Obsoleting Scraped RSS Feeds


Way back when, before feeds on the web were as common as they are now, I wrote a few screen scrapers for pages I wanted to track, making the results available for others to subscribe to.

It’s good to see that, of the twenty or so sites I was interested in, around half now have their own official feeds. Toothpaste for Dinner had an official feed for a while, which Drew later decided to take down (“I checked the stats and it looks like there are only about 4000 subscribers to this feed.”). It’s a shame — I miss the cartoons, but not quite enough to go back to my circa-2003 habits and check the website daily.

As official feeds have sprung up I’ve been using permanent HTTP redirects to move subscribers over. A good aggregator should deal with this transparently (although there are, incidentally, a lot of ones that don’t). Aside from the GUID mismatch between the scraped and official feeds causing entries to appear again, it should be a seamless experience.

(Bonus: Simon Munnery’s column for the New Statesman has a feed. I saw him recently at Tedstock performing as Alan Parker, which reminded me how funny he is.)

(Music: Blonde Redhead, “Distilled”)
(More from this year, or the front page? [K])