Daily Archives: November 9, 2006

FeedBurner Options

I have this blog signed up with FeedBurner.  In fact, I have had it signed up since day one, but I have not done much with it.  After all, WordPress.com has its own feed mechanism.

Still, FeedBurner has much to recommend it.  It’s uptime seems to be at least marginally better than WordPress.com, it has an interface to add a feed to quite a variety of web based feed readers, and it provides some nice statistics.  WordPress.com tells me “about 7 people hit your feed today” while FeedBurner tells me that plus what reader they were using, which bots hit my site, and so on. 

FeedBurner also does email subscriptions.  You can sign up and get an email once a day with any new posts to the site. (No email on days w/o posts.)  I like this feature. At least one of my readers does as well, since somebody has already signed up for it and I have never bothered to post the URL.

Unfortunately, with a WordPress.com hosted site, I cannot go in and substitute the WordPress.com feeds with the FeedBurner feeds.  You do not get to hack your template.  That is one of my arguments for running off and hosting the site elsewhere.  So until I figure out a tidy way to add the links for the FeedBurner options to the side bar, here they are:

FeedBurner RSS Feed:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheAncientGamingNoob

FeedBurner Email Subscription:

http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverifySubmit?feedId=507150

WordPress Tag Feeds

One of the nice features of WordPress.com, and one of the reasons I am inclined to stay here rather than running off to host the blog myself, is the way they use the tags associated with blog entries.

I actually tried out a couple of the blogging services before picking WordPress.  I got to use TypePad when my aunt was off in Indonesia after the tsunami as part of the Project Hope medical mission.  She kept a blog of her adventures, but net access was irregular, so quite a few posts were sent to me to be posted on her site.  (If you read through it, you can probably pick out the entries that I edited and posted.  My style, if not perfectionist, is a bit more formal.) TypePad was okay, but I was not thrilled with it, plus they want money for things beyond the basics.

I also did a test blog with Blogger on non-gaming topics.  While you could customize your templates much more freely in Blogger, there are no tags, no stats, and it is run by Google.  Any day now I expect them to put a “Just Kidding” sign under their “Do No Evil” motto.  That much money simply requires evil. (To go to the next version of Blogger, you must have a gmail account and associate it with your blog.  They want to get all your stuff in one basket so their turn to dark side will be easier!)

WordPress had tags, had stats, and was being used by a number of people whose web opinions I respect.

My desire for tags was organizational. I planned from the outset to write about different games and wanted to be able to sort and what not.  I like lists, charts, and statistics.

But the tags get better.  WordPress.com keeps track of the tags all of their hosted blogs use, so you can go to their site and see all posts for a given tag.  For example, you can go to the following URL and see the posts that have the EverQuest tag:

http://wordpress.com/tag/everquest/

Too much of my avatar on the first page of that list, in my opinion, but there are at least a couple older posts from other people on that page, and a ton more as you go back in dates.

In addition, there is an RSS link at the bottom of the tag pages, such as this one for the EverQuest tag:

http://wordpress.com/tag/everquest/feed/

That lets you get updates in your RSS feed reader for every blog entry with the EverQuest tag from the 460,000 blogs that WordPress.com claims to host as of this date.  Pretty neat.