Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Family Home Page


No matter how often I try to tell my family that blogs are something you subscribe to, not visit, some insist on just visiting the Web site periodically instead of using an aggregator such as Bloglines. Well, if the luddites won't save their own time, we can save it for them by putting all of the family's blog sites on one page, perferrably the one they see whenever they open their browser. This is a good project for the tech-savvy grandchild, niece or nephew.

Google just added the ability to put blog subscriptions on their personalized home page, which you can get to here. The feature isn't yet very user friendly. When I tried it this morning, it wasn't able to automatically find the blog's feed, given its Web address. Still, it isn't usually hard to find the address of the feed, or guess it.

If you've been following along with this series and have started a blog on Google's Blogger service, your feed address is the same as your Web address, plus "atom.xml." For example, the feed for this blog is http://eamonnsullivan.blogspot.com/atom.xml, while Theresa's is http://allussullivans.blogspot.com/atom.xml. For other blogs, look for links such as "My Feed" or an orange icon with "XML" on it. Click on it (you'll probably get scary-looking indecipherable text) and just copy the address.

To add our family blogs to the google page, click on the "Add Content" on the upper left and then on "Create a Section." Now just paste in the addresses of our blog feeds (such as the two I just gave above) and click on the Go button. That's it. You can move the sections around on the page by clicking and dragging on the titles or take them off the page by clicking on the X. Now make this your home page and you'll never miss a post.

I tried this on some other home pages with mixed results. MSN's personalized page doesn't seem to recognize the Atom format used by Blogger sites, which is what everyone in our family uses at the moment. I haven't tried AOL. Let me know if you get that to work.

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