Posts Tagged rss

Finding a Facebook page’s RSS feed

Posted by on Tuesday, 10 September, 2013

Sometimes my blog can be boring. This is one of those technical posts that likely won’t be relevant to anyone but me:

With Facebook’s EdgeRank implementation determining what you see on your news feed you may have noticed that some posts by your favourite pages aren’t showing up. Or, perhaps you want to aggregate your Facebook posts out to other social channels… in either of these cases, you can use RSS to feed that content into your favourite reader or aggregator. Here’s how:

1. First, you will need to find the Facebook page’s identification number. To do this, grab the url to the page (in my case this is facebook.com/waywardceltphotography).

2. With the Facbook page URL, go to findmyfacebookid.com and past the url into the given field and click “Find my Numeric ID”. This will generate a results page with an ID of form similar to: 419841248074808

3. Once you have the numeric ID, the rest is easy. Simply replace the <numeric_id> section in the URL below and use that url to add a subscription into your favourite RSS reader:
http://www.facebook.com/feeds/page.php?format=atom10&id=<numeric_ID> 

By example, my page’s RSS feed url would look like:                                                                     http://www.facebook.com/feeds/page.php?format=atom10&id=419841248074808

With that URL, you can now keep tabs on all the posts published to the given Facebook page, or use that URL in an aggregator to push the content to other social channels.

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image credit: By RRZEicons (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Using RSS and Email to prevent future embarrassment

Posted by on Wednesday, 6 February, 2013

if_snopes_then_email

We’ve all seen it: the Facebook post purporting that onions cure every illness, or that asking your friends to make changes on the network will keep your posts private and invisible to all the “baddies” out there.

By this point I’m sure we know that’s all hogwash, but every day there are more and more urban myths that find life, or renewed life (like the Back to the Future post that pops up every other month) because people share without fact checking first. I’m sure some of you have seen my quick reaction to point out a Snopes.com article either clarifying or refuting this claim or that…. perhaps you’ve even wondered how it is I am so quick to know? Well, friends, here’s my secret weapon: RSS and immediate email notification.

Using the What’s New RSS feed from snopes.com, I can see every new or updated article that comes out of Snopes, right when they post it. Mind you I don’t necessarily read all articles, but this puts the topic information in my head so I know where to retrieve the details if I see it pop up later.

But just using RSS means I need to constantly watch my RSS reader for updates, which is a bit of a pain at times. So I added an email notification to the equation using IFTT.com, so now I get an email notice whenever Snopes adds a new article. Here’s the recipe I created to do this, but you can create your own if you prefer to get notices via text, tweets, or a cadre of other various channels!

This results in a nice simple email notice like this, which pops into my inbox about once a day at their normal rate of article posting:

email_snopes2

So now you know my secret weapon in the fight against promoting false content and preventing my own embarrassment, but better yet, now you too can help dispel myth and rumour faster than a speeding… well you know 😉

YouTube and RSS: Building a feed link

Posted by on Friday, 16 March, 2012

Most of you who know me likely are aware of my distaste for YouTube; not necessarily because of the content, but because it is content that requires singular focus, much like podcasts, where I can’t multi-task through it. I prefer to consume information via text which I CAN multitask around without pausing and coming back only to re-watch the prior few minutes or entire video again between interruptions. Not to mention the system resource hog streaming video can be, as well as the constant ‘buffering’ when my network is being taxed by other applications. But, contrary to what I may say at times, I don’t hate YouTube, and will indeed watch videos hosted there when it fits within my capabilities. Generally this occurs more when I’m sitting on the couch perusing via AppleTv, though I will check out the occasional Facebook or Twitter shared video as well.

That all said, I DO have a business need to stay up to date on what is being shared in some very specific YouTube spaces. The best method I’ve found to stay up to date with new content is through RSS feeds. Combine that need with our “Working Outside the Inbox” (WOTI) initiative I’ve been blogging about, and you’ll understand exactly why I’ve written this post: YouTube and RSS aren’t exactly the best of friends and e-mail updates just aren’t going to cut it. RSS links are not visible on YouTube, in direct contrast to nearly every other website around. But this doesn’t mean you can’t get RSS feeds for YouTube content to update you when new videos are shared out; it just takes a little more effort. Hopefully the following will help reduce that effort and let you add YouTube feeds to the RSS reader of your choice and not have to go researching on your own.

Here are the various types of feeds I have found via my own research, which are also functioning at time of publication here. Keep in mind that these can change or stop functioning at any time depending on YouTube’s business needs. Caveat emptor, etc.

 

Building RSS feeds for YouTube:

  • All uploads by channel/user: Replace the <user_id> variable with your username, or the username of the person/channel you wish to follow, then add the link to your favourite RSS reader:
    http://www.youtube.com/rss/user/<USER_ID>/videos.rss
  • New videos added to Playlists: This will feed updates of the new videos added to the playlist specified in the URL. For this to function, you will need the Playlist ID which can be found in the link to the playlist on the YouTube channel. The ID will be a string of alphanumeric characters beginning with the letters “PL”. You will need to drop the “PL” prefix from the ID then add the remaining characters to the URL below replacing the variable. For example: where a playlist ID looks like: PL9C6B1C84E4869D16 only use the 9C6B1C84E4869D16 portion of the ID to build the feed URL. https://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/playlists/<Playlist_ID>
     
  • Want to know when a user creates a new playlist? This feed URL will show updates noting the name of newly created playlists by user ID. Simply replace the variable with the the person/channel you wish to follow:
    http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/users/<USER_ID>/playlists?v=2
  • You can also follow RSS feeds based on tags: This allows for updates of videos across multiple channels/users based on how the videos are tagged when uploaded. Replace the <Your_Tag> variable with the tag you wish to follow.
    http://www.youtube.com/rss/tag/<YOUR_TAG>.rss
  • There is also a lot of information on how to follow all of your subscriptions in one feed, however through all my research and testing, I’ve not yet been able to find the URL format to make this work. It appears YouTube may have deprecated this capability as a business decision to counter some set-top device functionality. I leave the information here, however, as reference to what has worked in the past:Subscriptions can be sent to RSS feeds by replacing the <user_id> variable with your id or the id of the channel/user you wish to follow: http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/users/<USER_ID>/newsubscriptionvideos
    or
    http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/users/<USER_ID>/newsubscriptionvideos?alt=rss&v=2&orderby=published&client=ytapi-youtube-profileWhen the above was found to not function directly, another user was able to see success by creating a Feedburner (http://feedburner.google.com/) subscription using the YouTube subscription RSS url (http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/users/<username>/newsubscriptionvideos). Once created, add the Feedburner URL to your favourite feed reader. Technically, I don’t see why this intermediary step would work any differently than just adding the original RSS feed, but it seems ot have worked for at least on user out there…

Because I live and die by RSS feeds these days, I found it critical to be able to follow YouTube channels and playlists in my feed reader. Noting that even on YouTube’s and Google’s own developer resource pages there wasn’t a single place to figure out how to get what I needed, I found myself scouring forum threads across the internet to find a simple solution. As I was going through this process I realized that I was building a foundation of information in a draft email while I was adding the feeds I needed to my reader; why not share the information in a single post in the hopes others can benefit from it as well? I hope you find this to be as helpful as I did.