Curating My Blogroll

Written By: Jake Bauer | Posted: 2020-06-07 | Last Updated: 2020-06-07

Update: Add bit about special element.

I follow over 100 blogs which is far too many to have to manually visit every time I want to see if there was new content. I’m not sure why I didn’t do this sooner, but today I went through the entire list and added as many blogs as I could into my feed reader of choice (Newsboat) and took the opportunity to trim some blogs which have shut down or which I no longer follow.

The most challenging part of this was finding the feeds on some people’s websites. For those sites which had feeds, usually there was a button or link which was easy to find on the homepage, at the bottom of the page, or via some “about” link. However, I found that many people have feeds for their sites but don’t advertise them so I had to go searching for them manually. Basically, if I couldn’t find a link to a feed on the pages themselves, I searched for index.xml, feed, feed.xml, feed.rss, rss, or rss.xml either in the website’s root directory, or the subdirectory containing the blog posts.

If I couldn’t find an RSS feed for a particular site, I added that site to the “No RSS Feed Found” section of my blogroll. I will send an email to the owners of each of those sites asking them if they will consider adding an RSS feed to their site. If their answer is yes, I’ll update my blogroll; if not, I’ll remove them from my blogroll because I don’t really have the time to manually visit a bunch of sites to check if there are new posts.

I’ve also created and uploaded an OPML file which contains all of my subscriptions from Newsboat. This allows you to download this file, import it into your feed reader, and have all of the blogs and news sources I follow in your feed list. A link to this file can be found on my blogroll, and at www.paritybit.ca/blogroll.opml.

A couple of final things I did was link /feed.xml, /feed, /feed.rss, and /index.xml to my site’s feed as these links seemed to be the de facto standard for where feeds can be easily found (I’m not sure if it’s an actual standard). I also added an HTML <link> element in the <head> as per this MDN article.

This is my thirty-eighth post for the #100DaysToOffload challenge. You can learn more about this challenge over at https://100daystooffload.com.