Sunday, June 11, 2006

In Apple iWeb, Changing Names is Dangerous

I just found out a big problem with Apple's iWeb.

Well, first of all, it doesn't collect any type of statistics, so I can never know how many people are downloading my podcast.

But here's another big thing.

If you change the name of the header in your podcast, your RSS feed will break.

Here's what happens.

When you change the header - I don't know what else to call it - it's the little name above Entries and Archive on the left side of iWeb - you are changing your RSS feed.

Your RSS feed is a big long address that people use to subscribe to your podcast.

My RSS feed is:

You can see that it concatenates my .Mac user ID, the name of my podcast and then it says "Podcast" and then rss.xml.

Okay, I figured I could not change the name - Holistic Health Nation.

But I also cannot change the second part - Podcast.

You see, I now have two podcasts, and at the second level, they're both called "Podcast." This was confusing for me when I was adding content from GarageBand, because it was asking me if I wanted to add this new content to "Podcast" or "Podcast".

So I changed them to "HHN Podcast" and "UML Podcast". Smart huh? Nope. Dumb.

iWeb substituted these new names into my RSS feeds, so it broke all my RSS feeds with my users.

Luckily, I caught it before my users found out and I changed it back, which worked beautifully actually. (Yeah Apple!)

But this breaking the RSS feed is bad news.

So my advice to you is:

Don't change the name or header of your podcast - ever!!

Hope this is helpful to someone.

(Yes, I am using the latest version of iWeb.)

Click here to listen to my UML podcast "UML in Seven Minutes."

Click here to listen to my holistic health podcast "Holistic Health Nation."

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