An Open Letter to All Those Blogging Folks I Love to Read

George recently issued a plea for bloggers to make full-text RSS feeds of their sites available, such that folks who, like him, are hooked on Bloglines and other newsreaders can properly keep up. I’ll confess to not having checked out my feeds to see if they’re full-texts or not, since the migration, but I promise to do so right after I issue my own plea:

Dear Folks I Read Regularly (Which Category Includes Pretty Much Everybody Listed Over There on the Left):

See how in my blogroll some links have little dashes around them, and others don’t?

The ones that either right now or otherwise sometimes have dashes are the ones that ping when they update. The little dashes let me know that there’s recent content, and that I should go check it out.

Unfortunately, many of you don’t ping on update. What this means for me, personally, is that I never really know if you’ve updated or not. Without that indicator, I sometimes forget to check.

Yes, I could go the George route and switch over to a newsreader, which would keep me abreast of new content as it rolls in. But I’m personally addicted not simply to your sage words, but also to the look and feel of your site, and so prefer to read at the source.

Please, then, do me the enormous service of setting your blogging software up to ping when you update. In Movable Type, this is a piece of cake: under “Weblog Config” click on the “Publicity / Remote Interfaces / TrackBack” link, add in the text box, and save your settings. In ExpressionEngine, go to “Default Ping Servers” under the Admin panel, and make sure is there — and then make sure that the box is checked on the “Edit entry” page when you update.

Everybody else, alas, is on their own — but it oughta be pretty easy to figure out.

Remember, whether you blogroll or not, pinging lets those of us who do keep up with your always intriguing work. And no, I’m not just sucking up.

Your pal,



  1. I’m with you. I really like being able to visit other peeople’s sites, and I’ll often forget to check blogs that don’t ping blogrolling.

  2. Jake – LJ does offer RSS feeds for everyone, though they only offer partial text feeds for free users. Your feed would be here:

    Also, if you edit your userinfo page in LJ, it gives you an option to ping automatically whenever you update, and also pings While the process isn’t glitch-free–for example, the ping goes through even when I post to a community, when there’s no new post in my actual journal–it does make things a little easier.

  3. Wow. Thanks for the info, Shasta. Unfortunately, it looks like the ping function is only for paying customers (or at least, I don’t seem to have that option). This could be a sign that it’s time to upgrade from a free livejournal account to something better.

  4. Whoo-hoo! One success, and suddenly life is again worth living! I now know when the speedysnail has updated!

    (Thanks, Rory. I owe you one.)

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