RSS Graffiti is an application for Facebook that allows you to auto-post your RSS feed content to your Facebook Wall. If you have a podcast and a Facebook Fan Page or you just want your podcast to be automatically posted to your Facebook profilewhen a new episode is published in your RSS feed, then RSS Graffiti is the application you want to use. RSS Graffiti is able to do this because it takes the information in your RSS feed and post anything new to Facebook. You can control how often RSS Graffiti checks your feed for new content and how it displays the information in your RSS feed once it’s posted to Facebook.
You no longer need to post your podcast to your feed and then go over to Facebook and do it all over again. The process of posting toFacebook will now be taken care of for you, automatically when you updated your RSS feed with new content. And RSS Graffiti is a great way to ensure that the Facebook .mp3 player actually shows up on your page (some people have had issues with getting this to display correctly).
One of it’s major benefits is that it automatically inserts a clean looking flash player that people on your Facebook page can play and listen to your podcast instantly from the Facebook page they are looking at. This is advantageous to your podcast statistics because the easier you make your podcast to listen to, the more likely it is that someone will actually listen.
There was one aspect of RSS Graffiti however that had me puzzled for quite awhile. Where does the application get the information to fill in the field listed as “By:?”
If you take a look at the image below, you’ll notice that RSS Graffiti displays the name of my Facebook page (PodcastHelper) and then the title of this particular episode (TPS Ep. 42 – Microphones for Video and iTunes..). Below that, you’ll see the attribute in question, “By:”
For many people, this section reads “By: unavailable” (see below). So the question that many people have is, how do I make sure this information is filled in with something that tells the listener the name of who the podcast belongs to. You’ll see here that mine reads “Ray aka @podcasthelper” (my twitter handle).
So if yours reads “By: unavailable” how do you fix it? The simple answer is that you need to have a item level tag in your RSS feed called <dc:creator>. I suspected for quite some time that this was where the “By” attribute was getting it’s information from however there were a few inconsistencies that made it difficult to decipher. That’s because the information inside the <dc:creator> tag gets modified depending on what you are using to create your RSS feed and if you are using Feedburner to enhance that feed.
There are a couple issues here to be concerned with. First, if you are not hand coding your original RSS feed and it does not create the <dc:creator> tag for you, then your “By:” section will be filled in with “unavailable.”
If you use Feedburner.com to supplement your RSS feed (I highly suggest that you do) and you have submitted your Feedburner feed to RSS Graffiti, then the information listed in the “By:” section will be different then how it is displayed in your original feed.
If you supply RSS Graffiti with your original RSS feed then the information that will show up is the information that is in your <dc:creator> tag. You can view the contents of this tag by opening your RSS feed address in a browser (Firefox or Safari) and “view source.” Each <item> in your feed should contain the <dc:creator> tag.
If your feed does not have the <dc:creator> tag then that is the source of your problem. Find out how you can insert this tag into your feed and the “By:” information will be filled in with the contents of that tag.
Here are some notes I took about where the information for the <dc:creator> tag is coming from if you are using wordpress and/or feedburner to create your RSS feed.
In WordPress the <dc:creator> tag is generated from whatever you have listed as your “post author.”
Feedburner changes the <dc:creator> tag generated by wordpress to the information you filled into your feedburner account if you used the “smartcast” option. In your Feedburner account, for the RSS feed that you submitted to RSS Graffiti, go to Optimize > SmartCast > Podcast Author and fill in or modify the information in that section. This will now populate your <dc:creator> tag.
If in your “Smartcast” section you also have the “Podcast Author Email Address” filled in then your “By:” section will be filled in with that email address plus the information in your “Podcast Author” section of Smartcast (see below).
You’ll also notice that the information contained in the title and the “By:” sections are cut off. If the information in the title of your <item> is longer than 45 characters long, your info will be cut off. Fo the “By:” section you are limited to 40 characters (including spaces).
Once again, your RSS feed must contain the <dc:creator> tag in order to display the information in the “By:” section. Depending on which feed you give to RSS Graffiti (original or Feedburner) will determine which information is displayed because Feedburner changes the information with the <dc:creator> tag.
If you are having trouble getting this section to not say “By: unavailable” take a look at your RSS feed content via most web broswers and check to make sure you have the <dc:creator> tag in your feed. If you are hand coding your feed you can simply insert this tag at the <item> level. If your feed is generated for you via a web application, contact the administrator and ask them how you can get this tag inserted into your feed.
If you are having issues with your podcast that you cannot fix, understand or explain and need additional help, I am available for consulting on a one-on-one basis. Please contact me via the contact page here at The Podcasters Studio.com. And if you found this post helpful please comment below or click the “like” button. I look forward to your feedback.