Shrook and an Automatic (OPML) Blogroll

I’ve discovered myself relying more and more upon “(extlink)Shrook”:http://www.fondantfancies.com/shrook/ (my MacOSX RSS Aggregator) to get my daily newsfix. In addition to the standard functionality of allowing me to subscribe to sites, and identifying new posts, Shrook also automatically syncs with “(extlink)Shrook.com”:http://www.shrook.com both keeping track of which stories I’ve read regardless of what computer I’m on and allowing me access to my subscriptions while away from home. While I had previously relied on “(extlink)NetNewsWire Lite”:http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/ to surf the growing number of “(extlink)RSS”:http://rss.lockergnome.com/resources/articles/quickstart.phtml feeds out there, “(extlink)Shrook”:http://www.fondantfancies.com/shrook/ has proven to be both more powerful, and integrates features like iTunes style “live searching” that I’ve found to be indespensible.

The neatest part about using Shrook and it’s Shrook.com integration is that I can now have my Links and Blogroll section automatically updated based upon what channels I’ve subscribed to in my reader.

The steps to setting up Shrook and Shrook.com are:

# Download Shrook
# Subscribe to channels in Shrook, either from the Channel Guide, by importing from NetNewsWire or OPML, or by manually adding them
# Register for a Shrook.com user account
# In the Shrook.com preferences check “make channel list public”
# Go to Preferences >> Syncronization, check on “Syncronize with Shrook.com”, and enter your Shrook.com username

Then you need to download the MT-Outliner plugin.

# Either use the “(extlink)MT Plugin Manager”:http://manager.mt-plugins.org/ or download it directly from “(extlink)http://www.cxliv.org/jayseae/movable_type/outliner/index.html”:http://www.cxliv.org/jayseae/movable_type/outliner/index.html
# Once you’ve installed the plugin edit your Movabletype templates so that they include code similar to the following (used to generate my sidebar blogroll):

  • <$MTOutlinerFolderText$> (<$MTOutlinerFolderItemCount$>)
    • <$MTOutlinerItemText$> :: RSS
  • And you’re done! The blogroll will update itself everytime your rebuild your blog, based on changes you may have made to your Shrook channel list. The only real gripe I have is that the OPML that Shrook exports (Indeed the program iteslf)has no field to include the URL to a HTML file, so I can’t also have this build-in links to the blog and webpages in addition to their XML. Shrook 2.0 is supposed to be out soon, so hopefully that will be one of the additions.