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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Confusion About The Post Feed Redirect Feature

The world of Blogger blogs contains a lot of confusing terminology.

Some Blogger features don't even have names. Some names, which I use, are terms which I made up on my own, years ago - simply because Blogger did not provide a name, at that time. One term, which Blogger did give us, still causes confusion. The term "Post Feed Redirect" seems to describe an option, in Blogger, to redirect the post feed to a different URL.

The Post Feed Redirect feature is used by some confused blog owners, improperly.

There are several specific cases, all too common.
This redirection, contrary to the term "Post Feed", also affects the comments feeds and the labels feeds, relevant to the blog where the setting is used.

Besides the fact that the option in question affects all feeds in the blog, the biggest confusion is that using the option does not actually redirect the feed - it redirects the references to the feed. People use this option in the expectation that it will change the URL of the feed. This option does not change the URL of the feed - it changes the URL used by references to the feed.

To change the feed references, successfully, you must have the URL mentioned by the setting already published, in a separate effort.
  • If you renamed the blog to a different BlogSpot URL, you can redirect the feed reference, from a stub blog, to the feed published under the new URL.
  • If you used a different service, like FeedBurner, to create a reformatted feed replica, you can redirect the feed reference to the FeedBurner feed URL.
  • In either case, the URL has to exist, from a separate effort.

If you are reading this post, look down the page, after the "Newer Post Home Older Post" links.
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There is an example of the original feed reference. The purpose of the post feed redirect feature, long ago, was to let the blog owners generate a different feed for the blog - maybe a FeedBurner republished post feed - and force that link to reference the FeedBurner republished feed.

If you use that link, and subscribe to the feed from this blog, you should get a subscription offer, using the FeedBurner feed for this blog.

The Post Feed Redirect simply lets people setup and use an alternate feed URL, without having to update the code for all links which reference the post feed - such as that link.

That's it - pure and simple.

If you have - even unintentionally - misused the post feed redirect in your blog, it's easy to correct the mistake. Just understand why you should correct the mistake.

Dude, hit me with a comment!