As Tobias notes, an RSS feed of the last 20 comments on any post can be a bit noisy, and as I’m beginning to notice from subscribing to the EmptyBottle comments feed, comments tend to need context even more than weblog posts. Right now, while I remember the post that got the comment, I know why Shannon would be saying “Actually, if you’ve got a fat pipe, I’m free this evening”, but in another day or two I would have to check back to see what she was commenting about (and with no link from the feed to the comment thread or the post, I’d probably just blow it off).
While I still think that there are blogs and blog readers for whom a feed of all comments on all posts is a good fit, there are also blogs and readers who would be better served by a feed that consists of an individual post, and the comments on that post. So, if you use Movable Type’s individual entry archives, a template and instructions for using it are over yonder.
<?xml version="1.0"?> <!-- generator="MovableType/<$MTVersion$>" --> <rss version="0.92"> <channel> <title><$MTBlogName$>: <$MTEntryTitle$></title> <link><$MTEntryLink$></link> <description><$MTEntryExcerpt$></description> <language>en-us</language> <item> <title><$MTEntryTitle$></title> <description><$MTEntryBody encode_html="1"$></description> <link><$MTEntryLink$></link> </item> <MTComments> <item> <title><$MTCommentAuthor$></title> <description><$MTCommentBody encode_html="1"$></description> <link><$MTBlogArchiveURL$><$MTCommentEntryID pad="1"$>.php#<$MTCommentID pad="1"$></link> </item> </MTComments> </channel> </rss>
- First, you’ll need permalinks for individual comments:
- In your individual entry template, add <a name=”<$MTCommentID pad=”1″$>”></a> just before <$MTCommentBody$>
- Turn the comment date into a permalink with <a href=”<$MTBlogArchiveURL$><$MTCommentEntryID pad=”1″$>.php#<$MTCommentID pad=”1″$>”><$MTCommentDate$></a> (note the “.php”, which you’ll need to change to the file extension for your individual entry archives)
- Then, create a new archive template (Templates -> Create new archive template), name it something useful like Individual post RSS feed, paste in the template code above and save the template
- Tell MT what sort of archive template it should be (Blog Config -> Archiving -> Add New…): Archive Type should be Individual, and the Template should be the one you just created
- Tell MT how to name the new files: in the input area in the Archive File Template by your newly created entry, add <$MTEntryID pad=”1″$>.xml so that the filename for your RSS feed for entry 666 (which has a filename like 000666.php or 000666.html) will be 000666.xml
- Save your changes, and then Rebuild Individual Archives Only, and you should have RSS feeds for each entry and its comments. If it worked, and adding a new comment rebuilds the feed, you just need to add a link to the feed (in your individual entry template at least, possibly also in the comment popup template), and then sit back and enjoy the increase in comments once people discover that they can keep track of replies