Add MT Comments Count to FeedFlare

If you use Feedburner to manage your MovableType RSS feeds (you are using Feedburner, aren't you?!), then you may be interested in adding your comments count for each item to your feed using Feedburner's FeedFlare option. Although it was originally intended to utilize the Well-Formed Web formats, MT comment counts can be included with just a few tweaks.

Note: I used Eric's original instructions as a starting point, as I found they didn't work quite right for me. Your mileage may vary. 🙂

Background:The layman's premise of the Well-Formed Web is that each site will have drill-down feeds – a top level feed, item specific feeds, and so on. Feedburner has taken this notion and built a FeedFlare that allows you to quickly display the updated number of comments for each post as well as allowing subscribers to your feeds to comment on your site.

Instructions:

1) Create the microfeed in MovableType.
From the main menu, go to the "Templates" settings and click on "Archives". Select "Create New Archive Template". Name the new template "Entry Microfeed RSS 2.0". Leave the "Link this template to a file" box blank. Cut and paste the following into the template:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="<$MTPublishCharset$>"?>

<rss version="2.0">

  <channel>

    <title><$MTBlogName remove_html="1" encode_xml="1"$>: Microfeed for "<$MTEntryTitle remove_html="1" encode_xml="1"$>"</title>

    <link><$MTEntryPermalink$></link>

    <description>Comments for the entry "<$MTEntryTitle remove_html="1" encode_xml="1"$>"</description>

    <language>en-us</language>

    <generator>Movable Type v<$MTVersion$></generator>

    <docs>http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss</docs>

<MTComments>

<MTCommentsHeader>

    <lastBuildDate><$MTCommentDate format="%a, %d %b %Y %H:%M:%S"$> <$MTBlogTimezone$></lastBuildDate>

</MTCommentsHeader>

     <item>

      <title>Comment from <$MTCommentAuthor$></title>

      <description><$MTCommentBody encode_xml="1"$></description>

      <guid isPermaLink="false"><$MTEntryID$>@<$MTBlogURL$>#c<$MTCommentID$></guid>

      <pubDate><$MTCommentDate format="%a, %d %b %Y %H:%M:%S"$> <$MTBlogTimezone$></pubDate>

    </item>

</MTComments>

  </channel>

</rss>

Save your new template.

2) Map the new template.
Click on "Templates" again and select the "Go to Publisher Settings" link. Scroll to "Archive Mapping" section towards the bottom of the page. Select "Create New Archive Mapping" and set "Archive Type" to "Individual". Set "Template" to "Entry Microfeed RSS 2.0", and hit "Add".

Scroll down to the bottom again, click on the "Archive File Path" drop-down and choose "Custom…". Type: microfeed/%e.xml (if you're running an older version of Movable Type, you might need to put in microfeed/.xml). Hit "Save Changes". This will tell MovableType to generate a new microfeed for each entry.

3) Modify your Feedburner feed template.
If you're using Feedburner, you're probably familiar with the concept of having a private feed that only Feedburner knows about. We now want to modify this feed.

Click on "Templates" and select your Feedburner template. We will add the Well-Formed Web instruction, so, at the top of the template code, change:

<rss version="2.0">

to read as:

<rss version="2.0" xmlns:wfw="http://wellformedweb.org/CommentAPI/">

The next step is to add the microfeed information into the ITEM listing, so just before the </item> tag, copy and paste the following:

<wfw:commentRSS><$MTBlogArchiveURL$>microfeed/<$MTEntryID pad="1"$>.xml</wfw:commentRSS>

Save your Feedburner template.

4) Select "Rebuild Site" and rebuild all files.

5) Update your feed options at Feedburner.
Log in to your Feedburner account (click here ), select your feed, and select the Optimize tab. Click on FeedFlare and place a checkmark in the Comments Count box. Save your selection at the bottom of the page.

6) That's all!
If you have difficulties, consult the Feedburner Support Forums.

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