogs with non-obvious RSS feeds. Andrew Norton’s is an example.

    Nevertheless, generally with Blogspot sites you can simply enter the ordinary site URL as the Google Reader subscription address, and that implements the feed. That’s mostly what I did. Thus, if you are a Blogspot blogger, you might want to sign up for Google Reader and try to enter a subscription for your own blog using the ordinary site URL. If it displays a feed, then I’ve almost certainly subscribed your blog too. If it doesn’t, I probably didn’t.

  5. Robert says:

    Happy to help, Ken.

    I’ve never really liked feed readers. I have a routine that involves clicking down my list of bookmarks, and I like visiting actual websites. I find it really hard to get used to reading blogs as if they were emails.

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