Some fun with Planet Irish Gaming

So I’ve been doing some hacking for and analysis of Planet Irish Gaming and I’ve added one new feed and welcomed back another.

Using the power of python, I wrote a site scraping script that generates a feed of LiveJournal blogs that are members of the irishgaming LiveJournal blog i.e. an RSS feed of the friends page. It’s updated three times a day (which seems to be good enough for the rate of posts) but any post that doesn’t have comments enabled can’t be included (because the site scraping script can’t generate a permalink for that post). The link to it is here on Planet Irish Gaming and it’s included in the big feed. It’s pretty nifty.

I continued with my script-hacking and created a script that “fixes” the feed from There are some technical problems with their feed so that I couldn’t include it in Planet Irish Gaming. As far as I know, they were not going to get fixed any time soon. My script fixes them and generates a valid feed so now I can include the feed. Yea! :) 

Ah scratch that. I just checked both feeds and they have totally the wrong date. *hack* *test* *debug* *fix* … an hour later… fixed. It seems individual items in both of these new feeds were picking up the latest date rather than the last date the item was added. Should be working fine now.

Because I added the “fixed” feed from to Planet, I saw this morning that they have added “ads” to So I guess I shouldn’t really have been worried about adding ads to the - not that it’s earned me much (if anything).

If you’ve been using the big feed from Planet Irish Gaming, you’ll know that it gets very busy. Quite a large number of posts per day. Mostly polite drivel from forums around the place, so much so I barely scan the feed. I thought that normal users might find it overwhelming. Well, thanks to the power of WordPress, you can just grab a feed without forums (I’ve even added this feed link to the frontpage of Planet Irish Gaming) and that includes the new friends feed from livejournal so it’s pretty digestible.

Still though, even doing that, there isn’t really that much genuine roleplaying or gaming news in there. There isn’t really that much genuine Irish roleplaying and gaming content to be honest. The thought had occurred to me that I add a new category to the site (and hence a new feed) that contains only items that actually pertain to roleplaying and gaming. What I could do is add a “vote” like link to the other feeds and if an item gets a few votes it gets automatically added to this category, much like or However this would require users to interact with the site on some level and I’m not sure the effort I’d have to put in to implement this feature would pay off in terms of people using it. Anyone got any opinions on this?

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