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Sunday, October 26, 2003

Mobile Mike feeds curiousLee

After looking at the now defunct RSS Monkey and Adam Curry's somewhat clunky RSS Box Viewer, I discovered and implemented the newly-released CaRP RSS to Javascript Conversion Service. Since TypePad can't yet pull in syndicated feeds as blog content, CaRP works well as a way to retrieve the latest headlines from my mobile blog at hiptop Nation to include in the sidebar here on curiousLee.

Once an hour, the CaRP server retrieves and caches the RSS feed from hiptop Nation. Via my account at CaRP, I've configured the system to strip everything except the 10 most recent linked headlines. After adding some list item tags, the resulting snippet of data sits on the CaRP server waiting to be retrieved.

When this blog page is loaded by your web browser, a line of Javascript code embedded in the template of the sidebar is executed to pull and insert the feed headlines and links. The hosted service costs $14.95 a year and saves me the hassle of installing and maintaining a piece of PHP code on another server to accomplish the function. But for those who want to tinker, there's a version for you to download and install yourself, or the developer will do the installation for a modest fee.

The Web-based administrative interface to CaRP is competently designed, but should only be used by people who are comfortable with coding HTML, and understand the RSS mechanism. There's room for vast improvement in the area of user interfaces for syndication feed management, and hopefully, the TypePad team will rise to the task.

Having my moblog headlines above the fold on curiousLee better represents my overall content creation activity. I post to hiptop Nation almost every day, so along with bits of information in the Brain Food section, the sidebar will be the most active area of the page. I can certainly post directly here from my Sidekick, but I like keeping my moblog separate and I'm very accustomed to working with hiptop Nation's unique four column picture grid.

With all the life changes looming, I suspect I'll be taking advantage of free minutes on the run to moblog more frequently with shorter illustrated posts, and posting longer entries here much less often. The next curiousLee improvements will be a link above the fold to a filled-in About page, global and footer navigation, a blogroll, and (most likely) Atomz Express Search.

UPDATE: Due to a clash between the way TypePad maps from the root directory to curiousLee and CaRPs limitation of one absolute URL path per news feed, viewing this page via http://curiouslee.typepad.com will break the script. Please use the official curiousLee URL: http://curiouslee.typepad.com/weblog. I'm hoping to work with the developer of CaRP on a fix.

11:56 PM in Blogging, Moblogging | Permalink


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Sounds just the old days when Moreover provided a similar services for pulling feeds via XML. It is very cool that somebody has picked up a similar implementation again.

I now have one-stop-shopping for all things Mike Lee again. Thanks.

Posted by: vanderwal at Oct 27, 2003 4:00:14 PM