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Syndicating Macadamia
I thought that only paid users could syndicate feeds, but it turns out free users can too (just not very many). If you're one of the people who has fretted in the past that I maintain a blog as well as an LJ, my blog is now syndicated as alisonscottblog. So you can, if you like, add it to your friends list; the blog posts will appear inline in your friends page. No lj-cuts, of course, and sometimes the posts can be quite long by LJ standards. (It suddenly occurs to me that there's no particularly good reason why the LJ-cut tag wouldn't work; it should be ignored by web browsers, and interpreted by LJ. I will try it next time I post to the blog, if I remember.) I have it on *my* friends list, so that if you comment on the blog in LJ, I'll see the comments.

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I have it on *my* friends list, so that if you comment on the blog in LJ, I'll see the comments.

Oh, good - this is a good idea, I think!

I think LJ limits the length of rss feeds so it doesn't matter how long you make something or whether you use cut tags or not, we probably won't get the whole thing anyway if it's lengthy. But it's a handy way of seeing there's something there to go and look at if the first half (or however much) is of interest.

(and if this comment has posted 4 times blame LJ's current crapness)

I have it on *my* friends list, so that if you comment on the blog in LJ, I'll see the comments.

Oh that's great to know. A couple of times now I've read stuff on the feed, wanted to comment and then remembered that it wasn't the actual article. By the time I remember to go to the main blog I've forgotten what I wanted to say/been distracted by other stuff.

I did realise a slight problem with this, which is that I won't get e-mails notifying me of comments on Macadamia posts in the LJ entries. I can get round this to some extent by creating an LJ user for the sole purpose of watching Macadamia (so it's not just lost in the sea of friends posts), but I don't think there's a seamless way to do it. Really, what we need is a system that allows people to syndicate their own blog and then be notified of comments on it.

Well, this one works. why didn't the old one??

Is this syndicating thing common? I'd never heard of it till you showed me it. It interests me in terms of legal liability...

Yes. Most blogs that come with a blogging tool (like Blogger, movable type and Radio) automatically include a separate 'syndicate' page, which formats the content of the blog in a way that can be read by aggregators. Your livejournal friends list is an aggregator; others are NetNewsWire (mac only) and NewsMonster (cross platform). Aggregators grab the content from lots of blogs and news sites, and put them together in one place so you don't have to load lots of different sites to read them. Aggregators sound dull but are very exciting; you know a few years ago when people were talking about how we'd each have a personalised newspaper that included only the bits we were interested in? It's clear that in fact we'll each just collect little chunks of news from all over that we're interested in and aggregate it.

Legality seems clear for sites that provide a feed for syndication! However, there are some sites (like Neil Gaiman's) that don't, but where a third party has used a script to create a syndicated feed. My guess is that the legality of that sort of tool is much more dubious.

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