Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Blogger Magic - Custom Domains and Redirected Feeds

Ever watch a magician do "sleight of hand", say the old disappearing quarter?
Here's an ordinary quarter (in my hand). Nope - not in my hand! Where did it go? What's that, behind your ear? There it is (behind your ear)!
How did he do that?

Blogger / FeedBurner / Google has a magic trick for you, and it's just as mysterious to many bloggers.

If you publish your blog to a Google Custom Domain, and you use FeedBurner, you have 3 "magic tricks" aka "URL redirections" which you enjoy.
  1. Your old BlogSpot URL redirects to your custom domain URL. "yourblog.blogspot.com" --> "www.yourdomain.com".
  2. Your custom domain root redirects to the custom domain "www" alias. "yourdomain.com" --> "www.yourdomain.com".
  3. Your Blogger native feed URL redirects to your FeedBurner URL. "www.yourdomain.com/atom.xml" --> "feeds.feedburner.com/YourDomainCode".


When this works, someone subscribing to the original BlogSpot based feed gets the FeedBurner feed.
"yourblog.blogspot.com/atom.xml" --> "feeds.feedburner.com/YourDomainCode".

That's sort of like
My hand to behind your ear (nope, nothing there either). But, do you feel anything when you walk? Check your shoe! There it is!

Unfortunately, not everybody likes magic. Some folks just want the quarter back in their pocket. The Google Webmaster Tools based sitemap, and many external services, are written for a plain old Atom feed. What FeedBurner does to the feed isn't acceptable. In those cases, we use a feed modifier.

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