Please update your RSS subscription

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When I started this blog I routed my RSS feed through Feedburner, and now Feedburner is no longer working for my site.

If you subscribed by RSS, please check the feed URL. It should be

https://www.johndcook.com/blog/feed

which was previously forwarded to a Feedburner URL. If you subscribe directly to the feed with my domain, it should work. I had some problems with it earlier, but I believe they’ve been fixed.

Also, if you subscribed by email, you went through Feedburner. You won’t receive any more posts by email that way. I’m considering possible replacements.

In the mean time, you can sign up for monthly highlights from the blog via email. Each month I highlight the three or four most popular posts. Once in a while I may add a paragraph about what I’m up to. Short and sweet.

You can also find me on Twitter.

Update: Maybe Feedburner is working after all. I’m not sure what’s going on. Still, it seems Feedburner is hanging on by a thread. The steps above are a good way to prepare for when it goes away.

Four ways to find hidden RSS feeds

RSS feeds

RSS lets you subscribe to blogs. It also lets you read posts in peace, free from distracting peripheral ads. This explains why Google would kill off the world’s most popular RSS reader.

Blogs used to display an icon linking to the site’s RSS feed, and any still do. Blogging software still creates RSS feeds, though links to these feeds have become harder to find.

There are several ways to find the RSS feed of a site that does not make this feed obvious.

  1. Your blog reader may be able to find the RSS from the site’s URL.
  2. You can try adding /feed or /rss to the end of the domain.
  3. You may be able to find the RSS feed by looking at the HTML source of the front page.
  4. There are browser plug-ins that will show when a page has RSS feeds.

Example

Take for example Bill Gates’ blog. You’ll see at the top how to subscribe by email, and you’ll see at the bottom links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, but no RSS.

Digg Reader was able to find the RSS feed from just the top level URL http://www.gatesnotes.com/.

Tacking /feed on the end doesn’t work, but http://www.gatesnotes.com/rss does.

If you open up the page source, you’ll find 31 references to RSS. Turns out there is a link to the RSS feed after all. It’s in a menu under the + sign in the top right corner. While writing this, I started to change my example since I was wrong about the site not displaying an RSS link. But I decided to keep it because it shows that the steps above also work when there is an RSS link but you’ve overlooked it.

My RSS feeds

If you want to subscribe to this blog via RSS, there’s a big blue button on the right side that says Subscribe by RSS. You can also subscribe to individual categories of posts in case you’d like to subscribe to my math posts,  for example, but not my software development posts, or vise versa.

There are also RSS feeds to my Twitter accounts, thanks to BazQux.

 

RSS feeds for Twitter accounts

Twitter once provided RSS feeds for all Twitter accounts. They no longer provide this service. However, third parties can create RSS feeds from the content of Twitter accounts. BazQux has done this for my daily tip accounts, so you can subscribe to any of my accounts via RSS using the feeds linked to below.

If you would like to subscribe to more Twitter accounts via RSS, you could subscribe to the BazQux service and create a custom RSS feed for whatever Twitter, Google+, or Facebook accounts you’d like to follow.

How to subscribe to a Twitter account via RSS now

Twitter turned off their RSS support last month. This page gives several ways to create new RSS feeds for Twitter accounts.

Update (October 27, 2014): Here is a cost-free and ad-free Android app that is an RSS feed generator for Twitter.

Update (April 25, 2015): Here is a list of RSS feeds for each of my Twitter accounts, hosted by BazQux.

Update (February 6, 2017): Subscribing to Twitter via RSS is a losing battle. I’ve deleted the rest of this post because it doesn’t work anymore.

Replacing Google Reader

Google Reader is going away on Monday. ReplaceReader.com lists many alternatives, sorted by popularity.

Another RSS reader I didn’t see on their list that looks promising is Yoleo.

Also, Digg Reader is supposed to be released soon.

Update: Digg Reader is out. You can read more on their blog. I’ve only used it for a few minutes, but I think it may be my favorite RSS reader.

Update: Looks like ReplaceReader.com is dead. I’m currently using Inoreader.

Update: Digg Reader is dead. But Inoreader still works!

Preparing for Google Reader going away

As you’ve probably heard, Google has announced that they’re discontinuing Google Reader on July 1. Most of you who subscribe to this blog use Google Reader or use an RSS reader that depends on Google’s Feedfetcher. Here’s a snapshot from before Google announced the end of Reader. The proportions have changed slightly since then as people are starting to leave Google Reader.

If you use Google Reader, I suggest you bookmark https://www.google.com/reader. Google has been tinkering with the menu you see when you log into their home page. Sometimes Reader is in the list under “More” and sometimes it’s not.

Try out a few RSS readers. You may want to start with Feedly as it is appears to be the most popular alternative.  A half million people signed up for Feedly within 48 hours of the Google announcement. Feedly is available through your browser as as a mobile app. It will synchronize across multiple devices like Google Reader, but has a very different user interface.

There are a lot of other alternatives, and I imagine more will appear over the next three months. Here’s a list of 18 RSS readers. That post started as a list of readers available on Linux, and all do run there, but I added notes on what platforms each runs on. Most of the readers run on multiple platforms.

You can subscribe to this blog via email. If you go to the web page for the blog, you’ll see a box on the right side where you can enter your email to subscribe. You may also be able to use your email client as an RSS reader directly. At least Outlook and Thunderbird are RSS readers, and I imagine other email clients are as well.

RSS readers on Linux

This afternoon I asked on UnixToolTip for suggestions of RSS readers on Linux. Here are the suggestions I got, in order of popularity.

Update:

Some other readers available on Linux:

For daily tips on using Unix, follow @UnixToolTip on Twitter.

UnixToolTip twitter icon

How to subscribe to a Twitter account via RSS

Update: This post is obsolete because Twitter ended their RSS support in June 2013.

You can subscribe to any of my Twitter accounts using the RSS feeds listed here.

* * *

Twitter has recently made it more difficult to subscribe to accounts via RSS. This article that goes into the details of the problem and offers a solution.

At least for now, you can construct a URL to a Twitter account RSS feed by starting with

https://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=

and appending the account name. For example,

https://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=divbyzero

is the RSS feed for Dave Richeson’s Twitter account @divbyzero.

The following table gives links to RSS feeds for each of my daily tip accounts.

CompSciFact RSS
ProbFact RSS
UnixToolTip RSS
SciPyTip RSS
ShortcutKeyTip RSS
RegexTip RSS
AnalysisFact RSS
AlgebraFact RSS
TopologyFact RSS
TeXtip RSS
StatFact RSS
GrokEM RSS