Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Multiple RSS Feeds for One Blog

I've been inspired by John's post at Freshblog to do something that I haven't seen on any other blog. John ruminates on RSS and blogs:

The idea that there's a single blogosphere is unhelpful, problematic and clearly bogus. As the number of blogs increases, the number of markets / niches increases, and each niche is inhabited by a select band of bloggers, and addressed by many more. Readers, though, are even more significant than bloggers in this context.

The blogosphere is powerful (and RSS even more so) precisely because, as Steve points out, you can construct a personal information sphere that is as idiosyncratic as you are. Bunker-Buster Bombs and Bunnies? Sure! Geocaching and Google-Cacheing? Absolutely. More importantly, as your interests change, your subs can change too, and reflect the information that you're looking for.

This got me to thinking about the many subjects that I blog about here. Some folks with eclectic interests and plenty of time actually maintain multiple blogs. While I don't rule out the possibility that one of my interests may eventually become a spin-off blog, or that I may come across a spiffy idea for a brand new subject matter that won't fit the character of this blog, for the time being I'm happy to keep all my musings in one spot.

But I know that not all of my Buddhist readers are interested in libertarianism, tho they should be. Nor are many of my libertarian readers interested in Buddhism, tho they should be, as well. And there are some of my readers who are only interested in my take on the goings-on in Maine.

Well, I've figured out an easy way to help those folks limit their exposure to the topics that don't interest them at Tor's Rants. If you click on the RSS subscription menu button in the left-hand column, you'll notice that I've added a few new feeds for your enjoyment. Now you can choose from rss feeds from Tor's Rants that concern only Buddhism, libertarianism, Maine or politics. Of course, if you just can't get enough of my rants on any subject, you can still get an rss feed for all my posts on this blog.

The new feeds from feedburner basically allow you to easily take my categories and see the posts as they appear there. I promise that, in the future, I will be much more disciplined in putting an excerpt in the description box at This is so subscribers to those feeds will get a taste of what the post is like, but will have to come to the blog to read the whole post. Most readers of the main rss feed for the blog should still be able to read posts in their entirety via their rss readers, if they are so configured.

Of course, anybody is already able to follow the rss feed from any of my categories without my knowledge. So if one of my less-populated categories, e.g. "pseudoscience", is what you're interested in subscribing to, by all means go for it! Be aware that all posts at Tor's Rants have an anchor tag of "torsrants" in my account. This means that the correct rss feed for "pseudoscience" posts at Tor's Rants would be:

If you just try to subscribe to:

you will get anything that I've tagged as "pseudoscience," anywhere on the web, not just at Tor's Rants.

If you need any help in setting it up, give me a holler and I'll try my best. I'd be happy to set up a feedburner feed just for you, if need be. And if you need help subscribing to anybody else's category feed, I'd be happy to try and help.



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