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New Feature: Add your external scuba blog to your DiveBuddy profile.
Greg - 1/31/2009 11:44 AM
Category: Web Site Help
Replies: 6

Do you write a scuba related blog on another website besides If so, you’ll love the new feature I just added for DiveBuddy members. You can now add your external blog RSS feed to your DiveBuddy profile and your articles will automatically be imported! Sounds pretty cool huh?

Your external blog must be more than 90% scuba related to be added to DiveBuddy...we are a scuba community after all. Violators may be suspended or inappropriate articles may be removed from our website.

All blog websites provide a link to your blog’s RSS feed. Just look for the term "RSS" somewhere on your blog, copy the web address and add it to your DiveBuddy profile. Here’s how you add it to DiveBuddy:

Every couple of days, DiveBuddy will ping your blog for updates and import any recent articles you have written. The imported articles become part of your DiveBuddy profile and can be edited the same way your regular DiveBuddy blog is. Members can add comments to the new articles, you can make changes, you can delete a certain article, etc.

Adding your external blog to DiveBuddy greatly increases your blog’s exposure. You reach an audience of scuba divers that are hungry for scuba related information and entertaining articles. A link back to your site/blog is added to every article that is imported.

Most RSS feed formats are supported...if you come across an error, please send me a direct message with the web address of your blog rss feed and the error you received and I’ll fix the issue.

Again, please only add your external blog to if it’s more than 90% scuba related.
Greg - 2/01/2009 3:59 PM
I also added the option to specify Keywords when importing your external blog. You may leave this field blank if you want all your articles to be imported. OR, if your blog is not always about scuba diving, then you may enter certain keywords that must exist in the title or content of the blog before it is activated on All your articles will be imported, but only the ones with matching keywords in either the title or content section will be active and visible to everyone.

For example, if you write a blog that mainly contains scuba stuff...but sometimes you write personal articles...maybe you could enter some scuba terms in the keyword field to have those articles imported and made visible. Sample keywords include: scuba, diving, underwater, fish, bcd, dive buddy. Your keyword list should be separated by commas.

I will soon create a page to view all Pending Articles that didn’t match your keywords. From there you will be able to manually approve the article (if it’s scuba related) or completely delete it.

Remember, if your blog is always about scuba diving, don’t worry about entering any keywords. If personal or non-scuba diving articles are imported, please delete them from your Blog List.
Greg - 2/03/2009 2:21 PM
Read this post only if you’re familiar with RSS or want more technical information about what’s going on during my external blog import process:

RSS feeds are pretty standard for the most part, but there are some differences to take into consideration. An RSS feed item list may only have a title, pubDate, link and description for each article. Some may include the content:encoded tag with raw html code. And all use that crazy date/time format that is based on GMT.

I had to create a date/time converter that takes in most RSS date formats and spits out a SQL readable date/time format in Central time (CST). I also created a process that checks to see if the "encoded" tag exists in the RSS item section, if it does, I import the contents of that tag and not the contents of the description tag.

If you’re interested in learning how I did all this, just send me a direct message and we can chat. It was only through lots of trial and error (and lots of reading online) that I figured out the best way to import RSS files, read through them, and store data into my SQL database. And to top it off, I created a vbs file that is going to run on my web server to auto import the RSS feeds every day or so.

From a programmers perspective, this feature was pretty cool to develop. I hope you all enjoy it.
Satya - 2/06/2009 2:29 AM
Greg - 2/12/2009 7:47 PM
I just added support for older RDF and Atom feed formats. Please test the Atom feed if your external blog offers the Atom format.


Greg - 5/11/2012 4:57 PM
This feature is no longer available.