I’ve been annoyed with a problem with RSS feeds lately, particularly when it comes to Livejournal
The problem is that if I post an article to my blog, it gets posted, and then is made available in an RSS feed. The biggest user of this feed is Livejournal, but I have a fair number of folks who read the feed via Bloglines and Sage and the like.
So anyway, folks read the article, but to actually see if anyone has commented on it, they have to click through to the article, and navigate the comments. This is tedious and unwieldy.
There are some hacks that put comments posted on articles into feeds, but then you have to subscribe to the comments feed to see them. Ick.
So over the last few days I whipped up a tool I’m tentatively calling “mtcc” for Movable Type Comment Counter (since it’s quite specific to Movable Type) which can generate a graphic image on the fly representing the number of comments on a specific blog post.
Since RSS feeds are not generated dynamically, but -will- render images as soon as the feed is read by the user, the image is pulled from the MT host of the blog with the correct counter embedded in the image. If someone adds a comment, and someone else reading the article via a feed refreshes, they’ll see an updated count in the image.
This feed is still in testing, and I’d appreciate hearing comments (and tests!) from people. It’s active now, but not available to Livejournal (due to the braindead way LJ handles feeds). I’ll publish it as my LJ feed once I get the final version up.
If you’d like to preview it, and you’re using an RSS reader already, the feed is located at https://planet-geek.com/lj2.xml