Moon Feeds on Moonblogsfromsyb

There has been some recent changes over at moonblogsfromsyb, the Let's Get Political  section had got a bit sparse due to Liberal Conspiracy going into semi retirement and Owen Hatherley becoming dormant along with the "too good to be true" William Forbes blog in the Daily Mail and The Economy Stupid section had become non existent due to Stephanie Flanders  leaving the BBC for "Mammon".

There has been a number of columns in both the Independent and the London Evening Standard that I would have liked to have included but, as I pointed out in my open letter to "two beards" Evgeny Lebedev, it is for some unfathomable reason not possible from their websites. This contrasts markedly with the Guardian from which we have the great Dave Hill blog and the Daily Telegraph website which manages to create feeds that include adverts.

Well if a two bearded son of a Russian oligarch won't help then you just have to do it yourself....

My first call was to Google though, post Google Reader they had hidden their news search feeds a bit, they did still work and they had even updated Google Alerts to give an RSS option. It is possible to do a news search that only searches for a specific term within a specific site but unfortunately, with both the Standard and the  Independent, they are dependent on the article having the authors name in the text of the article. This does work for  Richard Godwin as for his articles on current affairs do have his name in the title and thankfully his cocktail articles do not but it does not work for "Voices"  in the Independent as they rarely do have their name in the title and all it finds articles in which other writers have mentioned them.

For Anthony Hilton it was worse as Google did not consider his articles as "news" and so it did not work at all even when I did a Google Alert that was meant to look for "everything". The Independent does actually offer some feeds including one for Hamish MacRae but even this does not work properly as not all his articles are actually filed in the same place on the site...

I did already know of sites that offered to create RSS feeds and I had used the only completely free simple one Page2RSS but it simply finds any changes to a page and do it would find new articles on Mark Steel's Biography page but it would also pick up all the latest news etc as well. The only other potentially free service is Feed43 (the clue is in the name) but it does require you to understand how to do parameters etc etc which is all a bit much for an untech...

However there is good guidance and examples to crib from and so armed with that, and the ability to copy and paste, I was able to create a feed from the Mark Steel biography page despite not really understanding what I was doing.

It did take a bit of fiddling about to get the image to display  in moonblogsfromsyb but now it does. The Feed43 server has also gone down for a couple of days which caused the only activity in their Twitter feed for nearly two years - so it is maybe not a common occurrence.

Also free feeds are only possible as long as the parts page you want the feed from are within the first 100kb of the page and free feeds only get updated every 6 hours and so there is paid options.

I then tried to create a new feed from the biography page of Anthony Hilton in the Standard and it worked but I then found that on the Standard the biography pages were not being updated or articles kept appearing then disappearing. It seemed that Mr Hilton really was truly un-followable but then he managed to win Business Journalist of the Year at the Financial Media Awards and hey presto Google decided his articles were in fact "news".

So therefore below is the new content in moonblogsfromsyb with their respective feed.

In Let's Get Political:

Mark Steel from the Independent

Brilliant commentary on the generally absurd goings on in the political world in the UK which you really don't need to be some raving lefty to appreciate and find despairingly amusing.

This feed now also had it's very own blog from which you can also follow the feed by email, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

Richard Godwin in the Standard

Rather like Anthony Hilton on economics he manages to cut through the crap of issues of the day very succinctly. Thankfully his current affairs posts, for the moments at least, all have his name in the title but not his articles as "Cocktail Correspondent"or his interviews for ES magazine. Although I might add the odd one of those via the wonder of Feedly tags - see below.

This is his Google search feed:

Owen Jones in the Guardian

He looks about 12 as you may have noticed with his frequent visits to TV studios but he is very much old skool labour which is not quite the same as the  mystical "Old Labour" which preceded Tony Blair. He was until recently with the Independent but has moved to the Guardian and so he therefore has a proper feed! and the content has not changed and continues to impress.

Social Media/Tech:

John Naughton in the Observer

The professor of the public understanding of technology at the Open University. He is the author of From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know About the Internet. And he tends not to mince his words. Below is a couple of good examples:

"the awful moment when the public sector has to upgrade its computers is approaching inexorably. Think of it as technology's equivalent to the Scottish referendum."

"Facebook, on the other hand, makes nothing. It just provides an online service that, for the moment, people seem to value. But in order to make money out of those users and satisfy the denizens of Wall Street, it has to become ever more intrusive and manipulative. It's condemned, in other words, to intrusive overstretch. Which is why, in the end, it will become a footnote in the history of the internet. Just like Microsoft, in fact. Sic transit gloria"

The Observer is part of the Guardian online and so the feed is not problem. His articles can be in up 9 feeds including his very own one which you can find right next to his name in his biography.

The Economy Stupid:

Anthony Hilton in the Standard

As mentioned above the Business Journalist of the Year at the Financial Media Awards and so now considered "news". His articles have featured a few times in the Moon and below are a few highlights:

"In its four years, the Government has already borrowed more than Labour did in 13 years"

"Help to Buy is the major source of assistance for people seeking to buy social housing in the regions. It is making home ownership affordable to a whole slice of society which simply would not have a chance otherwise because they could never have accumulated enough deposit, but almost all of this is well outside London."

"So where did all the money go? If Thatcher really did change the British economy for the better, how come the generation that spent most time working in it is worse off than the generation earlier, which had to make its way in the 1960s and 1970s?"

"The medicine having failed, his solution is to prescribe still more of it — so he has unveiled £3 billion more of cuts now, and warned of or promised still more cuts in the future. Einstein, one of the great brains of the 20th century, did once say that to repeat an action while expecting a different result was a sign of madness. But Einstein was not a politician."

"Until Big Bang, the problems came from dishonest people working in honest firms; today the problems are caused by honest people working in dishonest firms. The culture is rotten."

Pre 2008 he was was warning of the unsustainable debt levels and what was happening in the City but more recently was not convinced that we had a double dip never mind a triple dip recession and the stats are finally catching up with him. He is also however not convinced that the current recovery is sustainable but it it is better than nothing and though he has been scathing of dear Curious George many times his can also give credit where credit is due.

Here is his Google search news feed:

Hamish McRae in the Independent

Like Mr Hilton he did warn of the un-sustainability of pre 2008 and was also not convinced that we had a double dip never mind a triple dip recession and  is also not convinced that the current recovery is very sustainable but again thinks it is better than nothing. He is not as strident as Mr Hilton and tend to hedge his bets a bit- rather like Ms Flanders did with her BBC blog but, again like she did, he does some great analysis of the UK and worldwide economic issues.

His feed has no images as some of his articles don't have them and so FEED43 would not pick them up (though Feedly does manage to pick out a thumbnail from the URL)

Feedly Tags

I may also add the odd article via Feedly and IFTTT simply by adding a tag to an article. It can be done on just about any device and it is pretty amazing that with these two brilliant free services you can just so easily share an article to mulitiple blogs/social media. My tags will add articles to the relevant categories in moonblogsfromsyb which will then of course send it on to Facebook and Twitter and even the  Google+ page via the wonder that is Hootsuite.


Trending on The Moon