#402 Use Bloglines to track links to Slash site

Slash 2.5/3.0
Other (116)

Bloglines scans many thousands of blogs and news sites, and when
it finds references from other blogs to your blog, it lets you see at
a glance what those references are. Here's an example. Here's the
(non-logged-in, thus "preview") feed for Slashdot:


Currently one of the items in that feed is our story How Google
Could Overthrow AIM. In that item listing is a link to the "9
References" that bloglines.com found linking to us. Actually they
generate that data in javascript but it's easily screen-scrapable:

itemText+="<li class=\"first\"><a class=\"blines1\" href=\"/
citations?siteid=37490&itemid=5627\" title=\"References To This
Item From Other Blogs\" target=_blank>9 References</a></li>";

At that URL:


are the 9 sites that bloglines has found linking to us, e.g. this link
from InsideGoogle, also screen-scrapable:

<td valign="top" align="left">
<span class="blogtitle"><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/
community/insidegoogle/9396.html">Will Google Go For IM?</
From: <a href="http://www.livejournal.com/community/
Well Slashdot seems to think [etc.]

Pulling data from bloglines wouldn't be terribly hard; we should
drop linking URLs into a table and adminmail should send that info
every night (right near the list of stories with the most pageviews).
The only administration a Slash site would have to do is enter their
bloglines siteid into a var.

Check first with bloglines admins to make sure this is OK with


  • Jamie McCarthy

    Jamie McCarthy - 2004-08-25
    • status: open --> closed
  • Jamie McCarthy

    Jamie McCarthy - 2004-08-25

    Logged In: YES

    We chatted in IRC about this and there are Terms of Service to be aware
    of. Technorati has an API, but you need to sign on as a member to use it,
    and it includes a "we can change this at any time and you agree to the
    changes by using it once" clause. Furthermore, "you agree to use
    Technorati solely for your own noncommercial use and benefit" so I
    guess we'd have to give Slash sites a var to claim they're
    noncommercial, and that instantly renders the API useless to Slashdot so
    my interest in coding it that way just dropped to near-zero.

    And Bloglines' ToS says I must register to use their Service, and that by
    using it I agree not to "use any robot, spider, other automatic device, or
    manual process to monitor or copy any content on the Service."

    Blah. The Google Web API terms seem to be the least scary of the three,
    but they do say "personal, non-commercial use only." And I had to go
    back a month to find a Slashdot story that was link:'d to, so that's not
    that useful.

    Oh well. It was an interesting idea while it lasted. Looks like terms of
    service make this unworkable though.

  • Jamie McCarthy

    Jamie McCarthy - 2004-08-25
    • assigned_to: jamiemccarthy --> cmdrtaco
    • status: closed --> closed-rejected

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