Add Comments Feed to your Typepad Blog

Sarah asked about adding a comments feed to a Typepad blog over at LibrarianInBlack.net. I found out about it from reading a post (via feed, natch) from Steven Cohen’s Library Stuff.

I hadn’t had coffee yet, so I thought Steven was asking and I told him via comments. Then realised it was Sarah who needed the info. So, since Sarah is probably not the only Typepad user who would want to know this information, here are the caveats and steps for adding a comments feed to your site.

Caveat 1: You have to be a Pro-level Typepad user to do this. Sorry. But maybe that is incentive to knocking it up a notch. Apologies to Elzar.

Caveat 2: You have to set up your blog to use “Advanced Templates.”

Step 1: Assuming you are a Pro-level Typepad user, go to the Design section of your blog.

Step 2: Convert to Advanced Templates if you haven’t.

Step 3: Once you’ve done that, click the Create New Index Template link.

Step 4: Enter a Template Name of Comments Feed (or what ever you like really).

Step 5: Enter “comments.xml” as the Output File name.

Step 6: Copy the code below into the Template Body.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8“?>
<rss version=”2.0″
xmlns:rdf=”http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#”
xmlns:dc=”http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/”
xmlns:sy=”http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/syndication/”
xmlns:admin=”http://webns.net/mvcb/”
xmlns:cc=”http://web.resource.org/cc/”
xmlns:foaf=”http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/”
xmlns:content=”http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/content/”>
<channel>
<title><MTBlogName encode_xml=”1″> Comments</title>
<link><MTBlogURL></link>
<description><MTBlogDescription encode_xml=”1″></description>
<dc:language>en-us</dc:language>
<dc:creator></dc:creator>
<dc:date><MTEntries lastn=”1″><MTEntryDate format=”%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S”
language=”en”><MTBlogTimezone></MTEntries></dc:date>
<admin:generatorAgent rdf:resource=”http://www.movabletype.org/?v=<MTVersion>” />
<MTBlogIfCCLicense><cc:license rdf:resource=”<MTBlogCCLicenseURL>” />
</MTBlogIfCCLicense>
<MTComments lastn=”15″ sort_order=”descend”><MTCommentEntry><item>
<title><MTCommentAuthor encode_xml=”1″> comments on “<MTEntryTitle
encode_xml=”1″>”</title>
<link><MTEntryPermalink encode_xml=”1″>#c<MTCommentID pad=”1″></link>
<description><MTCommentBody remove_html=”1″ encode_xml=”1″></description>
<content:encoded><![CDATA[<MTNull apply_macros=”1″><MTCommentBody>
</MTNull>]]></content:encoded>
<dc:creator><MTCommentAuthor encode_xml=”1”></dc:creator>
<foaf:homepage rdf:resource=”<MTCommentURL encode_xml=”1″>” />
</MTCommentEntry><dc:date><MTCommentDate format=”%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S”
language=”en”><MTBlogTimezone></dc:date>
</item></MTComments>
</channel>
</rss>

Step 7: Save and Publish the new template.

Step 8: Copy the URL for the comments feed to test it in your RSS reader of choice. The URL will be something like: http://usabilityworks.typepad.com/uwdotorg/comments.xml.

Step 9: If it works, add something to your site that allows everyone to pull your feed.

Step 10: Write a post about how you have a brand new, shiny comments feed and put a link to this post in it. ;)

That’s it. If you have questions, or feel I have left something out, add a comment and I will follow up.

One thing to consider in the future… Typepad is based on Movable Type. And by based on I mean it is Movable Type. So if want to do something to your Typepad blog, but are having trouble figuring out how based on Typepad documentation, try looking in Movable Type documentation. Again, keep in mind that you will have to be a Pro-level user to do 98% of it.

Update: I added a comments feed badge at the top of the page. Feel free to use this one, or make your own.

Subscribe to Comments feed.

12 replies on “Add Comments Feed to your Typepad Blog”

  1. Hi, Matthew

    What a timely post! Today I’m trying to figure out how to set up a comment feed for my new Typepad blog, The Right Conversation.

    I have a pro-level Typepad account, and I followed your instructions. It *almost* worked. However, the file that got generated when I tried this is not a valid feed.

    Check it out:
    http://rightconversation.com/comments.xml

    When I view it in a text editor, I can see all the items there. However, it doesn’t parse as a feed. My feed reader won’t discover it or accept it.

    I plugged it into http://feedvalidator.org and that service found the following problem:

    line 1, column 30: XML parsing error: :1:30: XML declaration not well-formed

    The line in question looks like this in the feed file:

    This is generated by your first line of code, which is:
    “?>

    So, only being a semi-geek, I’m a bit stumped here. Got any ideas what’s going wrong here, and how I might fix it?

    Thanks,

    – Amy Gahran
    RightConversation.com
    Contentious.com

  2. Hmmmm, looks like my code snippets didn’t show up in your comments. I trust you’ll be able to find the references in my feed file, and in your code. If you can offer any insight or advice, I’d really appreciate it.

    Thanks!

    – Amy Gahran

  3. Try using the Typepad URL for your site. I’ve noticed a lot of trouble with Typepad of late going from a registered domain to the Typepad domain. Some times it gets mixed up and I get missing images on my site.

    If that doesn’t work, try http://rightconversation.com//comments.xml, a sloppy solution, but it might work. I gotta jet, but I will look into this later today if this doesn’t work for you.

  4. Thanks, Matthew

    I’ve tried those other options, but keep running up against the same problem. Basically through all the ways you described I can find the comments.xml file, but that’s not getting recognized as a valid feed.

    If you have any other ideas, I’d appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    – Amy Gahran

  5. First, I guess Typepad isn’t totally MT…

    Change the first line:
    <?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”<MTPublishCharset>”?>

    To this:
    <?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>

    Then, take out this line from the code:
    <foaf:homepage rdf:resource=”<MTCommentURL encode_xml=”1″>” />

    It will validate, but have a warning. I will figure out the warning later as it is now my daughter’s bath time. Yes, I am a real person. :)

  6. Thanks, Matthew.

    I just tried it with your latest code updates, but I’m still not getting a functioning feed. I don’t know if the domain mapping is making a difference or what. I’ll keep trying. Let me know if you have other ideas. Thanks!

    – Amy Gahran

  7. OK, so far I’ve got it functioning in Bloglines and Google Reader. However, Sage, Newsgator, and Feedburner don’t recognize a feed at this address:
    http://rightconversation.com/comments.xml

    So that’s some progress, but still some difficulties resolve. I’ll keep at it, and if Matthew or anyone has other ideas I’d love to hear them. I appreciate all assistance. Thanks!

    – Amy Gahran

  8. Okay, that is really odd since it is the same code and it is all Typepad.

    Give me a ping on IM later and we’ll try to resolve this. Because others may have similar issues so it will be good to figure out what is the issue.

Comments are closed.