SDMB RSS feeds work!

I asked a year ago, so I hope it’s not a mistake…:slight_smile:

That said, and hoping and praying they aren’t revoked, here’s a list to get you all syndicated and happy:

General format:,n,n
[li]All forums:[/li][li]About This Message Board:[/li][li]Comments on Cecil’s Columns:[/li][li]Comments on Staff Reports:[/li][li]General Questions:[/li][li]Great Debates:[/li][li]Cafe Society:[/li][li]In My Humble Opinion:[/li][li]Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS):[/li][li]The BBQ Pit:[/li][/ul]

You can mix and match your forums by separating the forumids with commas, however, it will only show so many so you will end up missing out on posts. If you use a standards compliant feedreader such as Bloglines or the Google Reader, it won’t hammer the board since it only downloads the feeds once per hour (as per the specification in the feed), and it shares the single download with all the users who requested it. Could actually save bandwidth, if you consider that it’s a very small file. E.g., GQ weighs in at ~110KB, whereas the rss feed for GQ is ~10KB, and there is less dynamic stuff it has to compute as well. Wikipedia has a decent list of readers. And here’s a Slate article on what rss is from the original thread.

That’s great. Firefox usually identifies RSS-capable sites with a symbol at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Nothing showing up for any of the forum pages though. Anybody know why?

It’s because they aren’t included in the page source using the link tag,

What is RSS?
RSS is a format for syndicating the content of a website, that allows the syndication of lists of hyperlinks, along with other information, or metadata, that helps viewers decide whether they want to follow the link.

What does RSS stand for?
RSS stands for many things. Some refer to it as Really Simple Syndication, others refer to it as RDF Site Summary, and yet others refer to it as Rich Site Summary. There is much discussion on the Internet referring to these terms and their meanings, so I will leave it out of this FAQ.

How does RSS benefit the SDMB and its members/guests?
Members and guests can add RSS feeds to their websites or RSS readers (explained later). You get to see the OP’s name, thread title, date and time, and the first few lines (roughly 300 characters) of the OP, and a link to the thread. This gives you enough information to decide whether you want to open the thread, without having to visit the boards at all. This also makes it easier to click on only work safe links at work, while avoiding threads that might not be safe for work.

Members and guests with handheld devices will find the RSS feeds to be an excellent way to access the boards from their PDAs and phones.

The SDMB hopes that RSS feeds will bring more members to the boards, while making it easier for our existing members and guests to access the boards.

Can you show me an example of what RSS really is?
RSS is much easier to demonstrate than to explain.

Here are two ways in which RSS can be used:

a. Here’s a screenshot of the SDMB RSS feed in an RSS Reader on Windows:

b. And here’s an example of how RSS feeds can be included in your website:

i. As a side panel:

ii. As a web page:

Can I include the SDMB RSS feed on my website?
Sure. Here’s a getting started guide to help you with it:

If you have experience with RSS, please feel free to add your suggestions to this thread.

How can I access RSS feeds?
You need an RSS reader, also known as an RSS aggregator.

Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix:

Windows Mobile/PPC:

Palm OS:


What is the link to the RSS feed? How do I start?
Once you install your RSS reader, you need to add the link of the RSS feed to your reader. You can either click on the link or add it manually:

Title only (no OP):

Title and OP:

How do I access only specific forums?,n,n

Where n is the forumid number. See alterego’s post for more details. You can mix and match forums. Note that it is “forumids=” even if you just specify a single forum.

Has the SDMB officially turned on RSS?
Well… We were just testing it this past week and were about to launch it this week. This FAQ was to be posted later today. You guys are always ahead of us :slight_smile:

Why don’t I see the RSS icon on the boards?
Because we haven’t included it, and we probably won’t.

Will you keep RSS on forever?
This is an experiment. We may, we may not. If we find that RSS is causing a significant increase in load on the boards, or if we find that the feature is being misused or abused in any manner, we might disable it.

Will you also be enabling XML feeds?
We haven’t yet, but if you make a case for it we could consider it.

What can I do to help?
Be fair in your use of this feature. Set the feed update interval on your reader to the highest interval you can live with.

This post may be edited from time to time to include further information.

Only because I had to look it up for myself just now, and in case anyone else ends up wondering:

To manually add the feed to your Firefox “Live Bookmarks”, go to Bookmarks - Manage Bookmarks - File - New Live Bookmark, and paste in the address for the feed you want to receive.

Very, very cool.

One question, Xash. If I understand you correctly, you’re encouraging people to do this on their websites. How is that different from copying and pasting SDMB content to a website? Does RSS sort of waive copyright?

Excellent question.

RSS does not waive any copyright. The point of RSS is to make available just a small snippet of each thread, the title and about the first 300 characters of the OP, which may then be included in a website. In order to read any further into the thread, a user has to click on the link to the actual thread and come to the SDMB to read the thread in its entirety.

The RSS feed is somewhat like a teaser or a theatrical trailer enticing users to come to the SDMB, with the hope that once they’re here they might want to stay just a little bit longer.

It must also be noted that there is a distinction between copying and pasting content, and embedding an RSS feed. In the latter case, the content is fed by the SDMB and refreshes dynamically, such that if we were to disable the feed, the content would disappear from the website entirely. If you see the examples I linked to in my first post, you will notice that the content changes to reflect new threads.

Of course, there is still the small chance that the feed may be used inappropriately, and if you do come across such instances please report it to us.

The feed was being tested and I was awaiting permission from the Reader.

Which I do not have yet, and so I have had to disable the feed.


xash, the links to the screenshots are not working.

Yes, I disabled them for now. Awaiting further notice from the Reader.

Any word on this yet?

Nope. We’ll let you know.



Presumably, there is either:

  1. A significant load increase experienced, causing technical troubles, or

  2. A potentially significant problem with the legality of the concept, which leads me to think Liberal wasn’t so far off in his questioning.

Still need to obtain permission from the Reader; anything that involves distribution of content of any kind on this site requires specific management okay.

Keep your shirt on, we’re working on it.


Tuba, dear, how in the world did you know I always take my shirt of when typing back to you? :confused: :smiley:
Wait, um, I’ll just let myself out the back door now…

I’ve used Feed2JS before but to be honest I was surprised that it was being advertised as a usage of the SDMB rss feeds. I doubt people would have thought to use it in that way had it not been brought up.

Here’s to next year…

Any word?

it hasn’t been a year yet! haha…but seriously, they make a big deal out of the stupidest things.