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WordPress Aggregator Blog :: Want one?

UPDATE:
Feel free to read all this and experiment with this form of aggregator. However, FeedWordPress is the best solution to your needs, in my opinion. Check it out and you’ll see that it is a plugin and much easier to implement – plus, it doesn’t have the flaws you’ll encounter in the version below.


OK, I think I’ve got this worked out and the instructions seem to make sense after looking over them.

Sorry for the delay in getting this up.

I did several test runs to see if it works, first. You may see them at these sites:

Writers :: Snark :: Test One :: Test Two

I placed two themes in there – Letterhead and orangesky – and they are already edited to link the posts to either (a) all titles lead to the source blog (orangesky) or (b) titles lead to single post where you can enable comments (just undo the <– and –> codes that I placed in the files of the themes). It varies per theme, so you’ll be looking at post.php in some and comments.php, etc. in others. Just search around.

Please comment here if you have any questions. Also, please let me know if it works, or if you have any problems. That way I can fix any errors or add to the instructions. I’m tired and figure I better get this up for the few that wanted it. Enjoy.

I am irked that I can’t get it work well with RSS other than 0.92/rdf feeds. It will pull all feeds in, but it doesn’t do well with the dates. That’s beyond me and my skills. Sorry. I tried, but it will take much longer to learn all that.

I hope this will make it fairly easy for people with limited skills to easily implement a RSS Aggregator Blog almost out of the box, so to speak.

UPDATE: If you are intersted in WordPress aggregator blogs, check this post out. It is from RadGeek. IMO, it is a better aggregator option than the one I’m offering here, actually. It is a true plugin and works very well. There are no date problems. It handles all RSS/Atom feeds well, as far as I can tell. It will be the ‘keeper’ app for WordPress aggregator blogs for me.

If you’re interested in this option I’m offering, just read on …

Here are the instructions, if you want to read them first.

Download the full zip file for a total blog here: wp-agg-blog.zip, or …
Download only the files needed to incorporate this in an existing blog here: wp-agg-magpie.zip.

Why do I provide these all in one? Because it was easier to offer them up in installation packages that I’ve tried out and not write out the whole ‘fixes’ etc. that I placed in there.

Now, the instructions / how-to:

ONE THING I LEFT OUT — SORRY!!!

You can create a cron job to hit the wp-rss-aggregate.php file once a day to update the blog. Check with your service provider to see if, and then how, to do a cron job if you don’t know how. It is fairly easy.

INTRODUCTION

Credits:

What powers this blog.

WordPress – Blog Platform — http://wordpress.org/
MagpieRSS – RSS Aggregator — http://magpierss.sourceforge.net/
WordPress RSS Aggregator – Kellan Elliott-McCrea’s Script — http://laughingmeme.org/archives/002203.html

INSTALL OF BLOG AND MAGPIERSS AND KELLAN’S WP-RSS-AGG SCRIPT

Use the wp-agg-blog.zip. Everything you need is in there.

STEP ONE

Unzip the files.

STEP TWO

Edit wp-config.php as usual. Change these variables:

// ** MySQL settings ** //
define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘name’); // The name of the database
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘user’); // Your MySQL username
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘password’); // …and password
define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’); // 99% chance you won’t need to change this value

// Change the prefix if you want to have multiple blogs in a single database.
$table_prefix = ‘wpagg_’; // example: ‘wp_’ or ‘b2′ or ‘mylogin_’ or whatever while retaining the trailing underscore.

STEP THREE

These are the folders/files you’ll be working with. They are in /wp-content/
/cache/ (you’ll chmod this later to 777)
/magpierss/
wp-agg.ini (you’ll edit this per the instructions below)
wp-rss-aggregate.php

(wp-agg.ini.txt is just a long example of some blogs to show you how to put feeds from many blogs into one blog aggregator.
Please don’t use those blogs. A suggestion to you, if you are going to do this with any other blog feeds and make it a public blog, I suggest you write to the owners of the feeds and ask permission first.)

Open wp-agg.ini and edit as follows:

[source infopinions] // change infopinions to whatever word you wish – this does not show up anywhere
url = http://www.auburnmedia.com/wordpress/wp-rdf.php // drop in your ‘rdf’ url – others work, but dates do not transfer well
cats = infOpinions // this will be a category – use upper and lower case letters as you wish it to appear

Rinse and repeat, so to speak. Just use that same format (always with a blank line between each set) like this:

[source blog1]
url = http://www.theirdomain.com/blogdirectory/wp-rdf.php
cats = Blog One

[source blog2]
url = http://www.theirdomain.com/blogdirectory/wp-rdf.php
cats = Blog Two

[source blog3]
url = http://www.theirdomain.com/blogdirectory/wp-rdf.php
cats = Blog Three

No blank lines at the top or bottom, please. Just one inbetween each set.

** IMPORTANT **
This aggregator works with all types of feeds, but not well with those other than RSS .9 (‘.rdf’ extension)

I always use the name of the source blog for the ‘cats’ indentifier so that I may create a list of the source blog posts (all of them) in one place. It makes for easier navigation by users, I think.

Also, the script brings in whatever categories the posts were in at the original blog. So, be aware of that ‘and’ that if the originating blog uses multiple categories, it might not come in ‘pretty’. So, you’ll probably have to hand code the sidebar rather than using the ‘php’ for showing categories.

STEP FOUR

Now, use FTP to upload all the files you unzipped into your server directory (root, or sub-directory – doesn’t matter).

chmod the ‘cache’ folder in ‘wp-content’ to 777

STEP FIVE

Setup WordPress as usual:

http://wordpress.org/docs/installation/

There have been reports of this actually taking less than five minutes, but we’re not responsible for the installation being easier than it should be.

1. Make sure your host meets the requirements. Also, have a database ready with proper username and password.
2. Unzip the package you downloaded.
3. Open up wp-config-sample.php and fill in your database details. Save and rename the file to wp-config.php.
4. Upload all the files to your webhost
5. Run the installation file. Relative to where you uploaded the files, it’ll be in wp-admin/install.php.

That’s it! At the end of the installation it will give you a login and a random password. The password is random, so be sure to write it down or at least copy and paste it. Once you’re logged in you can change the password.

STEP SIX

Now, if you went with the full blog install I provided, you need to do this:

1. Surf to http://www.yourdomain.com/blogdirectory/wp-content/wp-rss-aggregate.php

Be patient. That should load in all the posts from the source blog/feed. If you’re bringing in from a blog or site, they’ve likely decided how many posts they are going to give you. The default seems to be 10.

Now, surf to http://www.yourdomain.com/blogdirectory/ and you should see a blog now populated with posts from the feeds your indicated in wp-agg.ini.

That’s all.

————————————————

Want to incorporate this into an existing blog?

ARE YOU JUST USING THE FILES FROM Kellan’s WP-RSS-AGGREGATE.PHP install – and MagpieRSS?

Use the wp-agg-magpie.zip file. (See above)

/cache/
/magpierss/
wp-agg.ini
wp-rss-aggregate.php

wp-agg.ini.txt is just a long example of some blogs to show you how to put feeds from many blogs into one blog aggregator.

STEP ONE

In the folder ‘just_the_wpp_aggregator_files’, open wp-agg.ini and edit as follows:

[source infopinions] // change infopinions to whatever word you wish – this does not show up anywhere
url = http://www.auburnmedia.com/wordpress/wp-rdf.php // drop in your ‘rdf’ url – others work, but dates do not transfer well
cats = infOpinions // this will be a category – use upper and lower case letters as you wish it to appear

Rinse and repeat, so to speak. Just use that same format (always with a blank line between each set) like this:

[source blog1]
url = http://www.theirdomain.com/blogdirectory/wp-rdf.php
cats = Blog One

[source blog2]
url = http://www.theirdomain.com/blogdirectory/wp-rdf.php
cats = Blog Two

[source blog3]
url = http://www.theirdomain.com/blogdirectory/wp-rdf.php
cats = Blog Three

No blank lines at the top or bottom, please. Just one inbetween each set.

** IMPORTANT **
This aggregator works with all types of feeds, but not well with those other than RSS .9 (‘.rdf’ extension)

I always use the name of the source blog for the ‘cats’ indentifier so that I may create a list of the source blog posts (all of them) in one place. It makes for easier navigation by users, I think.

Also, the script brings in whatever categories the posts were in at the original blog. So, be aware of that ‘and’ that if the originating blog uses multiple categories, it might not come in ‘pretty’. So, you’ll probably have to hand code the sidebar rather than using the ‘php’ for showing categories.

STEP TWO

Upload the folders/files within the folder ‘just_the_wpp_aggregator_files’ into your existing wp-content folder.

chmod the ‘cache’ folder in ‘wp-content’ to 777

Then, for the wp-rss-aggregate.php file, do this:

INSTALL:
1. drop in /wp-content
2. drop a copy of MapgieRSS into /wp-content
3. update wp-agg.ini (see below)
4. install a cron job to run periodically,
5. alternately browse to http:///wp-content/wp-rss-aggregate.php

Create a folder in wp-content called ‘cache’ and chmod it to 775.

For more MagpieRSS info, see http://laughingmeme.org/magpie_blog/?p=80

Use the wp-agg.ini ‘sample’ file to edit to your needs. Just follow/mimic the structure.

Example:

In this example, all you have to edit is:

- ‘blogwriteforceos’ to whatever title you wish. Doesn’t matter what it is, but I chose to do it without spaces. This does not show up on your blog.
- change the url to whatever the RSS feed is.
- change the cats (for categories) to whatever you want that to be. this ‘will’ show up in your categories. Use upper/lowercase and use spaces just as you want it to appear.

[source blogwriteforceos]
url = http://blogwrite.blogs.com/blogwrite/index.rdf
cats = Weil CEO

Copy that structure and edit each one, as in these two examples:

[source bizblogwriting]
url = http://www.debbieweil.com/index.rdf
cats = Weil-Writing

[source blyblog]
url = http://www.bly.com/blog/wp-rss2.php
cats = Bly

That’s all I’ve got. Please let me know if this does (or does not) work for you.

Good luck.



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  • http://www.ccomfort.com/blog/ HemisphereDancer

    Created something similar, called the Combloggeration™. It does not use wordpress, though it reads WordPress and Blogger.
    http://www.ccomfort.com/rss/
    My blog: http://www.ccomfort.com/blog

  • http://www.auburnmedia.com/ Robert

    Thanks for the tip to “Combloggeration” … do you have a tutorial up for how you did it? Or, would you be willing to provide one? I’d like to see if I can build one, too.
    Thanks for sharing the site.

  • http://blog.bookieboy.co.uk Edwin

    One thing I just noticed, is that every post that I pull from RSS feeds, now is labeled as being posted by me. Can I change this somehow?

  • http://www.auburnmedia.com/ Robert

    Hey Edwin,
    I’m guessing that this is becuase the script is not grabbing the author tag from the blog feeds you are using.
    I had not thought this through because the theme I’m using for the aggregator blog only has the “Posted in (categories)” line and does not use the Author tag.
    I created a category for the blog author’s name and place all posts in that category using the ‘cats = categoryname’ section of wp-agg.ini file.
    Austin McAdory has been doing some tweaking of the script to see if some of these bugs can be worked out. I’ll ask him about it.
    Also, I don’t know that you would want to put their name as having posted in your blog (since, in essence, they are not posting – you are posting them in your blog). That’s why I went with the category to identify them, instead.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with it. This can help make the script work better. :o) Take care.
    Robert

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  • http://blog.bookieboy.co.uk Edwin

    Something else I noticed:
    All the posts from the RSS feeds are being posted with a ‘December 1969′ date-stamp.
    [quote]
    Also, I don’t know that you would want to put their name as having posted in your blog (since, in essence, they are not posting – you are posting them in your blog). That’s why I went with the category to identify them, instead.
    [/quote]
    You are right. Didn’t think about that.

  • http://www.alexandrasamuel.com/blog Alex

    I haven’t been able to get Kellan’s aggregator to work in WordPress 1.5, and my understanding is that it’s because he has yet to fix the implementation of Magpie in the latest WordPress release.
    Have you somehow been able to get it workign in the current WP build?
    Alex

  • http://www.auburnmedia.com/ Robert

    Hey Alex,
    Yes, in fact this link is a zipped up WordPress 1.5 install with MagpieRSS and the wp-rss-aggregate.php all ready to be uploaded and intstalled. The wp-rss-agg file and magpierss are already in the right place (correct directory structure) to make it work. Give it a try.
    Thanks.

  • http://www.auburnmedia.com/ Robert

    Hey Edwin,

    Yep, that date thing stymies me, too.

    I’m now thinking that for a truly all encompassing aggregator into your blog, try this one:

    FeedWordPress from RadGeek.

    I’ve added it into a blog and, with the cURL PHP extension turned on, it works fine. With FeedWordPress you will get a plugin that does even more than the wp-rss-aggregate.php hack. Easier to implement and works on all RSS/Atom feeds without those errors.

    I’m still testing it, but haven’t found any problems thus far.

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  • http://blog.bookieboy.co.uk Edwin

    Okay, I’m going to try the solution you offered.
    I’m reinstalling my Blog at the moment, but I will let you know if this one works better.
    Thanks

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