I bet you could do a beautifully readable blog by just dynamically rendering its RSS feed. Why bother statically rendering the home page, month page, day page or pages for each individual post. Dynamic servers are so cheap these days.

from: Scripting News: Sunday, June 2, 2024

I wonder if this is what Dave means: almost 20 years ago, when I started podcasting with my primary school class at Radio Sandaig (Archive.org link), I didn’t really know what I was doing. At first I had created the RSS feed ‘by hand’ in a text editor then made a php page to read the feed in and create the web page. We didn’t have any day, month or even individual episode pages, just the home page. With only 30 or so episodes over 4 or 5 years this was quite manageable.

I’ve loved RSS since I started blogging. I’ve been using Feedland as an RSS reader since it started.

Feedland is an interesting and opinionated take on an RSS reader. I particularly like the way it makes me think about the interface & purpose of readers.

Dave Winer has been writing a lot about blogrolls recently. He developing a way for you to display a list of Feedland feeds on a drummer blog and now in WordPress. I tried both and they work.

I had been displaying my Feedland feeds on my blogroll page. I am using some Javascript of my own. Inn my sidebar using the links widget and Jan Boddez‘s plugin to sync my links with Feedland. My new Feedland Blogroll uses Dave’s technology.

A Feedland blogroll is a bit different than a straightforward list of links. It is more like a mini feedreader. Each link can be expanded to show the recent posts from a site. The list is constantly reordered to show the most updated site at the top. This reordering points to the river of news idea, I think, as opposed to the completionist way of doing things. There is no marking things as read. It is a handy way to read and a great alternative to other feed readers.

I just added my whole list of Feedland feeds. This is a subset of RSS feeds I’ve followed, some from years ago, it is not yet thoughtful list. All of the recent blogroll discussion has had me thinking a bit about this.

When I started blogging, pre twitter, a lot of my posts were in response to other ‘ScotEduBloggers’. For a while we had a lively community going. Back then I could have really used this Feedland style blog roll in my sidebar. The blogroll then would have reflected this community. The conversation then moved on to twitter and other places, even LinkedIn!

Now I am thinking that my blogroll should go on its own page. To use as a casual feedreader by myself and a source of interesting sources for others.

The perceived audience might affect the feeds I include. If I was creating a blogroll to share links I might skip many of the more popular and well shared feeds and concentrate on ones that might not be so obvious. For example I don’t support many mac inclined people would need a link to Daring Fireball. If the audience is me, I might want a different set of feeds.

At the moment the plugin gets the users whose feeds and categories you display from the settings. I wonder could these be replace/augmented by parameters in the shortcode, for example instead of [feedland-blogroll] you could have [feedland-blogroll user="johnjohnston" category="nature" ] that would mean you could have different blogrolls on different pages.

The Feedland Blogroll interface is rather nice, reminiscent of Mac system 7 in some ways (my first ui and I loved it). It is a perfect fit for a blog sidebar on a desktop/laptop screen. I am wondering about a couple of things:

  1. Since I want it on a page on its own, would it be sensible to add a bit of css to fill more of my page.
  2. Could it be adapted for mobile. That is where I often read feeds. I’d like it to have a slightly bigger font so that the links and disclosure arrows are easier to hit. The interface has a nice tooltips on hover. I wonder could that be adapted for a phone.

I am not sure if these ideas are either practical or possible. I am sure The FeedLand Blogroll is an idea to follow.

Here is the  WordPress plugin and instructions for Drummer.

The FeedLand blogroll on Drummer blogs was a snip to set up. Here is mine. Looks very nice imo. I’ve not been blogging via drummer for a year, but Dave says there is a WordPress plugin in the works.

I’ve had my feedland blogroll on my WordPress site in a couple of different ways, via Jan’s plugin on the sidebar and my own script on a page. This is more interesting. Like Frank, I hope I can get the blogroll on it’s own page on my WordPress site. I am also just dumping my whole FeedLand list at the moment. I think I’d want to edit that down for a blog roll, perhaps missing out the more obvious links in favour of folk who I interact with.

I’ve had a blogroll on my site for most of its existence. There seems to be a bit of a resurgence at the moment. Hopefully this will lead to a more open and connected web. Dave’s version expands the concept from a list of links towards a feed reader experience. I am wondering if it is heading towards the way Ton’s feedreader seems to work. As it stands it is a great way to get reference links while writing.

Finally I and enjoying writing this post in Drummer, and am going to post it to my WordPress blog with a script Frank shared.

Published on my Oldschool Drummer blog

Liked Scripting News: Sunday, November 12, 2023 (Scripting News)
Some news. I've been working with Automattic for most of this year on a new version of FeedLand that runs in their cloud. The advantage is it will scale like the most popular websites in the world do, as WordPress does. It's meant a lot of internal changes in the software, but at the same time, it still runs on a Digital Ocean server, and on desktops as well. The next FeedLand works at all these levels, for a person, a workgroup and the world. Obviously, lots more to say about all this.

This looks like really interesting news. I’ve been using FeedLand , for a while, even had it running on a Raspberry Pi until I got into a snarl with domains.

Looking forward to the lots more Dave has to say.

I’ve been testing and using FeedLand for a while now. Today Dave posted the roadmap

1. FeedLand is a feed management system for individuals and groups. So far it’s only been offered as a free service on the web.


4. Here’s the big news: The new FeedLand server software will be available as open source, so anyone will be able to run a FeedLand instance. It’s a Node.js application. Uses MySQL. You may want to hook up an S3 bucket for special features like RSS feeds for Likes. At first email sending will be via Amazon SES, the method I currently use. It will be possible to plug in new drivers to use other email services.

As someone who has been pretty excited about RSS for years this sounds great.

Wayback when ScotEduBlogs was a ruby app1, I had this wild idea that a visitor could create a subset of the feeds on the site, save that and view the subset in some way. I think an instance of FeedLand could do just that.

Apart from the unknown of how running FeedLand would work2 I think there are a couple of barriers:

  1. The lack of blogs about Scottish education, maybe twitter problems will help that).
  2. The lack of knowledge about RSS. Andrew McLaughlin’s post Education needs free, safe spaces for creation, collaboration and discussion. and TES Article How a return to blogs and wikis could benefit teachers | Tes gives hope there.

Most online discussion of education and even news from schools has been on twitter. I’ve always felt uneasy about that. More than ever now 3. Maybe 2023 will see a RSSurgance;-)

  1. Created by Robert Jones with the help of Pete Liddle and cheered on by myself.
  2. I am hoping to be able to test than soon.
  3. For example: Twitter team responsible for removing child exploitation on site cut in half since Musk takeover, report claims and No more Tweetbot or Twitterrific on Twitter | Mashable

Feedland went public today. I’ve been lucky enough to have been testing it and following its development for the last few weeks.

Feedland is a lot of things, all to do with RSS feeds. First it is a place to gather and organise feeds. Second it can be a place to read these feeds. Third it allows you to publish a ‘news product’ which you can share so that others can read the news from sets of these gathered feeds. Fourthly it is a place were you can see what feeds other users have gathered.

Feedland was built by Dave Winer who

pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software;
So it has an interesting pedigree and is opinionated software. Dave has had as long a relationship with RSS and OPML as anyone on the web and in an excellent position to have opinions.

Feedland is developed with an eye to interop. Feeds to get information out abound. For example the widget on my sidebar uses the Sync OPML to Blogroll plugin to sync my blog role from the opml list of feeds I’ve subscribed to in Feedland. I could also use this to control the feeds I view in an rss reader like inoreader which supports external opml.

Dave says:

FeedLand is all about people, feeds and news.

One of the most attractive, to me features, is the possibility of communities being loosely organised around the sharing of feeds. It is easy to see the feeds another user has gathered and to add them to your own list with a handy checkbox.

Feedland is still developing. I’d recommend a look at the docs and there are some interesting views starting to appear for the early adopters.

I’ve only touched on a few to the things about Feedland I’ve found interesting so far. There is a lot more to this app already and lots more to come.

Of all the digital tools I’ve used the one that has stuck with me longest is RSS. I’ve been excited & delighted to get a peek at Feedland. Feedland is Dave Winer’s latest foray into the technologies he has spent many years working on, RSS, opml & news.

As part of my peeking I’ve had the chance to produce a personal news reader. Any messiness is down to me rather than Feedland.

Over the years I’ve made a few similar things. This has been one of the easiest ways. The linked page is running on an old Raspberry Pi 2. Most of the work is done on Dave’s servers but the end result was easily produced on my own.

Dave hints this is a partial sneak peek. I am looking forward to exploring and finding out more.