Customize RSS feed output

The current configuration of RSS behind the scenes—since we don’t have access to the template—doesn’t suit title-less micro posts well. These posts have the resulting “slug” excerpt that gets truncated showing as the “title” in the RSS feed, in addition to displaying within the content itself. The cleaner and better way (IMO) would be to instead have RSS display the site title if no actual post title is present.

I’m not sure what logic if any is available for this to be done by default, or somehow exposed through the configuration?

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Curious if you know how micro.blog handles this, or is this suggestion based on how they handle title-less posts? I have not looked…

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Micro.blog handles this the way I suggested—site title for micro posts, and the actual supplied post title for everything else. I’ve also seen other blogs using SSGs that are doing the same thing, since both they and MB (due to its Hugo underpinnings) have RSS templates that can be edited.

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Good to know! I haven’t come across this on weblog due to the fact that I pretty much only use weblog for long-form posts with titles, I’ve never done one without a title. I use that format more on micro.blog, just a way I’ve delineated my usage, I guess.

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Trust me, whether or not to delineate my usage between short and long form posts is a debate I’ve had with myself so many times, it could put first year political science classes to shame. :rofl:

The struggle is real!

The way I did it attempts to follow Dave Winer’s suggestion (mentioned here, with a link to Dave’s documentation) but I totally realize that there’s no single way to handle this that will work for everyone.

One thing you could do with the current setup is manage your title output in your post metadata. By default, a Title value will define the post’s slug, but you can override this with the Location value.

This means if you were to have a titleless post that looked like this…

Date: 2024-01-07 07:30
Title: My Weblog
Location: /titleless-post

This is a titleless post.

…you’d get exactly what you want in your RSS: the post title would be “My Weblog”, and the body would be “This is a titleless post”, and it would live at yourblog.tld/titleless-post.

The obvious drawback to this setup is the overhead of managing the metadata, especially keeping track of Location values (so you don’t duplicate any). So I’ll be the first to say that it’s not a great solution, but it is one that you could take advantage of right now.

One thing I could try to do is enable a configuration option that would allow you to override the post title for any post that’s been detected as titleless (i.e. it doesn’t begin with a heading and doesn’t have any Title metadata) — that would probably be much closer to what you’re looking for. Let me know what you think!

New omg-er here. Very stoked to have joined!

First post. Not sure if this is the best place to post this or if it should be a new topic.

We have emailed recently about link-blogging (linklog) and titleless posts and I just started posting titleless links and they are not showing up as I want or expected in the RSS feed, or as Micro.blog or Dave Winer’s Feedland does it.

What I want is a cross between how Micro.blog and Feedland does it. Essentially, in NetNewsWire at least, site name at the top links to my blogs homepage, no title, the date links to the post on my blog, but importantly there is a full link below the date linking to the article on the external site, and in the titleless post body the site’s name is also a link to the article. Sorry if that is confusing. Hard to explain. See pics.

How Micro.blog does it. Links to my site/post with the added Link header thing. Not what I want. With a link to the post on the external site in the post body.

How Feedland does it, if I make the article title a link. This is better since the Link header links to the article on the external site and so does the article title in the post body.

This is how Weblog did it for the most of my posts for some reason. With a title, that links to my site/post and not the external site. With the link to the external site in the post body.

This is how Weblog did it once. No title, link to the external site in the post body. I ideally want it this way with the added link header that Micro.blog and Feedland use.

Is that possible? Not sure how this works I just know I want people following the RSS feed to be able to go straight to the article on the external site and not have to go to the post on my site first.

Should I be doing something with the post metadata or in the configuration file to fix this?

Again sorry if this is confusing or should be its own topic. I can explain more and explain more about the different ways to post with Feedland that change how things show up in an RSS feed/reader, if needed.

Trying to process all of this! Just to confirm, you want no title to appear, and the link to the post to actually point to the “topical” link contained in the post (but not a link to that post), is that right?

Thanks Adam! Sorry. It’s a little hard to explain. I worried I did not explain it well and it would be confusing.

Yes, I want no title, and just the headline of the article with a markdown/hyperlinked link to the article.

So in the weblog post editor I would write →

And in the RSS feed in an RSS reader like NetNewsWire it would appear like this ideally →

Ideally with the link header thing added. I added it with markup to demonstrate what I want.

I am ok with the above from the Weblog RSS but it has only showed up like that once or twice, all other times it included an added in title even thought I did not set one in the metadata/header or whatever it is called. Not sure what I did this time versus other times.

Sorry again if this is confusing.

I just want someone who is following the feed to be able to go straight to the linked article on the external site if they want to read it and not have to go to my site first to get to that link.

“ A linklog is a type of blog which is meant to act as a linked list. Common practice is for the post titles to link directly to an external URLs”

  • from Wikipedia

Here’s how Dave Winers linkblog feed displays in NetNewsWire

What I want is this (with the link header thing) but with the headline and site name be a link as well

The 150 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time - Rolling Stone

Or just the site name be a link as well

The 150 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time - Rolling Stone

@adam Just want to bump this back on your radar.

I know you are super busy/swamped so I understand it may take a bit, but I would still love help on this and other RSS feed questions.

What would be super helpful to me would be if you could throw together a little snippet or two of sample RSS output (as in the actual XML) that you’re seeking. The different ways that different feed readers interpret/display feed data is kind of throwing me off here and making my brain run circles around itself when trying to work out the ideal linklog RSS output. But if you can provide a little XML, that’ll offer the kind of totally unambiguous point of reference that I really need. (Or feel free to point me to an existing RSS feed that is set up the way you want, and I can use that as a reference as well!)

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Thanks for getting back to me.

I do not know how to code or write XML. So I just looked for examples and I could not easily find a really good clean example. Unfortunately I did not save my XML from my micro.blog blog. I will reach out to Manton and see if he can provide any help.

What I did find was Dave Winer’s linkblog feedland feed xml.
http://data.feedland.org/feeds/davewiner.xml

This is not exactly what I want unfortunately. I want that link header thing he has, but I want to article title (ideally just the website name/url) to be hyperlinked/clickable and have it link to the external article not my blog.

I also found my feedland feed xml.
http://data.feedland.org/feeds/bruceblog.xml

Screenshot 2024-01-30 at 10.26.10

This is better and pretty close to what I want. It has the link header thing and the article title is hyperlinked/clickable and directs to the external site/article. Ideally I would want just the site name/url linked/clickable. Like below from my old micro.blog.

Again, unfortunately I can no longer get the xml from Micro.blog. It did almost exactly what I wanted (except the link header thing linked to my site for some reason and not the external link/site). I will try to get it. Maybe someone on here can do a test linkblog post and we can see how it is set up in the xml?

Weblog has at times done almost exactly what I want. Not sure why it shows up this way sometimes but not always.

I have the JSON feed from my micro.blog if that helps at all.

Sorry for all this. Sorry if it is confusing. I tried to explain it as best I can. My head hurts now. I just know how I want it to display in an RSS reader I do not know how to make that happen in the XML feed.

I think I found something that could work!

I just added Title: in the metadata and left it blank, and now there is no title displayed on the post in the RSS app.

Still would like a Link: header thing that is in Dave Winer’s Feedland feed. But I am happy with this now that there is no title added in.

Edit: just noticed it shows up as Untitled post in the Recent Post section. Not a big deal I guess. But let me know if there is anything you can do about that. Can I disable the recent post section somehow?