Vincent Cheung

Vincent Cheung's Blog

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Blogger comment feed and comment posting improvement

To serve you better, I've made some significant improvements to how you comment and read comments on this blog!

A comment feed is now available!!! This should make it much easier for all you readers out there to follow the comments made on this site. A comment feed is analagous to a site feed or rss thing-a-ma-bob, but for the comments posted to this blog, instead of the posts themselves. You can now subscribe to this feed (it's on the sidebar on the right) in Google Reader or something similar and you'll be able to read the comments like you'd read an e-mail. New comments will automatically appear in the feed, so you don't have to constantly check my blog's web page to see if there are new comments.

I've been wanting to do this for a very long time, but hadn't figured out how to do it. Then it occurred to me (after chatting with an elf) that I get all the comments by e-mail and if I could only make a feed out of the e-mails... Searching around, I found MailFeed, but didn't like how it doesn't accept html mail and there's not much customizeability, etc. Then, I saw this post about a comment feed hack that uses Google Groups. Being a Google groupie myself, this was a great solution.
  1. Create a new Google group

  2. Forward the e-mails with the comments to the google group

  3. All Google groups automatically have a feed!

I also decided to use a pop-up window for when you post comments. As much as I hate pop-up windows, I think this is a good solution when combined with the show/hide comments that I have, as now you never have to leave the blog page. Ideally you'd to be able to post a comment right from the show/hide comments thing, but with the CAPTCHA thing, it's not easy to do.


Alan Howard said...

That's fascinating... I thought of the idea two weeks before blogfresh did!

Vince said...

Comment feeds aren't new by any measure, it's just that Blogger doesn't let you do it easily. Other blogging systems (MoveableType, WordPress, etc.) let you make a comment feed as easily as a site feed. I've been using my friends' for a while now, and they're amazing. Meanwhile, I'm just sitting here frustrated that my blog doesn't have the same for my readers, until now!

Comment feeds totally change the way you read blogs.

Alan Howard said...

I agree. I wish that there's a function across all blogs that allows comments to be included in the same RSS feed as the blog itself. THAT'D be a great feature. Does it exist yet? I don't know.

Sarah said...

my young protege, i am glad you FINALLY implemented a comment feed (A)

stupid blogger which requires 5 million workarounds and hacks to do anything useful. fun at first - you kinda feel like you are beating/cheating the system everytime you add a useful feature that it doesnt support - but it loses its appeal after a while.

switch to a real publishing system already!


Sarah said...

alan: i'm pretty sure i've read about someone who is doing that...pretty recently too - just cant remember where exactly :S

that would definitely be ideal

Vince said...

Actually you can merge two RSS feeds into one with Feed Digest. I decided against it because some people may not want to have the comments "pollute" their reader. Having two separate feeds gives more flexibility.

m. said...

I found this post via Google, searching for a way to implement a comment feed for my blog - and just did it.
Really Great - Thanks!

Andytgeezer said...

Oh I see now! Here it is!

Thanks for the info Vince, I'll let you know if I have any further trouble putting this on my site...


meerkat80 said...

Hello. I have no idea what I am doing with this and have been working on it most of the afternoon. Can you please explain where the encryption script goes and the template to decrypt. This is great and just what I need badly. If you have the time i would greatly appreciate it. i am using the simple ii template for the blog. i have never worked with html and have been looking for an example.

Thank you very much for your time.


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