RSS Hiccups at the Nevada Appeal

The Nevada Appeal has been going through a lot of changes on their website, tweaking the design and adding new features. But it still seems like nobody over there is able to wrangle their RSS feed. For months their stories have been coming into Google Reader five, six, seven times. So I’ll sit down and find 178 new articles from the Appeal, but discover that it’s the same 25 stories repeated over and over and over.

The technical reason for this is that their system is adding a little bug to the end of all the URLs, like http://www.nevadaappeal.com/article/20091102/NEWS/910319927/-1/rss02. Then an hour later the bug will change, to rss04. Then rss01. Then RSS01, in all capitals. And every time it changes, Google Reader sees that the permalink, which is supposed to be a unique identifier, has changed. So it thinks it’s a new item and it adds it back to the top of the list. And what you end up with are RSS hiccups all the way down, and that makes me dread reading the Nevada Appeal’s feed because I know what a slog it’s going to be, seeing the same headlines 8 times over.

I’m sure there’s a technical solution, a switch they can flip in their system that will get rid of those little rss01 suffixes. It’s been happening since June and it’s driving me buggy!

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