Tag Archives: rss

Subscribe to feeds on private blogs

Today we released a new plugin for WordPress that allows you to subscribe to the RSS feeds of private blogs using any RSS reader.

When you are logged in and viewing a private blog, the RSS feed links will now contain a special key unique to you and the blog that gives your reader access to the feed. There is nothing special you need to do, just subscribe as usual and feeds from private blogs will now work without redirecting your reader to the login page.

Oops, I emailed my private feed link to everyone!

If you accidentally share your personal feed link with others, you can go to your profile page and revoke your key for the blog in question.

Profile Screen Shot, showing the ability to revoke keys.

Note that you will need to resubscribe to the feeds yourself if you revoke a key.


  • If someone finds out my key, can they use it to access my other sites?
    No, keys are per-user and per-site.
  • I removed a user from my private site, will they still see updates?
    No, the feed keys just authenticate the user, they still are checked against the subscriber list before showing them content.
  • Will my feed key let me edit without logging in?
    No, the key only grants access to feeds, nothing more.

WordPress feeds can now include pages

During the past few years new versions of WordPress have made this system much easier to use — and our community has made use of these new abilities to make a wide range of sites structured in many ways.

Most of the content in WordPress sites are Posts, chronologically ordered entries that make up a ‘blog’ or news site. Pages on the other hand, are non-time-dependent content that can be arranged in a hierarchy. Traditionally, Pages in WordPress sites were used mostly for describing the blog, contact information, or other content that rarely changes and isn’t ‘newsworthy’. (more on Posts vs. Pages)

Recently, a number of sites have been making increasingly large use of Pages, such as to hold curricular resources that are then referenced from Posts describing assignments that use them. For sites that make significant use of Pages, site-owners can now enable the RSS Includes Pages plugin so that new pages are added to your site’s main feed. For course sites in WordPress, enabling this plugin will allow page additions to be fed into the Course Hub as updates.

We still recommend making use of Posts in WordPress sites to share new material with readers rather than heavily using Pages as Pages are still second-class citizens in many ways (such as support for tagging and categorization). With the new RSS Includes Pages plugin, Page-heavy sites can now feed new content to the Course Hub and others subscribed to their feeds.

Mapping in WordPress – GeoPress and GeoMashup

Robyn Tendai-Whyte and I just ran GeoPress and GeoMashup through the paces today. Both performed beautifully after a bit of massaging (and reading the directions!) Here are a few tips that we found helpful for anyone at Middlebury who would like to geo-locate their blog.


This plugin will allow you to take any post and add a Google map with a stick pin location. This is a nice feature for bloggers who are traveling, or who would like to give geographic location to a historical reference.

To use this plugin-

  1. Click on the “Plugins” link in the upper right hand corner of your blog’s Dashboard.
  2. Click the “Activate” link to the right of the GeoPress plugin.
  3. Click on the GeoPress tab, just under the name of your blog in the upper-left.
  4. Get a GoogleMaps Key and paste it next to GoogleMaps Key.
  5. Get a Yahoo AppID and paste it next to Yahoo AppID.
  6. Click on the UPDATE OPTIONS button.
  7. When you write a new post, scroll down to LOCATION.
  8. Type in an address and click on the “Geocode” link.
  9. Save and Publish your post.

The map will appear under your post with the location marked.


GeoMashup works in a different way. It will take all posts that have a location added, and create one map on a single page with a stick pin for every location.

To use this plugin-

  1. Click on the “Plugins” link in the upper right hand corner of your blog’s Dashboard.
  2. Click the “Activate” link to the right of the GeoMashup plugin.
  3. Click on the Settings tab in the upper-right.
  4. Click on the “Geo Mashup” tab.
  5. Get a GoogleMaps Key and paste it next to GoogleMaps Key. If you are using GeoPress, you may use the same Key (NOTE: Your key needs to be registered to your blog site: http://sites.middlebury.edu/[name of my blog])
  6. Choose the page where you would like the map to appear.
  7. Click on the UPDATE OPTIONS button.
  8. In the page you selected, add <!--GeoMashup--> in the content.
  9. When you write a new post, scroll down to LOCATION. If GeoPress is activated, this will be the second map.
  10. Type in an address and hit return. You will see a pin with your location.
  11. Save and Publish your post.

The page you selected will now have one map with every location on it. Each location will be labeled with the name of the post.