Blog Post

More on the new HASTAC - RSS is back

The new HASTAC is just about two months old now.

For me it feels like it's been much longer, having lived and breathed the site for a year before its launch. It still feels plenty shiny and new, though. And, speaking for the team here, I'll say that having it out in the world and having it work - really, truly, mostly work - has been thrilling and downright joy-inducing. What's been especially encouraging and reassuring is that we've received overwhelmingly positive responses to this new Drupal 7 site and its much-improved usability (especially in comparison to our former, much-beloved-but-somewhat-clunky Drupal 6 site).

But…

One of the problems (ok, "challenges") that we run into when transitioning a site like HASTAC from one version of a platform to another is the seemingly infinite number of small settings, thoughtfully-built custom displays, and well-loved features that just won't come along for the ride. We want them to, but they can't, at least not easily. Far too often there is, as we like to say, "no direct migration path." [Insert sad-face emoticon, please.] There are literally hundreds of tiny little details that need to be found, understood, evaluated and then reset or recreated... manually. Basically, there are many things need to be done all over again from scratch. A lot of them.

Sometimes we have to let go.

On a site as large as HASTAC, there were bound to be things that we simply needed to save for later or possibly consider leaving behind altogether (lest we never launch). Strange as it may seem to some, one of those things we left at the old HASTAC was a myriad of individually created and highly focused RSS feeds. All but the main feed (www.hastac.org/rss.xml) had been lovingly and individually built with Views in Drupal 6 (along with a few created with FeedBurner). Sadly these RSS Feed Views could not be cloned or ported due to our redesigned site- and information-architectures.

Sometimes, though, things go easily.

Somethings things are better in new versions of software. Sometimes, what was left behind is more readily retrieved than you thought it might be. And, with that in mind, I am happy to report that we've been able to reinstate RSS on most content areas of HASTAC this week: All user content streams, Jobs and Fellowships, HASTAC Picks, Trending, Explore, Topics, and Subtopics should all have RSS feeds now. For the time being, if you take a peek in the lower left of those pages and you'll find the ubiquitous RSS icon: . Soon, you'll also be able to find it at the upper right, too. (Because no one likes scrolling.)

We are also working to manage the re-linking of any old RSS feeds to equivalent new feeds. We're prioritizing that work based on the statistical popularity of the previous site's feeds. Soon you should see new RSS feeds coming up in the remaining areas of the site as well. In the interim, please let us know if there's a new feed you'd like to see or one you loved and lost. Don't be shy. We'll fix it for you.

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