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Private feeds in Google Reader

December 29th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Probably the most requested feature in Google Reader has been support for private feeds. Probably, they think every good web application should support private links (the ones with a random ID attached to it) so that their users can keep control of their credentials — a very sensible thing to assume. Private links can be reset everytime you need it and thus you should be safe. Google also keeps such feeds private, you’d need to get the URL into main Google index to make it appear somewhere. Also, Google needn’t store any passwords for other services, thus reducing possible critisism on itself.

However, not every website supports private links and there we have a problem: I’d like to use a couple of private feeds with Google Reader but can’t. Or better couldn’t, since I’ve made myself a late Christmas present: a Google Reader private feeds workaround!

It’s a small Perl script intended to be running somewhere on your own hosting. What does it do? Not much: given a GUID it fetches an associated website and returns it to the requester. If GUID is not found, nothing happens. If an error occurs, nothing is returned either. So simple. You still have to take care of the feed list though.

I will upload the code and some instructions to the newly created Google Code project shortly. Stay tuned!

  1. patrickg
    March 30th, 2009 at 00:26 | #1

    Please do update this, it’s something I’ve been wanting for aaaggggges!

  2. February 3rd, 2010 at 08:35 | #2

    Actually, I found this quite interesting read on how to do just this, only as a public service. Check out the folks over at Labnol: http://www.labnol.org/internet/private-feeds-in-google-reader/11983/

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