Updates to the SBN Site

When I first created the Savage Bloggers Network (SBN), I used Blogger as the platform for hosting the site. Google Reader and Feedburner are the actual delivery methods. I was able to embed a snippet of the Feedburner feed in a single post that stayed permanently on the home page with any RSS links pointing to the Feedburner feed. I chose to put the feed into a post as the easiest means of displaying the most recent posts on the home page.

Back then, I was also able to use Google Reader's Notes feature for posting any updates about the SBN itself so as not to mess up the display in Blogger. It was easy to tag notes in Reader, adding them to the feed of that shared folder/tag. Unfortunately, Google decided to strip away all social aspects of Google Reader, including Notes, which weren't necessarily social, but Google felt compelled to remove that feature anyway. (Note: Google also removed the ability to share items or entire collections of tagged items via a feed. The feed still works, which is how I'm currently pushing individual feeds and items into the main SBN feed.)

Ever since the Notes feature was removed from Reader, I wanted an easy method to share announcements or updates. I finally decided to move the main feed to a page and use the posts in the blog for those announcements by tagging them as such and adding a feed for that tag to the SBN folder in Reader. This means the main feed will no longer display by default when the site first loads, but the updates will; currently Blogger doesn't give the ability to alter which page loads by default when the sites URL is loaded.

Honestly, I don't see this as a big problem for the following reasons:

  1. The announcements aren't drawing away from the main feed.
  2. Most people aren't reading the feed from the site; they're following it via Twitter or an feed aggregator.
  3. On some occasions, it might be relatively important for the announcements and updates to appear first.

I hope you find these changes to the site as an improvement. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to drop a comment below.

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