How To

A Feed is not Producing any Articles – What Now?

You see that articles are being posted on the web site, but nothing is coming through to your training pages or posts on MyCurator!  This post will walk you through a step-by-step process to figure out why and what to do about it.

Research using the Logs menu item

The first place to check is the Logs page in the MyCurator menus.  Here you will see every article found by MyCurator and what  has happened to it.  The Source column in this list displays the feed name for each article.  This is the name you gave the RSS feed when you used Source It or the Source Quick Add to enter it.  Look for any articles from your feed.

If you find some, you may see that they have been excluded for not having appropriate keywords.  It may be that MyCurator is finding articles in the feed, but they are all being filtered out by your filter keywords.  See the Logs documentation for a list of messages and what to do about them.

If you don’t find any articles from your Source in the Logs pages, you should next check the Error Log.  At the top left of the page is a drop down named Activity.  Choose Error and then click Select Filter.  This will display a page of all articles or feeds that have Errors.

The most common error is ‘Error Rendering Page’ which means that MyCurator couldn’t extract the text out of the web page.  Because of this it couldn’t perform any of the filtering to identify the article, so it is excluded from your training page.  Just like the Activity log, search for articles with your feed name in the Source column.  If all of the articles from your Source have this error, then Contact Us and send us an article URL or two.  Sometimes we are able to correct the extraction tool to correctly grab the text from the web page.  You can find the article URL in the URL column of the Error log.

Feed Could Not be Found or Feed Error

You may see a message that starts with “A feed could not be found at” and displays your feed URL, and the Source is your feed name.  Similarly you may see a message for “Invalid Feed” or “Feed Error” with your feed URL and name.  All of these mean that the core feed reading tool of WordPress (called Simple Pie) could not read your feed.

The best way to fix this that we’ve found is to use Google’s Feedburner to validate and then ‘reformat’ the feed.  Its very easy to do, but does require that you have a Google Gmail account.  While Google is not actively supporting Feedburner at this time, it is still available.  We are only going to be using FeedBurner to help us fix the feed.

After logging in you will see a My Feeds page.  Look for the following:

burn feed

Now just paste your feed URL into the box and click Next.  You can copy your feed URL from the Error Logs page.  You can also go to the Links menu item and Edit your Feed Source.  At the bottom, copy the Feed URL feed and paste it into this Burn a feed box.

The next screen will tell you whether your feed is valid.  If there is an error, Feedburner will tell you the problem.  At this point your only option is to contact the web site and see if they can fix your feed.  You can give them the error message from Feedburner.

If the feed is valid, you’ll see a Welcome message and a place to edit your feed title and address.  No need to do anything to this page, just click the Next button.

The final screen will say Congrats! and display a link to the Feedburner version of the feed.  Just copy this link.

Now go to the Links menu item in your dashboard.  Find your original Feed that doesn’t work and Edit it.  At the bottom of the page is the Feed URL box.  Delete your old feed and copy in the new link from FeedBurner.  Press Update Link and you are done.

Now MyCurator will read the feed from FeedBurner.  FeedBurner will clean up the feed and deliver the articles in a format the WordPress can use.  You should now see some articles showing up in your training page/posts.  If not, go back to researching the Logs – your filter keywords could still be blocking new articles from appearing.