Saturday, July 12, 2008

Specialized feeds

This post is only for regulars subscribed via a feed reader.

I just became aware of a feature of Blogger, the software underneath this site, that lets me offer a variety of specialized feeds based on post labels (tags), in addition to main feed that includes every post.

E.g., feed only of posts about free online stories, A-rated stories, stories first published in Analog/Astounding magazine, only flash fiction, stories by Ray Bradbury, stories published under the joint pseudonym Lewis Padgett of Henry Kuttner & C L Moore (arguably among their most interesting fun stories), stories featuring aliens or robots, only content posts (skip administrative ones like "no post today"), ... There are hundreds of tags available, occasionally illogically named - to confuse every kind of reader!

Here is the full list of tags I consolidated last (I do it infrequently). Here is how to access the feed associated with a tag.

  1. Posts fetched by a tag X have URLs that look like
    "http://variety-sf.blogspot.com/search/label/X"
  2. Corresponding feed URL is
    "http://variety-sf.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/X"
  3. E.g.,
    "http://variety-sf.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/free"
    will fetch only posts about free fiction.

Caveats.

  1. Specialized feeds will naturally fetch fewer posts than main feed. Very specialized feeds, like only anthologies or only stories by a specific author, might not see a post for months.
  2. Tags corresponding to author names may differ from the way the name is often written. To cut total tag length, I often (but not always) remove any middle name. Names containing "," - like "James Tiptree, Jr" - differ because of tag character constraints. Non-ASCII characters in author names are also simplified to most-similar ASCII character. Safest way to get the right URL is by looking up tag list or often author list.
  3. I occasionally forget to put all applicable tags on a post at the time of publishing, & come back & put more tags a day or two later. Such posts will show up later in specialized feeds than in main feed.
Credits: I found this technique via Digital Inspiration.

2 comments:

Jennifer Pelland said...

"Scanners Live in Vain" also appears to be the story on which this year's Nebula nominee Jennifer Pelland's "Captive Girl" is based.

Nope, I've never read the story. But it sounds like I ought to!

Tinkoo said...

Miss Pelland's comment above appears to be on this post titled "Lots of online fiction by famous authors".