As promised, the link blog stuff is now working. It’s pulling links and descriptions from my Delicious bookmarks and posting them to LJ in batches of 10 or more, or when there’s stuff to be posted and nothing’s been posted for 4 days. Let me know if it becomes annoying.

Here comes the science

It turns out there’s a PHP script called Delicious Glue to do this, but that would involve using PHP, so no (gateway drug: next thing you know, you’ll be using Perl). It looks like that script also doesn’t cope with the brave new world of Unicode terribly well, doesn’t tag the LJ post using the tags from Delicious, and doesn’t support the elaborate posting scheme described in the previous paragraph. Also, it wasn’t invented here.

So I did it in Python. Mark Pilgrim’s excellent Universal Feed Parser module does much of the heavy lifting. Posting to LJ using XML RPC turns out to be surprisingly easy using the built-in xmlrpclib. Most of the faff comes in getting it to persist state between runs of the script, which I’m doing using pickle. Here’s the code: you’d need to be a programmer to adapt it for your own use, but if you are, it shouldn’t be hard. I’ll probably run it daily using cron.

Link blog?

I keep a sort of mini blog over at Delicious. It’s a collection of links I want to save, plus a short description. On LiveJournal, there’s a feed of it at pw201_links, but there’s no point posting comments there, as I won’t see them. andrewducker regularly posts batches of his links to his LJ, and they often create some interesting discussion. I wondered whether I should do the same, or whether that would mean death was too good for me, as it is for those people who use Loudtwitter to post their “tweets” to LJ. I’d probably post links once a week or in batches of 10, whichever happened sooner. What do you think?

[ LJ Poll 1462193 ]

LJ links up with Google ads

As you might have seen over on news, LJ have formed a partnership with Google, allowing users who pay for their journals to place Google ads on them and earn a bit of money (LJ itself probably makes money off people who sign up, they’re not taking a cut of the money for people viewing the ads).

I won’t be doing this, as the small amount of money I might make from ads isn’t worth the annoyance to my readers. As someone whose comment I can’t find said, it looks like LJ have done this to keep up with other services like WordPress, who offer ads as an option. SUP bought out LJ because LJ apparently is blogging in Russia, so perhaps this is part of a trend. I hope they might do more “serious blogging” stuff as opposed to social networking stuff: I’d like to see LJ on my own domain working properly, comment feeds (so I don’t have to do it myself with Python scripts and gaffer tape), Google Analytics, and a pony.

Of course, the best thing about news postings is the hordes of whining commenters and the responses mocking them for whining. Pages 6 and 7 are particular rich in put-downs and image macros. It’s interesting to see that the “bugger off to Dreamwidth” response is getting popular: DW has made a name for itself as the place where you flounce to because The Man is keeping you down, Man. Fandom folk are pretty self-aware, so they mock this stereotype themselves. All good fun.

pw201_links is a LiveJournal feed of my bookmarks on If you want to see stuff I’m looking at but haven’t yet bothered to write a proper post about, you can befriend it (it’s not equivalent to adding pw201 as a friend, it’s a separate thing which I set up but I don’t control directly, see below). It’ll be composed of equal parts religion stuff, technical stuff (security is a special interest at the moment, but that’ll vary with time), and random internet bollocks. There’ll probably a few posts a day at peak times, but usually one per day or less.

Exposition: pw201_links is what LiveJournal calls a syndicated account. There are lots of these on LJ, as paying users can create them from the feeds exported by other websites and then read those feeds on their friends page. I tend to read these feeds in Bloglines and keep my LJ friends list for people and communities who are actually on LJ; if you do that but want to spy on me anyway, add the RSS feed to your feed reader.

You can make comments on the postings on a syndicated account, but I won’t get notifications about them so probably won’t read them, and they’ll be deleted as postings fall off the bottom of the feed.

While we’re on the subject of syndicated accounts: sumanah, I tried to respond to your email the other say and got a bounce with the error code “553 5.3.0 sPoOf”. I’m not sure what that’s about, but it looks like I’m hitting a spam filter of some sort.