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Daily MTG RSS Woes December 3, 2008

Posted by Norm in Technology.
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Today I wrote a message to Wizards of the Coast regarding their RSS feed. You all saw how ecstatic I was to see they finally brought back their feed since launching the new site. If anyone has subscribed you would notice an excess of 20+ articles a day from Daily MTG. This would be cool except for the fact that these are the same 5-10 articles that have been recently written. I’m assuming there is some issue with how they are storing and cashing their posts, but I’m not an RSS guru so I don’t know exactly what the issue is. 

So I wrote a quick note to Wizards via their web help. I’ve gotten responses from them before on other issues so I feel confident that the issue will at least be heard. Here is a copy of the note:

I don’t know if you are aware but your RSS feed keeps pushing the same articles over and over. I’m really gald you added RSS back into the MTG site but this glitch is getting out of control. If you don’t know what I’m talking about subscribe to your RSS feed and wait a day. You will see the repetition in the posts.

Here is the feed in question: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/rss.aspx

If you have a better feed please let me know.

Thanks, Norm

I hope they fix the issue because as I’ve said before RSS is a great way to follow all of your MTG news. So I hope this doesn’t deter you if you are considering to start using RSS. 

On a side note. I wonder what back end Wizards uses for their articles. It doesn’t look like WordPress to me, maybe Typepad or Moveable Type? Does anyone know or does anyone from Wizards read this blog and want to talk about it?

UPDATE

Here is the response I revieved from a Marc this afternoon. 

Thanks for your feedback! We have regular meetings with the team that is responsible for this product and will pass all comments on to their attention. While we cannot guarantee a response to your feedback, we can promise that your comment will be heard. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.

I just checked my Google Reader and there are no new Daily MTG posts in there. However I did see a bunch of repeated posts in there this morning after writing this post and sending that message. Hopefully it gets taken care of.

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Comments»

1. Michael Rawdon - December 3, 2008

I have a feeling that their site is running specially-built software, rather than being based on common blogging software. I’m not sure what makes me think that. If they are running MT or something, then it looks like they’ve customized the hell out of it.

I think the fundamental problem with their RSS feed is that they’re not maintaining the state of the previously-published articles; I bet they’re just periodically generating it afresh and causing a bunch of old articles to get marked as ‘new’ because they have new, slightly different entries in the feed.

2. Norm - December 3, 2008

I hope that they figure it out because it really is a spam like situation. If they can’t get it together then the feed is broken and I’m going to stop subscribing to it.

As far as a blog engine goes maybe they are using their own custom service. I’ve looked into large blogging services before and I know they exist and are a bit pricy. Since Wizards has many authors, and probably editors and approvals, I’m assuming there are a lot of checks that go into a system like theirs. What I don’t understand is that they had it working great with the old site, so why did they break it. You can give the site a facelift without changing the back end.

I think you might be right in that they are constantly reposting the articles. Maybe this happens automatically. I hope they didn’t choose to do this for more exposure.


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