Multiple Items are a difficult thing. Can you help me?

Currently I’m counting multiple items based on links. The problem with links is that they are not so unique as I initially thought.

An example:

Lois Gray shared the item “ReadBurner Goes from 0 to 12,000+ In Four Days” which links to:
214788569/readburner-goes-from-0-to-12000-in-four.html .

I reshared the item using the most recent feed of ReadBurner but there the link is:

The real link suddenly appears in the original:id field of the feed but I cannot use this field either, because sometimes google writes something completely usesless into this field.


I saw this problem coming from the first day, but due to the leak I had no time look more deeply into it. One thing I tried was counting by Headline, but it made some strange problems, so I threw the code away.

My questions to you:

  • Can there happen something strange, when I’m comparing mulit-items by Title. Don’t know what it can be. Something like Charset problems in other lanugages or titles with html in it or what the heck ever?
  • Is there maybe a much easier way to get a unique id of an shared item?

Let me know if you’ve got some ideas.


7 thoughts on “Multiple Items are a difficult thing. Can you help me?

  1. Sebastian Moser

    The -tag provides a unique ID for every feed item. If you re-distribute this in your Feedburner-Feed, this should save your problems. If that is what you asked for. (I don’t 100% understand the question, but I’m not a RSS expert.)

    Something else: It would be better if you’d re-distribute the original author of the feed you’re sharing in the FeedBurner-feeds. In Google Reader, I always see ReadBurner as the author of a feed. Is it possible to return the _original_ feed?

  2. thedude2002 Post author

    Unfortunately, the unique ID is unique to the item in one linkblog, but not to the same item in another linkblog.

    Concerning author, source and other things: I’m updating my db and will start providing better results soon.

  3. Louis Gray

    Google Reader tends to show the most recent source, so if I see an original item, share it and later, a second person shares it who I am subscribed to, the second person’s shared items will be the source. They don’t have it nailed either, obviously.

    *** And Louis has a “u” in it. 🙂

  4. Mike Reynolds

    Yes, per Louis Gray, Google Reader struggles with this, too. I get some stories listed perhaps 4-6 times per day, if not more in Google Reader. Without doing a TON of work, things are just fine the way they are now.

    A related problem will be when people share links to the source story, rather than the story itself. An example is a ma.gnolia feed I subscribe to (most from Chris Messina). I’ll share that sometimes, but the content takes you to Chris’ links on ma.gnolia, not the root article itself.

    Given these issues, it would really take a lot of work to make things perfect. I say let’s just be happy that ReadBurner provides some general guidelines. As a poweruser, I’m already reading most of the articles on ReadBurner. The added value I get is confirmation that what I think is share-worthy is also deemed share-worthy by others. Occasionally, I do run across some new content though.

  5. Randy Aldrich

    You’re going to run into a lot of similar problems. What you need to do is emitt the actual item shared as opposed to your COPY of the the item.

    My Yahoo Pipe, which I shared with you earlier, resolves this problem because it looks at the feed for the first person who shared the item and then emitts the appropriate item.

  6. Randy Aldrich

    If you’re not open to changing the way your RSS feed works I would suggest changing the links to use the original link. I see this as a problem in your RSS feed generation as opposed to a problem you can resolve with reedburner.

    This is a common problem digg faces.


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