Birthday Present for the Forums – RSS Feed

I hinted the other day that I was preparing a birthday surprice for the Discussion Forums 5th Birthday. By present is now ready, and it’s something I’ve wished for myself for a long time…

While creating the forum stats, I found myself parsing a lot of the forum data, and thought that the data could easily be outputted as a RSS feed. A feed would make it possible to track new posts and replies in the forums, without being logged in to the forum all the time.

I’ve now used the feed myself for a couple of days, and I’m quite satisfied with it. I thought it might be useful for someone else, so here it is:
The Unofficial DreamHost Discussion Forum RSS Feed.

The feed is updated every 5 minuttes (if any changes has been made) and contains title, url, category and username for all forum posts within the last 48 hours. It’s hosted by FeedBurner in order to secure greater compatibility and to unburden my server (in case it gets popular).



Please let me know if it’s working for you, or if you have any suggestions for improvements of the feed.

8 Responses to “Birthday Present for the Forums – RSS Feed”

  1. Ian Sealy says:

    Would it be possible to put each forum post’s content in the feed?

  2. Unofficial DreamHost Blog says:

    Ian – I guess that would be possible. Let’s wait a couple of days to see if there’s any problems with the main feed.

    If more people would like category specific feeds please say ai!

  3. Josh Santangelo says:

    Seems to work fine, but it would be far more useful if the actual post content were included.

  4. Unofficial DreamHost Blog says:

    Josh – I agree that it would be more useful, but it would also require that I requested and parsed every single post in the feed every time I regenerate the RSS file (every 5 minutes) or saved a copy of every post in a database.

    I might give it a try, but I won’t promise anything…

  5. Unofficial DreamHost Blog says:

    Ian – Just realised that I misread your comment. Somehow I thought that you wanted a feed for each forum (category/board). Sorry!

    Ian, Josh – I’ve now experimented with a feed that includes all the posts’ content. It works pretty well, and it’s really nice to be able to read the entire post in a feedreader. The only problem is that the rss-file is around 150 kb. Is this too much?

    Would it be better to limit the feed to only last 24 hours (currently it contains last 48 hours), or to only include excerpts. Another option would be to keep the existing rss feed with headlines only and then have another full post feed as an alternative.

    I would really like to hear your opinion on this… Thanks.

  6. Ian Sealy says:

    Sorry about the delay in replying. A very busy couple of weeks.

    I doubt that having a large feed is a problem, but I think that having two separate feeds would be best. That way people can just choose which one they prefer.

    Thanks for looking at this.

  7. Linked from: Discussion Forum RSS Feed downtime
  8. kuttu says:

    i want a feed to connect forum and blog