Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Using Your Own Reader Feed to display latest posts

One of the weaknesses of Google Blogger is no easy widget in the templates to display your latest 10 posts .

You can place the archiving widget in your sidebar but the problem is options are limited and once chosen often can show to many or to few posts.

There are a number of widgets available out there and I will go through just a few.

1 My Favorite just put your own feed through Google Reader make a tag with website name choose public and choose add a clip as shown below , I did create a Reader Help Guide on an earlier post here.

using blog feed to create 10 latest posts

Now like all things there are a couple of disadvantages
1. The text is bloody huge and dominates the page
2. There is no option to display some of the first words of the post as a teaser.

The Big advantages
1. Super easy to implement
2. Very little delay in updating latest posts ( few minutes maximum )

OK so lets look at alternative ( once again a company owned by Google ( Feedburner )

Below is A feed from feedburner as you can see the text is much smaller and looks nicer plus it has some small amount of text as a teaser to the post.

The process to do this is quite simple
1. Register ( Create Log In ) on Feedburner
2. Add your Blog Feed
3. Choose Buzz Boost
4. Choose Options
5. Grab The Code They supply
6. Choose Customize and Add Page Element ( HTML / Javascript )
7 Post the code in to page element and Bobs Your Uncle
This is just one option you could create a headline animator or change the way your feed looks and so much more play with it You Can Not Break Your Blog or Their Software so play and learn

Now there tons of options or you can go one step further and create a sexy looking widget using the Spring Widgets Skin Option Available inside Feedburner

1. Just Choose Spring Widgets Skin From The Sidebar on Feedburner >>> Publizice
2. Add a graphic ( bug requires you must have a graphic ) So I used an old one I had Kicking around for The Power Guides
3. It will now generate your nice widget which you could put in your sidebar
using add html / javascript

Each one of these options adds a delay in updating your feed to display the latest posts and things like Spring Widgets also can slow down the time it takes to display your page .

I will stick to my boring Google Reader option but try these things and see what is best for you

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