Saturday, December 11, 2010

Blogger's new jump-break-feed option

Bloggers can now set their feeds to end at the jump break while preserving most formatting and hypertext markup.

The new Feed option, which Blogger announced on December 9, is in addition to the the Full and Short options, which are still available. From my point of view, however, it is superior to the old choices in nearly every way. I urge all bloggers who care about feeds to check it out.

Until now, bloggers have had to choose between short feeds that are stripped of all formatting and links versus full feeds that comprise the entire blog.

Blogger software engineer Ben Eitzen details how the new jump-break feed works and how to chose it here.

Feeds are integral to many blogger hacks and tweaks, including the Blog Journey hack that lets you show your blog in chronological order. Applying this hack to Full feeds is fundamentally simpler than to Short feeds, but some bloggers (including me) prefer not to broadcast their entire blog posts to followers and subscribers.

Right now it appears as though the new option offers the best of both, a shorter feed that retains all inline formating and markup, including images. As a bonus, it plays very nicely with the Blog Journey hack: blogger can use it with the Full Feed pipe, which requires no tweaking or Pipes account.

Inline formatting includes bold, italic, line returns, tables, and images. It does not include formatting that is applied by the blog template, such as the size and color and typeface of the text.

For the Blog Journey hack, this new choice sounds superior in almost every way to the Short feed. I have already switched the feed of this blog to Jump Break to test things out. If it works as advertised I will be adding the option to my documentation of the Blog Journey hack soon.

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