Tips for getting your blog aggregated

This is for H817Open students – the rest of you, move along now.

If you have registered your blog with the H817Open blog aggregator (by completing this form) and posts aren't coming through, here are some things to check:

1) Maybe it has come through – it checks every hour or so, and posts them according to the time originally published. So yours may end up on an "Older posts" page straightaway. So have a look through, or use the search box (at the bottom of the page) to search for an identifiable term in your post.

2) RSS where art thou? – in order to aggregate your posts, we need to find an RSS (or atom) feed. This is how blogs are picked up by blog readers. Some blogging platforms hide this away and it becomes a case of detective work to find it. If you can't find your RSS feed, then it's likely we can't either. WordPress, Blogger and (usually) Tumblr all have reasonably easy to find feeds. If yours is hidden, search for help on your platform and then find it and register the feed with us.

3) Tag it up – you need to tag your post with #h817open – this doesn't mean putting this term in the title or in the body of the text, but rather applying a tag. In blogger these are called labels. Again, search for help on your blogging platform if you aren't sure about tags.

4) Open, not closed – some blogging platforms, particularly the OU ones, have a setting where only certain people can read it (eg other OU people who are signed in). The blog aggregator can't access it if a password is required, so it needs to be made public.

5) Don't blog it – It isn't essential to register your blog and have it syndicated, you can point people to posts in the forums or in the Google Plus group that some students have set up. The blog is more of a sample of what is going on in the course, rather than a definitive record.

It's difficult to individually trouble shoot problems on an open course, but the above covers any problems we've encountered so far.


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