Blog Tracker

Around October of 2004, I started looking for an easy way to keep track of my friends' blogs. I wasn't very impressed with the commercial sites available at the time, and a friend of mine thought a "homepage" style site would be a great idea.

It turned out to be a major project, but a worthwhile experience. I created a personalized homepage for myself that would give me updated blog information, current weather, a "word of the day", and a Google toolbar. I also added a registration system so that guests could sign up and add their own links.

The concept is blog "sharing", where users can add links which are instantly visible to other users. However, personalization was left to a minimum. There are many security issues involved in any kind of publicly-modifiable site, and I did not want to deal with users being able to delete groups and links.

Here is a screenshot of the site in action:Blogsite screenshot

It can be accessed here, and you can log in with Guest/guest for a demonstration.

Blogs are tracked via RSS or Atom feeds, and I use the MagpieRSS parser to retrieve, cache, and parse the feeds. Since each bloghost has their own format for syndication, my code tries several methods to extract the pertinent information from each feed. MySQL is used for the backend database, and Javascript is used to "load" the page while the feeds are retrieved. My Flash banner project is used as the page header.

The site currently uses over 1,500 lines of PHP and HTML code, and works well for the major bloghosts. However, commercial sites like Bloglines have far surpassed my site in feed support and general functionality.

© Saranga Komanduri
Email: vx9mpuz23a at sneakemail.com
Main site: http://www.salsite.com/main/