Avoid RSS overload – subscribe to WordPress blogs *by Category*

Now that the number of Exc-el / eduBuzz blogs is going up, it’s becoming more important to develop ways to sort out the information you want to see from the stuff you don’t.

Maybe you’ve discovered RSS feeds, and are using them to subscribe to blogs of interest. So far, so good. In your RSS aggregator, say Bloglines, you’ll see an entry for each blog you’ve subscribed to, and beside that entry a number showing how many new posts there have been since your last visit.

But what if the blog’s very active and wide-ranging, and you’re only interested in posts on one subject? Subscribe to the blog’s feed, and you’re going to have to browse through every new post looking for the ones you want. That’s a waste of time.

Fortunately WordPress offers a better way: it lets you subscribe to posts in selected categories.
Let’s look at a practical example. Don’s Learning Log is one of the most active Exc-el blogs, and covers a wide range of educational subjects. The RSS feed for the Posts is at https://www.edubuzz.org/donsblog/feed. But let’s say you’re only interested in what Don’s posts on Parental Involvement. He’s already categorising his posts, and has a category “Parental Invovement”. We can use that to automate the process of selecting the posts we want to see.

Here’s how to find a feed for Don’s posts about Parental Involvement:

  1. From the blog’s home page, go to the list of Categories, and click Parental Involvement
  2. That will display the archive for posts in that category. Copy the URL that’s being used to display those posts, which will be https://www.edubuzz.org/donsblog/category/parental-involvement/
  3. To that URL, add the word feed/, to make it https://www.edubuzz.org/donsblog/category/parental-involvement/feed/

You now have a feed which will display only those posts. And of course that can be used in a number of ways. For example, the posts could be syndicated elsewhere, like this (using the firstRSS plugin):

[rsspara:https://www.edubuzz.org/donsblog/category/parental-involvement/feed/]

Published by

David Gilmour

Learning Technologist East Lothian Council