LiveJournal-To-Google Reader Back Up

BREAKING NEWS: On 1st October 2009, LiveJournal blocked the Feed Proxy bot. I don’t know when they’ll unblock it and it’ll come back up: see the latest here.

The LiveJournal-To-Google Reader service is back up again, rebranded as Feed Proxy. It’s pretty much bare-bones right now, but I’ve got a meaningful framework that I can add to in the future, and I’ll try to keep it up-to-date by adding all of the features that everybody requested back when it was LiveJournal-To-Google Reader (I’ve already added a few, as described below).

My sincere apologies to everybody affected by the day and a half of downtime that was involved in this change-over.

Here’s what you need to know:

If you already use LiveJournal-To-Google Reader

All of your feed links have now broken. Sorry, but this was necessary! You’ll probably want to delete your subscriptions to all of the old links, because they won’t work any more. You’ll also need to set yourself up with a new account on the new service, Feed Proxy. Choose yourself a username and password, log in, and associate your account with your LiveJournal account. Then you can click “show feeds” and start subscribing to your LiveJournal friends’ feeds using Google Reader.

New features:

  • Where possible, shows how many comments, link to comments, poster’s “mood”, and security status (public or private [i.e. “friends only”]) of each post.
  • OPML export, so you can easily get all of your feeds back into Google Reader (or whatever RSS reader you prefer) again.
  • Links that don’t change for no reason
  • Better support for communities

If you don’t have a clue what this is all about…

Feed Proxy is a tool that I originally wrote because I didn’t like having to go to my LiveJournal “friends page” to catch up on all the “friends-only” posts being made by people I knew. I already used Google Reader for every other blog in the world; why should I have to go to another site? I also didn’t like that I couldn’t “group” my friends on my friends page, so I could see which ones were related to my different interests and just focus on those at once. I also wanted to be able to easily mark which posts I’d already read. Google Reader already does all of this.

But if you subscribe to a LiveJournal account using Google Reader, you don’t get the “friends only” posts. It’s just not possible.

Feed Proxy makes it possible. And now, it adds a lot of other nice features, too.

If you use LiveJournal (or your friends use LiveJournal) and you’d rather have the slicker interface of Google Reader at your disposal, give it a go.

If you want to hear about updates…

Please subscribe to this RSS feed of Feed Proxy-tagged posts on my blog.

21 replies to LiveJournal-To-Google Reader Back Up

  1. I have two separate LJ’s one that I use for fandom stuff and one that I use for personal stuff. But with the new proxy account I can only have one showing at a time. Is there a way you can make it so that you can use two different LJ accounts? Right now I have to delete one in order to access the other. Thanks!

  2. Also, when I try to import my feeds again, none of them seem to be working. I get an error message. Same with the OPML – it just takes me to a blank page that never loads when I click on it.

    Also, I have a bunch of starred items. Will I loose them when I reimport?

  3. The new version doesn’t work for my feeds, sorry. I created a login, added my LJ account. I can see my friends’ feeds, the ‘RSS’ links open in Firefox, that’s OK. But as soon as I try to add a feed to Google Reader (I tried both your ‘Add to Google’ link and putting the direct RSS link into ‘Add a subscription’ field in GR), there’s always an error:
    You have subscribed to “(title unknown).”
    The feed being requested cannot be found.

  4. i can understand why old links are suddenly broken, though it indicates that you suck at programming. but whythe fuck are you spamming my reader with your fucking warning? and you are not just spamming, you are doing this under the names of various people from my friend’s list.
    fucking moron.

  5. I’m having the same problem as Iren. With 20+ feeds – all are getting the “(title unknown)” The feed being requested cannot be found” error.

  6. So here’s my problem…. It is incredibly valuable to me to be able to search through the lj post history in google reader. If I delete those feeds, then I will no longer be able to do that.

    From my end it’s harmless to just leave them be (assuming you don’t constantly post now notices to them or anything), but of course that means Google is going to keep checking those urls. It is unfortunate that google reader doesn’t have some sort of unsubscribe but archive option.

    So is it ok for me to leave them, or is there going to be some sort of problem down the road?

  7. @Mike: No problem leaving them, keep them as long as you like.

    @adl: Problem isn’t “sucking at programming”, it’s “sucking at backups”: lost the database. Could have kept the old codebase, but ha a rewrite half-written anyway. But hey, this is what you get for free – I made the source code available for download to you if you thought you could do better.

    @everybody else: That’s interesting. If you’re still getting problems, please contact me privately letting me know your Feed Proxy username, and I’ll try to help.

  8. Dan,

    As usual, thanks a lot for your great job! The process of restoring links is a snap – did it in 10 minutes (mostly due to Google Reader taking sweet time subscribing/unsubscribing).

    Unfortunately, all of them are broken. I tried to paste one of them directly into the browser, and it timed out.

  9. Obviously, either you fixed something OR there’s black magic behind the Google Reader engine. Everything works now.

  10. Two questions for you:

    1. Where can I download the code?
    2. When I click on “FAQ” on the Feed Proxy webpage, it goes back to the login page. What’s that about?

  11. @Bill:

    1. I’ll make it available as soon as I get the chance to – there are magic numbers and shit all over it right now which need tidying up first. I’ll put a link on the Feed Proxy website, and I’ll mention it in my blog, here – just subscribe to this sub-feed to learn about Feed Proxy related news only.

    2. Whoops! Try logging in, I might have accidentally made it so you need to log in to read the FAQ. D’oh!

  12. Q that probably isn’t even a problem: is it normal for Google Reader (in general) to pull feed items when you click on the specific feed name, but not when you just have all of your feeds displayed? I was clicking through a few individual friend feeds to check something else the other day, and Reader would often go “oh, huh, here’s some new posts”.

    And I do understand that Reader is slower to update less-trafficked feeds. I just find it weird that clicking on individual feeds seems to “remind” Reader to check some of them.

  13. I found that I could clear up my “The feed being requested cannot be found.” problem. You have to enter the LJ username in all lowercase… The actual LJ login works with uppercase letters and will show your friends, but the digest authentication ONLY works with lowercase letters.

  14. @Nick. I just tried that and it worked for a handful of my feeds, but the rest are still getting “The Feed Being Requested Cannot Be Found”. I’m so frustrated. I’ve been behind on LJ for almost two weeks now because no matter what I do I can’t seem to get the new feeds in. I’ve emailed Dan but no response. It’s now been 3 days. ARGH!

  15. Got all my three hundred something feeds sorted. Just 10 were broken… until now. Error message says to contact you :)

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