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Who here is using the XenForo Feeder?

System0

Active member
#1
One feature I've not used on any of my forums yet is the Xenforo Feeder. I'm planning on posting news stories in order to encourage more discussions etc and I'm interested in hearing from Xenforo users who use this feature.

I've been playing around with it a little in my test forum to get used to how it works.

  • What pros and cons people have found with using it on a live website?
  • Do you use a username to post articles or use the information from the feed?
  • How often do you fetch new posts? Have you found a sweet spot for how often to post new articles and encourage posts whilst not annoying members? Do you increase the frequency of posts for news stories as your forum grows?
  • What effect on SEO traffic and non SEO traffic does the post have? (i.e. does the duplicate content issue affect SEO traffic but traffic still increases from members etc)
  • Have you found that members reply to news stories a lot?
I'm keen on implementing Feeder on my forums this week but I want to get it right. That is, I don't want to set it up incorrectly and annoy members and then go back and delete articles etc. I'd rather get it right from the start :)

Thanks,
Kevin
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#2
http://www.gotitans.com use it in conjunction with XenPorta.

You will be able to see there how their community interacts with it.

I had to do a lot of custom work on GoTitans.com for the owner, Jeff, to get the RSS feeds displaying properly. The problem lies in the Feeder converting the HTML to BB Code. There are some things (there's an open bug report) that it doesn't convert properly.

For example, <p> tags aren't correctly converted to paragraphs. After a <p> paragraph, only one line break is inserted meaning most of the content is scrunched up together. There's other issues too - such as feeds containing logos and other media that you may not want displaying (adverts, social media buttons). There's no way (without custom coding) to filter this out.

I think the default time is 30 minutes. If you have lots of feeds you probably don't want to be pulling them down every 5 minutes as this could be detrimental to the forum performance. 30 minutes is probably suitable in most circumstances. I don't think you'd ever annoy members. At the end of the day, your forum can be generating new content every second. If they can't handle a few news stories appearing every 30 minutes then maybe they're in the wrong place :)

Jeff does use usernames, and he has created a special account for each of his news sources.

SEO wise it probably does benefit you. After all, you're automatically putting a load of keywords on your site, relevant to your content that Google will be indexing. What do you mean by duplicate content?
 

System0

Active member
#3
Thanks for the quick reply Chris. The way content is outputted is something that I forgot to ask about and it's certainly something that is a concern. I'm testing out xenporta on my test forum just now as well so it's great to see a site such as GoTitans use it in the same manner I want.

The alternative to using feeder is to pay people to post links to news stories and give their own spin or opinion on the news story. This obviously costs more and it also means more time spent discussing issues with authors. So if I can find a good automated solution it should be better.

With regards to some feeds adding unwanted content. I'd probably test all feeds out on my test forum first to see the output.

GoTitans is a great looking site. I love the way they have everything laid out etc.
 

System0

Active member
#4
I've been testing out various feeds through Feeder. All the content being published is short and is squashed up etc.

I can't find any clean feeds that post without links etc. This isn't the fault of Xenforo but it does make this feature less useful.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#5
This isn't the fault of Xenforo but it does make this feature less useful.
It is, actually. It's exactly the issue I was talking about in my post.

If you have content that looks like this:

HTML:
<p>This is a paragraph of text</p>
<p>This is another paragraph of text</p>
Then technically, XenForo should format it, thus:

HTML:
This is a paragraph of text
<br /><br />
This is another paragraph of text
Instead it does this:

HTML:
This is a paragraph of text
<br />
This is another paragraph of text
The end result is this:

This is a paragraph of text
This is another paragraph of text

Instead of

This is a paragraph of text

This is another paragraph of text


It can be fixed with custom code... I'll see if I can find it - I unofficially released it somewhere...[/html]
 

System0

Active member
#9
Thanks. It looks much better now. It's a nightmare finding suitable feeds though. All the regularly updated news sites and blogs just use short excerpts.
 
#12
We are using it on our forum but the 12 hour range with six feeds is swimming us in news. If I chose to uncheck "Post immediately" (as a quick fix) all posts even after the news are being sent to moderation. Its good in theory.