Friday, February 9, 2007

Driving Myself Crazy

I've spent an unconscionable amount of time the last few days trying to figure this out, so I'm going to post my query here in the hopes that someone out there has done this successfully.

I've asked the students in one of my sophomore classes to each create a blog. And I've created a blog which will be a common class blog as well. What I want to be able to do is to set up a series of feeds so that each time one of my students posts on his/her own blog, the post gets sent to the (common) class blog as well.

Will Richardson in his guide to RSS feeds mentions on page ten a utility called "Feed to Java Script" that looks as if it might work, but the link to it is not responding.

I know that we could get the feeds individually through Google Reader or Bloglines or Blogbridge, but I really want to have everyone in the class be able to see their work in a common space.

Any suggestions?


Peter A. Stinson said...

Great question... and when you get an answer that actually works, could you post it... I suspect Waldo at might have an answer... this blog is a collection of feeds... I think he uses WordPress and his solution is based on WordPress, but he might have other ideas... Best of luck... Let us know what the best solution is...

/s/ Peter

Peter A. Stinson said...

Wish I knew... I think Waldo at might be able to help... his blog's content is all from RSS feeds... He uses WordPress, but I don't know the solution he uses, nor do I know if his solution will work with Blogger... Best of luck; let us know, please...

Mr. H said...

Hi you could use the built in feed widget in the new blogger. You can also create a pageflakes page for the class and have all the feeds picked up there. You could have a link from your class hub to link to it.

I have used grazer but it is not the best. Having all your students blogs feeding into the side bar of your blog might be a bit overwhelming.

I would look for other alternatives like page flakes or netvibes.

Create a class account so all can access and change what is needed.


Jeff said...

I wish I could help you. I'll just have to be content with stealing your method once you figure it out.

I get feeds from my 55 sophomores via Bloglines. It works well for me, but I see what you want and why it'd be better.

Doug Noon said...

Feed2JS may be what you're looking for. I've not used it for the purpose you describe, but I understand what you want to do, and it is doable.

My first classroom blog was built with an application called b2evolution that worked very well for the purpose, since it allows any number of users to have their own blogs, and it aggregates all of that content on an "all" blog.

Good luck. Finding answers to questions like that is what turns mere mortals into computer geeks.

Patrick said...

I am digging on what Mr. H said. Pageflakes is the route I am going to go, once I start getting students blogging, or for that matter, once I start getting teachers to blog.

Kassissieh said...

This functionality is built into do-it-yourself tools such as Elgg and Drupal. It's getting easier every version to install one of these on your own web server and integrate with your existing student network accounts. It's well worth the effort.


Justin Haugh said...

Hi Bruce, you can do this easily with Google Reader. First, setup a Google Reader account. Then, subscribe to each of your student's blogs, and add them to a folder, such as "classblogs". Go to the Settings:Tags page, and click the grey feed icon next to your new folder/tag. This will make it public; there will be links to the public page, which has a feed that can be consumed by other feed-aware applications. You or your students can also use the "add a clip to your site" functionality so new posts show up as links on your blog.

Hope this helps -

Justin Haugh
Google Reader Engineer

Bruce Schauble said...

Okay, Jason, that's very helpful. Thanks.

I'm with you right up to the "add a clip to your site" part. But what that does is add the feed as a widget in the sidebar of the common site. What I'd like is to have the student's post from his own site show up as a (duplicate) post on the common site as well.

The material that is now showing up on the public page is basically what I was looking for. I guess I can just link to that from the clas home page, but is there a way to feed what's on the home page directly into the class site?

I really appreciate your help. Thanks.

Bruce Schauble said...

Oops. Justin, I meant. I have a son named Jason. Crossed my wires. Sorry.

- B

Justin Haugh said...

Hi Bruce,

Reader publishes a feed and an HTML page (the public page) for each tag you make public. You could add an iframe element to your blogger template to point to the Reader public page, which would cause the content of that page to show up embedded on your class site. However, this could be ugly, so it might be easiest to just link to the Reader public page.

You could link to the Reader feed, but that content is formatted as an Atom feed and wouldn't render very well to your visitors. Ideally, you could include a piece of javascript that would let clients fetch the feed and render it nicely, but that's not currently possible due to security restrictions (it has to be done on the server side, by your bloggging platform).

Right now, probably the best thing you can do would be to link to the public page in Reader from your site.

Good luck!

Justin Haugh
Google Reader Engineer