More on BlogRolling "recently updated" problems


I've done some more investigation into why most blogs on my blogroll don't ever show up as recently updated.'s FAQ on how it determines which blogs have recently updated mentions that it relies on two RSS feeds in addition to direct pings. The two feeds are:

When I tried to add these feeds to Mozilla Thunderbird's RSS aggregator, both showed up as invalid RSS. I wonder if there has been some change to BlogRolling's method of reading and aggregating these feeds, so that it no longer tolerates deviations from the RSS standard, or if there have been changes to the Blogger and RSS feeds so that they are no longer compliant. Either way, this appears to be the broken link -- updated blogs are notifying Blogger and, but BlogRolling no longer can extract information from those sources and only reflects updates from the blogs that ping it directly.

The solution then is to add to the list of sites that are automatically pinged when you post. You can do this in Movable Type, and I imagine b2, WordPress, and any other advanced blog software has the capability to add to a list of standard sites to ping.

If you use Blogger, you can go to the Blogrolling update form and submit a ping manually.

may be an easier method for Blogger users, if it works as advertised. On the home page, you can check boxes for up to 14 services to ping, enter the name and address of your blog, and click submit. You'll see a results page, which you can bookmark. Clicking that bookmark in the future will submit a ping for your site to the same set of services. I tried this about 10 minutes ago (with and without the trailing virgule on the URL), and the results said the ping was accepted, but I have yet to see BatesLine's updated status change.

While I'm waiting to see if that changes, I'll tell you about some other odd technical matters. I checked my site stats yesterday through awstats, which is provided as part of my hosting package, and it reported over 6,000 visits for Sunday, which is usually the lowest-traffic day of the week. A look at the raw log revealed that awstats must have counted wach visit yesterday as 8 or 9 visits. We'll see if awstats recounts everything correctly when it runs tonight.

Here's the other weird thing -- in a couple of days' time, I've had two dozen referrals from -- the International Atomic Energy Agency. Something like this happened last August, too, but at the time I didn't think to examine the raw log to see where those visits come from and which pages are being hit. All the hits came from (apparently a server in Mexico City), started with the article about the legal threat I received from the Tulsa World, and then visited all the pages linked from that page. I suspect what I saw was a test run for a referrer, trackback, or comment spambot. I've banned the IP address from accessing the site, just to be on the safe side.

All right: It's been nearly an hour, and the ping via Ping-O-Meter still isn't reflected by BlogRolling, so I'll assume it doesn't work. Some clever person out there must have developed a one-click bookmarklet to ping BlogRolling, as an alternative to filling in the form each time. Let me know about it, and I'll link to it.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 13, 2005 3:27 PM.

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