WordPress (2.5.1) FeedBurner and RSS Issues

rss I spent part of this morning troubleshooting the complete breakdown of my RSS feeds and new post email notifications. I have been using Feedburner (a part of Google) and Subscribe2, a WordPress plug-in.

It turns out that neither of them have been working in the past few weeks, so anybody who follows my feed via email notification or some feed reading software, it does not appear I have been doing anything! These subscribers missed my Liveblogging ASTD and the recent reflection and thinking I have been doing regarding Learning 2.0 (among other things).

I finally learned that when I upgraded to the most current version of WordPress (2.5.1), the default rss feed has changed, and this change had to be adjusted in the Feedburner system. Did not see this anywhere on their site, and finally stumbled across it on the Group page (and simply am not able to find it again after searching and searching). I have still not solved the Subscribe2 plug-in, though have left 2 questions on the developer’s site  and, by the vacation notification he posted and the number of comments and responses, I am sure they will be responded to).

What did I learn in this troubleshooting?

  1. Google no longer adequately supports Feedburner. The one previous time I had a challenge with this service, I immediately received a reply and some assistance. They have since removed this wonderful help resource, and replaced it with a Google Group for Feedburner. Three days and three questions later, I have still not received a reply. None. Nothing. I wonder if this is Google’s strategy moving forward–put the onus of support onto the community and then step back. While this makes sense with open-source applications like WordPress or Firefox, this is hard to swallow with a huge profit-making company.
  2. Things can be broken without anybody mentioning anything for some time. With the deluge of emails and other forms of notification, it is easy to stop receiving something without noticing it. This seems to be a symptom of information overload.
  3. I was getting more comments than normal, though I am not sure where those were coming from. Perhaps the Twitter integration with my blog, which continued to work, is the reason? It most certainly was not from the population with the RSS and email notifications.
  4. Web 2.0 technology is more integrated than I initially thought. These programs seem to be so connected that if one thing breaks or changes or upgrades, then it is very possible that the whole thing will fall apart. I upgraded WordPress, and they made one small change (the default WordPress RSS feed) that I did not notice (after all, who would look for that sort of change?) this, and it caused lots of problems.
  5. Plan for more time than it seems it should take. No matter how small an issue appears, it can always take much much longer to troubleshoot it than it initially appears.

So, now that I at least have some RSS capabilities, I wonder what changes I may notice?

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Elephant Nature Foundation Has RSS Feeds

Elephant Nature Foundation, the organization in Thailand that I am very fond of (and where I have fostered 2 elephants – Max and Tong Jan) has just started using RSS feeds on their News page. I am very happy that I can now keep more on top of their news stories by having my newsreader check their website every day for updates.

What a simple and free way to get their message out even faster; I think all non-profits and charitable instututions online should use RSS feeds. I hope they begin to advertise this, since there is no indication on their site this now works. I only found it since I was browsing their site with my newsreader, FeedDemon.

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