March 27, 2009

New FeedFlare Displays FriendFeed Likes and Comment Counts

Bloggers who are tied into social media sites have long used FeedBurner's FeedFlare functionality to help promote their blog posts, from pushing visitors to Digg or Stumble posts, add them to Delicious, or e-mail them to friends. But increasingly, information from external social networks is being fed back to the blog itself - from the number of retweets a post may have received to the number of Google Reader users who shared the item, for example. A new custom feedflare, designed by Kevin Fox, the lead designer of FriendFeed, and the artist behind popular sites such as GMail and Google Reader, is now available to display the likes and comments your post might have gotten on FriendFeed. It's already running on this site, and can be seen on his RSS feed as well.

FriendFeed Activity Displayed on My Site

The FeedFlare can be displayed on your site, on your RSS feed, or both - and clicking on the comments and likes statistics takes you to where your blog post is shared on FriendFeed, bridging visitors of your site to the conversation there.

Setting up the FeedFlare for FriendFeed likes and comments is not a one-click process, so if you are interested, here's how you do it:
  1. Download this compressed .zip file. It contains the three documents you need, and an "About" file. Unzip the file and you will see a folder titled "friendfeedflare".
  2. Open the file "flare.php". Next to where it says USERNAME, replace "notlouisgray" with your FriendFeed user name.
  3. Open the file "friendflare.xml" and replace the pathname of "" with where you will host the flare.php file. For example, I host mine at
  4. Upload the files "flare.php", "friendflare.xml" and "friendfeed.php" to a directory on your site which matches the path you provided in step 3.
  5. Log in to your FeedBurner account, and go to the "FeedFlare" section in the "Optimize" tab.
  6. At the bottom of the page, where you have the option to add a "Personal FeedFlare", paste in the URL of your XML file. (e.g.
  7. Hit "Add New Flare" and then "Save".

The FeedFlare Displayed In FeedBurner

At this point, the likes and comment counts on your items will be displayed on your blog or RSS feed. They will continue to accrue until you have 30 newer items in your blog feed.

A year or so ago, the blogosphere lit up around how social sites were stealing the conversation away from blogs, and operating in silos. With tools like this, and Disqus and BackType's integration of FriendFeed comments, the disparate conversations are becoming ever more unified.

If you like this FeedFlare, be sure to check out Kevin Fox's FriendFeed here, or his personal blog at And if you get it up and running, it'd be great to see it on your site, so post your blog URL in the comments.