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Feedburner feed counter debacle

We'll not really a debacle but I awoke this morning to find I had broken the 300 RSS subscribers barrier.

Unfortunately I haven't, it seems the FeedCount chicklet is displaying incorrectly. How do I know this? Well the Feedburner stats still show sub 300 readers and my site stats do not show any corresponding increase in traffic.

It would have been nice to see the increased subscribers this morning and leave it there but it's always good to confirm you stats before making any big announcements.

TextAdSearch text advertising blog

Many of you reading this blog will be webmasters looking for information on how to best use RSS to improve your site or blog. In this case you will be interested to know I have been working on another blog about the subject of text advertising.

TextAdSearch strives to bring all the information you need to know about selling text ads on your site and buying text advertising to promote your site.

You may also be interested to know that I have used WordPress as the blogging platform which has RSS feeds by default. This makes it a great platform for the beginner as it handles a lot of the complex RSS stuff in the background.

Broken RSS feeds and how to fix them

You may have noticed that the RSS feed to this site was broken. The reason for this was that I included a reference to a Google search. As yet I am not exactly sure why but removing the link fixed the problem.

It appears it may have been due to the ampersand character which is the and sign being next to the word safe. For some reason Feedburner didn't like this and it caused not only the post to render incorrectly but the entire feed.

As a result the feed did not render correctly in feed readers because the remaining codes in the feed were not rendered back to the proper characters. This means you may have seen a number rather than an angled bracket for example.

The moral

I think the moral of this story is to pay attention to any extraneous characters you have in your posts such as those found in URL's.

RSS tools directory

As promised the RSS tools directory is now live. It's more of a list at the moment but will expand over time.

When I first spoke of a directory of RSS tools the idea was to create a list in one place where it would be easy to find the tool you needed. You will notice I have displayed the Google page rank for each RSS tool. This will give you an indication of the quality and longevity of the tools listed, but only a guide and it's better than nothing.

RSS tools

Now I'd like to ask you all a favour. As this collection of tools is new there are no where near all the tools currently available on the internet listed here. If you have an RSS tool site or know of one then please let me know. You can leave a comment on this post or send an email.

Don't forget to tell all your friends about the RSS tools directory, after all I've done this all for you.

Comments via Digg

You will hopefully be glad to hear that you can now post comments on Newsniche. The conventional way to do this would be to whip up some PHP goodness to allow you to post directly on this site. Instead I have gone for a less conventional solution.

If I have my coding correct you should see a little Digg it button at the end of each post. If you click it you will be taken to Digg where you can comment on this post. If you are the first to Digg a post you will need to Digg the post before commenting.

Why Digg

The reason I have opted to use Digg for outsourced comments of a sort is mostly because I thought it would be a good experiment. If it works it means that there will be less spam and more comments because the post will be exposed to a larger Digg audience.

The cost of Digg

Like everything there is a downside. Firstly if anything happens to Digg I lose all my comments on this blog. The Digg it buttons on this page are javascript and may cause the page to load more slowly. People who want to comment need to be Digg members.

We will see if this works and I guess will be able to judge it effectiveness through your feedback. You know I am always making this site better for you guys.

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