Hacks Authors’ Blogs: One Feed to Rule Them All

Computers & Mobile

Hacks Authors' Feed

Here’s a special post from Hackszine – great way to follow all the authors from our HACKS series….

Ed note: In this guest post, veteran Hacks series author Paul Bausch takes on a challenge that’s been on my todo list for a while, providing a solution that should be of immediate interest to all readers of this site and just might serve as a seed for future hacking around here.

I have a shelf full of O’Reilly Hacks books across a wide range of subjects. I contributed a couple in the Web Applications category, but I also have Hacks books about digital photography, hardware, scripting languages, gaming, and operating systems. The series has introduced me to a number of authors who are doing unusual things with technology in their particular area of expertise. I thought it would be interesting to follow each of these authors outside of the Hacks series by subscribing to their blogs, collectively. I figured it would be a good way to keep up with areas of technology that I’m not necessarily tuned into. I have a collection of blogs that I read to keep up with what’s happening in Web Applications, but I don’t have a sense of what’s going on with gaming, for example.

So I went on a mission to gather the Hacks authors’ blogs using the tools I know best: Web Applications. I started with an Amazon power query for books by O’Reilly with “Hacks” in the title via the Amazon API, and ended up with a list of 80 authors’ full names. I plugged each name into Google by hand, adding the word “blog” (or if that didn’t turn anything up, “hacks”). Then I visited the blog to make sure it was the Hacks author I was looking for, clicked the orange feed button in the Firefox address field to get the feed URL, and copied the URL to a text file. I ended up with a list of 40 feeds. (A 50% blogging rate among an arbitrary group isn’t too shabby.)

I plugged the feeds into Google Reader, and renamed each feed the author’s full name. Here’s what the final list looks like (click for larger view):

Hacks Authors' Blogs in Google Reader

Here’s the list of feeds as OPML if you’d like to try it: Hacks Authors.

I’ve only been tuning into this list for a few days, but I’m already getting to know these authors in a new way. And I was right—I am finding out about developments in tech areas I don’t normally tune into. I especially found Brian K. Jones’s recent post about Fighting Specialization appropriate, something I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.


23 thoughts on “Hacks Authors’ Blogs: One Feed to Rule Them All

  1. vtrac says:

    That’s great.. thanks for putting this together.

  2. schull@digitalgoods.com says:

    Excellent, thanks

    I tried importing your opml file into google reader, and it didn’t work. Was your opml file *exported* from google reader?

    I started making an aggregation with Yahoo pipes, but thought I’d check in with you first.

    1. ERDOGAN USTA says:


  3. pb says:

    Yep, I did export the OPML from Google Reader. Feel free to dump the feeds in Yahoo! Pipes. I actually started this an experiment to try out Yahoo! Pipes, but I wasn’t happy with the results there…so I went with a more traditional aggregator (Google Reader).

  4. BrianSawyer says:

    I imported Paul’s OPML into both Bloglines and Google Reader and it’s worked just fine in both. For now, I’m sharing the Authors feed in Google Reader to show what it looks like.

  5. BrianSawyer says:

    I imported Paul’s OPML into both Bloglines and Google Reader and it’s worked just fine in both. For now, I’m sharing the Authors feed in Google Reader to show what it looks like.

  6. michell says:

    i have nfs installed on windows 2003 r2 server and i am trying to access the share using windows xp professional. I am not on domain just a work group. do i have to installed anything on windows xp

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    I cannot access the list each time I try to open it I get

    permission denied

    Could you please share it again?

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    Help please!

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  11. mommaroodles says:

    Regarding your article about the google proxy to access a 403 forbidden site – i have found that if you go incognito with google chrome – that works for me too :)

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