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TypePad feeds are back

It's time for some chat about RSS/Atom feeds, and let's start with some good news.

A few months ago, when we were fetching the feeds of any TypePad blogs, they were returning a "403 Forbidden" error because they were protected by Cloudflare's anti-bot captcha mechanism. Cloudflare have a list of approved bots but to get on their list you must satisfy various conditions, including sending at least 1000 requests per day. isn't that big or aggressive, so it wasn't a surprise that we never heard anything back from our application.

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A page for every blog

A couple of months ago regular visitors might have noticed a little change to the site – every blog now has its own page. Now that this is working smoothly, and seasonal holidays are out of the way, here's the blog post about that change.

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All TypePad feeds are failing

As mentioned last time there are always a few blogs' feeds that we have problems fetching, ultimately giving up until we one day find a solution. Usually they're either 403 Forbidden errors, or difficulties connecting to the domain, despite the feeds being visible/downloadable in a web browser. But for more than a week, all the feeds we track that are hosted at TypePad have been returning 403 errors. This means that, along with other failing blogs, we can no longer display the latest posts for TypePad blogs.

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2 tiny features and 2000 blogs

It's been a while, so a quick update, leading with the fact we've just passed 2,000 blogs in the directory!

Progress has been slower than usual – what with, you know, life – but it's good to pass another milestone and to know there are still so many, many interesting blogs out there yet to add.

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What does recently updated mean?

You might be familiar with the Recently updated blogs page, which shows a list of blogs ordered by those that posted most recently. It can be a nice way to see what people are blogging about right now. In fact, in a recent blog post, Warren Ellis said:

the recently updated blogs list is what I have instead of social media if I’m in the mood to “waste” time on my phone

Which sounds like a great idea. However, a while back I realised a small problem with the page. 

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Blog birthdays

We're keen to have the site's front page display interesting things even if we haven't been able to add new blogs to the site for a few days.

So we recently started highlighting any blogs that have notable birthdays today. Any blog that's having its 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, or 20th birthday, and that published a post within the past couple of months or so, will be highlighted on the front page.

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Blog posting frequencies

One problem with the Recently updated blogs page is that it's swamped by blogs that update several times a day.

And one thing that would be nice when browsing blogs in the directory is some indication of how how often a blog updates. Every day? Once in a blue moon? Both are fine but it'd be nice to know what to expect when adding a blog's feed to your reader.

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