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Syn FAQs, 3rd draft

This is the third draft, including corrections form lyspeth and heavenscalyx. There are two bits that I know there are still problems with. Firstly there's the title of the fourth FAQ, which I currently have as "Why might a syndicated account not work?" I'm loathe to get rid of the "might" from this, as this FAQ is only designed for very basic trouble-shooting and isn't meant to be exhaustive. That said though, I'm sure there are better ways to word this.

Next up, there's the disclaimer at the end of the first FAQ. This currently reads "Note also that LiveJournal makes no claim to the content supplied through any syndicated accounts." which I agree could be better. This is more or less a direct copy of the disclaimer that appears on the lastn page of a syndicated account at the moment. It probably isn't all that clear, but I'd like to have comment from an employee or abuse team member, who would know about the potential issues involved here, before I change.

Anyway, the third draft:

How do I add another site's syndicated feed to my Friends list?

This feature is available to members with Paid or Permanent Accounts. Information on how to purchase a Paid Account can be found at http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=21 .

Adding a syndicated account to your Friends list will allow you to see information from other websites on your Friends page, where the entries will appear as though they had been made by a LiveJournal user.

You can add syndicated accounts either in the normal manner (http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=61) or by visiting http://www.livejournal.com/syn/ . This page lists the syndicated accounts that you are currently watching. From this page you can remove these accounts from your Friends list, or add new ones from the list of popular syndicated accounts shown immediately below.

If the feed you are interested in is not in this list, or there is no LiveJournal account associated with the feed you would like to add, you can use the form at the bottom of the page to add it to your friends list. If the account you would like to add already exists but is not in the list of popular syndicated accounts, then you can enter either the account name or the feed URL. If you are creating a new account, you need to know the correct URL of the site's RSS feed; you can't just use any URL. You may be able to get this information by contacting the webmaster or support service of the site. Once you have added the feed, it may take up to several days for posts to begin appearing.

The number of syndicated accounts that you can add to your friends page is limited by your account type and the syndication-point cost of the accounts you are currently watching. More information about this can be found at $FAQURL

Note that LiveJournal is not responsible for the external feed. If an external feed is discontinued or stops working then the syndicated account will stop receiving updates. More information about why a syndicated account may not work can be found at $FAQURL .

Note also that LiveJournal makes no claim to the content supplied through any syndicated accounts.

What is a syndication point? How many do I get?

Each user has a quota, based on account type, for how many syndicated accounts they can add to their friends list. Users with Paid Accounts have a quota of 10 points, whereas those with Permanent Accounts have a quota of 30 points.

The number of points that a syndicated account costs you depends on the number of people who watch it. If you are the only person watching a syndicated account, it will cost 1 point. If there are others watching it, the cost to you will decrease. If a large number of people watch a syndicated account, it will have a low cost, because the cost is spread out among all the watchers. You cannot add a syndicated account to your friends list if it costs more than the quota you currently have available to you.

You can see the point costs the syndicated accounts that you are currently watching and the total number of points that you have available at http://www.livejournal.com/syn/ .

How do I add my friend's journal from a different journal site to my Friends list?

It is possible for Paid and Permanent Account holders to add journals from certain other sites to their friends list by using LiveJournal's syndication feature. More information about this can be found at http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=137 .

For journals that are on a LiveJournal-code-based site that uses the most recent version of the LiveJournal server code, each user's RSS feed is located at a URL of the following form:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/exampleusername/rss/

Replace www.livejournal.com in the example URL with the URL of the actual LiveJournal-code-based site, and "exampleusername" with the user whose journal you want to watch.

Viewing a syndicated form of a journal in this manner will only allow you to view the user's public entries, even if the user also watches your RSS feed, because you cannot add each other as friends in the way that you can add other users on the same site. On your friends page, rather than seeing the entries normally, you will see only the subject or first few words of each entry and a link to the entry. Any comments that you leave on the entry through LiveJournal will only appear to users viewing the entry through LiveJournal. As such it is recommended that you visit the other journal site to make any comments.

Why might a syndicated account not work?

The most common reason why a syndicated account will not update is that there is some sort of problem with the RSS feed that it is syndicating from. There are several points to check:

The site must be a valid RSS feed. A normal HTML page will not work.

The feed must contain valid RSS. You can check that the feed's code is valid by using an RSS validator such as the one at http://feeds.archive.org/validator/ .

LiveJournal currently only supports versions 0.91 and 0.92 of RSS. Feeds that use different versions of RSS will not work.

If no updates are appearing, it is also possible that the feed itself is not updating, even if it contains valid RSS and even if the site that it is syndicating from is updating.

Who owns a syndicated account? Can I edit the feed URL of a syndicated account?

Once a syndicated account has been created, nobody owns it. Nobody can log into it, make comments from it, or make entries to it in the conventional way. The only way that a syndicated account can be updated is from reading an updated RSS feed.

If the feed URL for a syndicated account that you watch changes, causing the syndicated account to stop functioning, then it is possible to change the feed URL. If this is the case, please submit a support request (http://www.livejournal.com/support/) in the syndication category.

Other than this, it is not currently possible to modify any information about a syndicated account.

Where can I get an RSS feed of my journal?

All journals on LiveJournal have their own RSS feed which is located at a URL of the form:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/exampleusername/rss/

where "exampleusername" is replaced by the user's username.

Note that your RSS feed will only include your public entries and that each entry will only include the subject or first few words of the entry and a link to the entry, not the entry's full text.



PS sorry about the accidental multipost. All fixed now.
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