Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Yet Another Tumblelog

A while ago I posted about the blog I created on Tumblr, No.20 Madras Mail, which was about Mallu movies. That's a project that I'll probably wind down in another month or two, once I finish up with my list. In the meantime, here's another experiment - Box-Populi.Tumblr.com. It's basically a link-blog with comments, which I set up by connecting up part of my Google Reader shared items feed with a tumblelog via Yahoo! Pipes, with comments added in through Disqus. I set it up partly to figure out how Yahoo! Pipes works, and partly to see what other people think of the things I find notable online everyday. 
So anyway, I'm going to try this for about a month or so to see if anybody actually bothers to comment, and then decide if I should bother with it or not. Drop by and comment if you're interested.


  1. I'm a bit baffled by these pipes. How did you get them to work?

  2. What part didn't you understand?
    Here's what I did:
    1. Google Reader allows you to add tags to your shared/noted items, and will provide a separate RSS feed for it, so I added a new tag.
    2. Yahoo! Pipes allows you to pick up an RSS feed and manipulate it. I've picked up the feed for my 'reblog' tag from Reader and played around with the text in the description part of the XML so it automatically manipulates it to show source etc, so I don't need to type any of that out. Pipes will also give you an RSS feed of the output of your pipe
    3. I picked up the RSS feed above and imported it into Tumblr. Tumblr automatically refreshes itself from the feed every hour, so if I share something on Reader with the tag, it'll be on the tumblelog within the hour.
    4. Finally, I added in the Disqus comment code into Tumblr.
    Et voila, I'm basically blogging out of Google Reader!

    The only problem so far is that the blog only has the first 500 characters of each item in the feed. Not sure if that's a limitation of Tumblr or of Pipes.

  3. I just cloned your pipe and played with it. Did you already know how regex etc work?

  4. I didn't know how regular expressions worked, but I do basically know how to play around with string variables. Actually speaking, the pipe is more to reformat the shared items feed. You could directly import your shared items feed into Tumblr, it's just that the post then looks a little strange, because your comment becomes a blockquote, and it always has a 'Shared by So-and-so' line before it, which just takes up space.

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