How you publish full articles in your RSS feed if you are using Blogg.se

We just explained how WordPress users can make sure they publish a full RSS feed of their blog posts, which is required if you want to get linked by major websites using Twingly.

Since Twingly is based in Sweden and we have a lot of Swedish partner sites, we want to make sure that even users of the local blogging platform blogg.se get the chance to switch from RSS short to full feed. This is how you do it:

On your main dashboard, click on the tab “Inställningar”. You are presented with the “Blogg” controls, including a couple of options that you can check or uncheck. The second one is “Lämna ut hela inlägg i rss-flödet”. If you check that field, your RSS feed will contain full length articles, which is what we at Twingly recommend you to choose if you regularly link to our Twingly partners and want to get backlinks from them.

How you publish full articles in your RSS feed if you are using WordPress

If you are a blogger you can increase your traffic by getting linked from major websites that use the Twingly Blogstream widget.

In this post we explained in detail what you need to do to get visitors from leading e-commerce, news and event websites.

One requirement is that you publish your blog posts in full length via RSS, because RSS is what we crawl to find out whether you have linked to one of the websites using Twingly (which in turn can give you the backlink you were longing for).

So if you regularly link to our Twingly partners and want to get backlinks from them, you should check if your blog’s RSS feed shows full articles or only the first few lines.

For WordPress, the most common blogging platform, it’s easy to change from short to full feed: Simply go to your Settings control, click on “reading” and scroll to the section “For each article in a feed, show”. Here you can choose between “Full text” or “Summary”.

Make sure you select “Full text”. Summary only shows the first 55 words of each article, so if the link to one of the Twingly partner websites isn’t located in the first 55 words, we won’t see it and you won’t get your backlink.

This by the way works both for the hosted WordPress blogs at WordPress.com as well as for the self-hosted ones.

RSS won’t die, but news readers are evolving and becoming more social

For years, there has been talk about the death of RSS. While RSS has been the most common way for bloggers and information workers to gather and collect information from lots of sources, it has never really caught the attention of the mainstream users. There might be many reasons for that, but the rather “unsexy” name of the format, the relatively complicated way of subscribing to a RSS feed (for less experienced users) and the little efforts from publishers to market RSS (with the exception of blogs) definitely contributed to the slow adoption of RSS outside of the web geek sphere (imagine if subscribing to a RSS feed would have been as easy as “liking” something with Facebook…).

In recent times, the number of people claiming RSS will die has increased due to the emergence of the realtime web, mainly pushed by Twitter, which increasingly is becoming a news distribution service (also thanks to innovative, Twitter based news readers like Flipboard or Pulse). Even though RSS has become realtime capable thanks to protocols such as PubSubHubbub or RSS Cloud, it is still (incorrectly) being perceived as a slower way of accessing news and information than Twitter.

The recently announced end of web-based RSS reader Bloglines is grist for the mill of those who see RSS dying. Even though Bloglines has fallen into oblivion already years ago, it was still one of the two big browser-based full-fledged RSS readers out there. Now with Bloglines disappearing, only Google Reader is left, leaving not many alternatives to those that are trying to not become too depended on Google services (which can happen easily when using Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Reader).

Well, for all those people, we might have the solution: Twingly Channels, our social and collaborative news tool which one can use to import both RSS feeds and articles from blogs based around specific keywords.

But wait, didn’t I just describe how some think RSS seems to be dying? Well, I did, but in fact, it isn’t. Even though it is pretty clear that RSS won’t become a big mainstream phenomenon due to the reasons mentioned above, the number of RSS subscribers to many of the big tech blogs is still increasing, and ironically, many of the articles being shared on Twitter come from RSS feeds – either from users who find them in their RSS reader, or via Twitter accounts that belong to big news sites, which usually are fed with the site’s RSS feed.

So while it is possible that some former RSS hardcore users are giving up on the format and solely rely on Twitter and social news aggregators such as Techmeme in the future, there are no indications of a broader trend of people totally abandoning RSS.

Nevertheless, conventional web-based RSS readers (such as Bloglines or Google Reader) but even Desktop RSS clients have their drawbacks: They usually don’t allow for collaboration, they focus only on RSS and they are not really sharable. Having that in mind, let’s get back to Twingly Channels!

Twingly Channels is made for several people contributing together to one social news stream, where they monitor, “like” and comment on news items imported from both RSS feeds but also via keywords. To each item, the number of linking posts and retweets is shown. And of course you can share the Channel with other Twingly users!

We are aware that Twingly Channels doesn’t replace classic RSS Readers. But that’s not our intention either. In Fact, Twingly Channels is taking the concept of RSS to the next level, making it more social, and combining it with a keyword centric way of importing content. In the end, RSS will definitely stay for good (especially because of the realtime boost the format got thanks to PubSubHubBub and RSS Cloud), but conventional, unsocial RSS readers might disappear.

So if you have been using Bloglines and are looking for a new tool to manage your news and information, or if you are using another RSS client but are in the need of something more social, or if you don’t even use RSS but would like to try a social reader which simply brings you all the blog content regarding specific keywords, you should try Twingly Channels.

We wrote this guide to help you getting started. It’s easy, so give it a whirl! And if you want us to import your complete list of subscribed RSS feeds from Bloglines, Google Reader or any other RSS client, send us an email with the OPML-file (containing your subscriptions – you get this file by using the export function in your RSS reader) and the URL of your Twingly Channel (e.g. www.twingly.com/channelname) to support@twingly.com and we’ll take care of it!

/Martin Weigert

How to monitor the Social Web with Twingly

We know that many of you are working within marketing, media, are running a company or doing freelance work. And we are pretty sure that most of you are curious to see what users are publishing about you, your company, brands or services on the Social Web.

We have a tool that might help you collecting this information. With our blog and microblogging search you can easily monitor all the things people online say about you and the products you work with. That helps you to stay in touch with your loyal customers and target groups and also gives you valuable information for improving and enhancing your offerings.

So now we explain you how to get started. It’s only 3 steps! First, we’ll show you how to monitor what people are saying about you in blogs, and then how to monitor microblogging services like Twitter.

How to monitor blogs with Twingly

1. Go to www.twingly.com and sign in with your username and password. If you don’t have a Twingly account yet, you can create one for free by clicking on “sign up”

2. Click on the link “Blog search” in the navigation bar at the top of the site (the direct address to the Blog search is www.twingly.com/search). Now, enter the keyword or keywords you want to monitor into the search field, like the name of the company you are working for or of a specific product or brand. Press “search”.

3. What you are seeing now are the results of your search, that means all the blog articles from around the web that include the keyword(s) that you entered. Above the result list you find different filters to sort the results, for example by language or date they were published. For monitoring purposes we recommend you to change the “Sort by” filter from “TwinglyRank” to “Date”

To the right you see a box with the links “Subscribe to RSS” and “Create Email Alert”.

By clicking on “Create Email Alert”, you subscribe to the specific search by email. After you have done that, we’ll send you every day one email with the latest results for the search term(s) you choose. And if you are getting tired of too many emails, you can simply click the unsubscribe link in the mail whenever you want.

If you instead prefer to subscribe to the search by RSS, click on the “Subscribe to RSS” link, copy the complete link from your browser address bar and paste it into your RSS reader of choice, like Google Reader. Every time we find a new blog post mentioning the keyword(s) you chose, you’ll get it delivered right into your RSS reader.

How to monitor Twitter and other microblogging services with Twingly

1. Go to www.twingly.com and sign in with your username and password. If you don’t have a Twingly account yet, you can create one for free by clicking on “sign up”

2. Click on the link “Microblog search” in the navigation bar at the top of the site (the direct address to the Microblog search is www.twingly.com/microblogsearch). Now, enter the keyword or keywords you want to monitor into the search field, like the name of the company you are working for or of a specific product or brand. Press “Microblog search”.

3. What you are seeing now are the results of your search, that means all the mentions of the keyword(s) that you entered. To the right you see a box with a few microblogging services that you can either include or exclude in your search. We recommend you to not uncheck the Twitter results, since this is the microblogging service with the highest user activity.

After you have decided which services to include, you can choose between subscribing to the RSS feed of that search or to create an email alert instead:

By clicking on “Create Email Alert”, you subscribe to the specific search by email. After you have done that, we’ll send you every day one email with the latest results for the search term or search terms you choose. And if you are getting tired of too many emails, you can simply click the unsubscribe link in the mail whenever you want.

If you instead want to subscribe to the search by RSS, click on the “Subscribe to RSS” link, copy the complete link from your browser address bar and paste it into your RSS reader of choice, like Google Reader. Every time there are new microblogging posts mentioning the keyword(s) you chose, you’ll get them delivered right into your RSS reader.

Some final advices

  • If you don’t get many results for your search, a reason could be that you have entered too many keywords. Try to remove one or more of the keywords.
  • There are some more advanced search queries you can use to improve the results. Have a look at them here for the Blog search and here for the Microblog search.

/Martin Weigert