Quite a lot of information there. Thanks for the effort
Increase Visibility in Blog and RSS Directories: XML-RPC Pings
Robin's article, RSSTop55 - Best Blog Directory and RSS Submission Sites, shows you how to submit your RSS feed to many different blog and RSS directories. If you're a blogger, your blogging software may have a feature that makes it easy and quick to notify directories when your blog is updated. This feature is often referred to as an XML-RPC ping. More and more blog and RSS directory owners are adding this web service to their offerings.
In this article, I cover:
- technical background details of XML-RPC pings
- importance of XML-RPC pings
- requirements for using XML-RPC pings
- media types covered by XML-RPC
- Ping-o-Matic and other multi-pinging resources
- directories accepting XML-RPC pings
- live comments jotted down while performing pings
- resources related to XML-RPC
The name XML-RPC is a combination of two acronyms. Using the metaphor of a language, XML is no more than a distinct alphabet [pdf file] used to communicate between two computers connected to the Internet. RPC stands for Remote Procedure Call, which means that you are executing a command on one computer that controls the behavior of another computer across the Internet, so that the remote computer properly executes that request.
A ping is a geeky way of describing the action of one computer sending a signal to another computer, while expecting a response.
There are more technical details to the specifications, like parameterization and the delivery protocol being used, but these topics are beyond the scope of this discussion.
Ping web services comprise only one out of several specific applications of XML-RPC web services. Another application of XML-RPC, for example, is the one used by blog editors like BlogJet and wBloggar that allow you to compose blog posts off-line. Such editors send out an XML-RPC request to the web server hosting your blog, which then acknowledges the request by updating your weblog's list of blog entries. Check the resources section for an excellent developer's book about web services.
The nice thing about the XML-RPC specification is that it allows computers to talk to each other no matter kind of operating system each system uses. This means a Windows computer can talk to a Macintosh computer and vice versa. There's more to say about ping services though: blog directories and aggregators usually find out that a blog has been updated by polling the blog's RSS feed every 30 minutes. This is not an efficient method because it wastes valuable bandwidth on the web server hosting the RSS feed when the blog doesn't isn't updated at least every 30 minutes.
XML-RPC pings, on the other hand, only notify a directory when a blog entry is published for the first time. Subsequent actions to save the entry usually do not cause the ping service to be triggered. In this way, people who need to stay on top of their business news are reliably and instantaneously notified that a certain news source has been updated.
For more suggestions about bandwidth optimization, check out Steve Gillmor's excellent eWeek article, BitTorrent and RSS Create Disruptive Revolution (2003).
On the sending side, popular blog services like Blogger, Movable Type and Typepad typically provide a setting in preferences that allows you to specify which directory to ping. On the receiving side, most directories supporting XML-RPC pings have a developers' section on their web site mentioning the URL to use. I have listed the ones I have verified in the paragraph about directories.
XML-RPC pings aren't just limited to blog update notifications. The increased usage of aggregators urged ubiquitous Weblogs.com owner David Winer to establish a specific XML-RPC interface for RSS news feeds — more information is available there.
Ping-o-Matic stands out because it was the first well-known resource to take care of sending pings to multiple XML-RPC interfaces simultaneously. Ping-o-Matic offers a web form and an XML-RPC interface of its own. Dougal Campbell wrote about it in a blog post on his blog Geek Ramblings.
The Ping-o-Matic web form requires you to manually check off all directories that you want to ping. However, its XML-RPC interface, located at http://rpc.pingomatic.com/, fully automates this process. Note that it covers a subset of the ones covered on the web form.
I submitted several test blog articles and have indicated below whether or not I could verify that Ping-o-Matic was successful in updating a particular directory. The URLs between parentheses are not regular hyperlinks, but addresses of the respective ping services belonging to each directory.
- Blo.gs (service URL: http://ping.blo.gs/) - verified
- Weblogs (service URL: http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2) - ambiguous results
- FeedBurner has a service called PingShot. With this service, FeedBurner automatically pings the services every time you add a new entry. It requires using FeedBurner for your feeds.
- Technorati (service URL: http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping) - verified
Technorati Ping Configurations - Detailed instructions
- MyYahoo! (service URL: http://api.my.yahoo.com/rss/ping) - not found
- BlogChatter (service URL: http://www.mod-pubsub.org/kn_apps/blogchatter/ping.php) - not clear how this is supposed to work (site and link not working at last check)
- PubSub (service URL: http://xping.pubsub.com/ping/) - not updated
- BlogDigger (service URL: http://www.blogdigger.com/RPC2)- unverified
- Feedster (service URL: http://api.feedster.com/ping.php) - requires feed to be manually submitted first; not yet verified
- BlogRolling (service URL: http://rpc.blogrolling.com/pinger/) - not updated
- BlogStreet (service URL: http://www.blogstreet.com/xrbin/xmlrpc.cgi) requires one-time manual blog URL submission
- Moreover (service URL: http://api.moreover.com/ping) - not yet verified
- Weblogalot (service URL: http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php) - not yet verified
- IceRocket (service URL: http://rpc.icerocket.com:10080/) - not yet verified
- TopicExchange (service URL: http://topicexchange.com/RPC2) - not yet verified
- BlogShares (service URL: http://www.blogshares.com/rpc.php) retrieves its data from weblogs.com; requires one-time manual submission not yet verified
- NewsIsFree (service URL: http://www.newsisfree.com/xmlrpctest.php3) not yet verified
- Blog Buzz Machine (service URL: http://rpc.blogbuzzmachine.com/RPC2) not verified
Ping-o-Matic no longer stands alone as the multi-directory pinger. The following have the same capabilities with different directories and features.
Pingoat notifies over 50 sites, some of which are specialty sites that accept specific types of blogs. The list includes non-English services and special services.
Pong is a free desktop ping application that notifies multiple blog tracking services of updated blogs and feeds. Currently, it can ping 14 services. The software is currently in beta, so expect to see more updates.
King Ping pings the standard web feeds as well as a few podcast web feeds. Once you select the settings you want, you can create a bookmark for using it again without entering all of the information. For those familiar with Ajax, King Ping uses it and gives you the option to switch to the non-Ajax version if you're experiencing problems.
BlogFlux includes standard services, specialized services, and language specific services including Japanese, German, Spanish, Danish and French. BlogFlux also has other services including a blog directory, button maker, map stats, PageRanker checker tool, and a blog subscription (tracking) service.
Feed Shark requires individually clicking the submit button for each resource to ping. It has a few resources that the other pinger services don't have.
BlogBlip supports similar services as those found on Ping-o-Matic. It also has a form for adding another service to the list of pings.
FeedShot automatically submits to all of the current search engines with more to come. You can enter your email address to get a confirmation, but it's not required.
Ping the Empire pings 18 resources. It takes a couple of minutes as it pings every resource before showing the results. The results lets you know which were successful and which failed. The site links to many podcasting resources.
Smart Update Pinger replaces the standard Wordpress build-in ping functionality and makes many improvements to it. It is based on, and an improved version of, the (now discontinued) "Smart Update Pinger v2.00" by Christian Davén.
Please note that some directories require that you manually submit the URL to your blog or the URL to your feed before XML-RPC service will acknowledge automated ping requests. If that's the case, I have indicated this. I found the verification process very time-consuming, but this is what I came up with based on the data I had available.
- syndic8 (service URL: http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php) requires one-time manual feed URL submission (registration required); not yet verified
- RootBlog (service URL: http://ping.rootblog.com/rpc.php) (may not be working) one-time manual feed URL submission required; not yet verified
- LSBlogs (service URL: www.lasermemory.com/lsrpc/) - not yet verified
- A2B (service URL: http://www.a2b.cc/setloc/bp.a2b) - not yet verified
- BlogsNow (service URL: http://www.blogsnow.com/ping) - not yet verified
- COREBlog (service URL: http://coreblog.org/ping/) - requires using COREBlog
- Ping! Fakapster (service URL: http://ping.fakapster.com/rpc) not verified
Live Comments Jotted Down While Performing Pings
First, while verifying my submissions I noticed that Movable Type reports unspecified error messages like "One or more errors occurred when sending update or TrackBack pings." Apparently some directories get pinged so often that they are not capable of responding within the number of seconds set by the Movable Type system. For a typical user this is confusing. I'd like to know which web services have successfully acknowledged my update request.
Then, when I went to check which directories had actually been updated, I discovered that Weblogs.com repeatedly refused to display its contents, or prompted me to enter a username and password. Apparently the site disliked my frequent polling for updates. Even when I was finally able to connect to Weblogs.com, I found that within 30 minutes of publishing my test entry, its index had not been properly updated. Other blog posts had been added, but not mine.
Although some directories (blo.gs for example) did meet my expectations of sending immediate updates, several others didn't. I'd be curious to hear the reason why and I'll update this article accordingly
Here is a list of ping URLs, some of which are listed here and the rest are for different languages. The RSS ping list is here.
The resource on XML-RPC most referred to is Userland's XML-RPC.com. The site has been set up and maintained by David Winer since 1998. His web site has detailed technical specifications, definitions (such as the one for newbies), implementations, tutorials, and more. There are many other resources available.
I found XML-RPC Howto by Eric Kidd (2001) helpful while researching XML-RPC.
A wonderful resource that covers XML in general is PerfectXML.
Note: We're aware that some of the links aren't loading or lead to an error message. We kept the on here in case it's a server problem. If they continue to error after time has passed, we'll remove them.
Updated February 16, 2006
This was very usefull in understanding more about blog pings, thank you!
-Politiet i Danmark
Thanks! very nice collection of services.
I have found Pingomatic and Pingoat to be great tools to send my blogs out to be indexed. I have also found a newer site named BlogBuzzer.com that allows automatic submission directly from your blog,
Great Artticle and very interesting information - still years after...
Really great article, I have and will sort out some of these on my own and then will give You my mock-up.. Keep up the great work hope you have mure stuff for me to read !!
rss ping list not working
Article is still relevant..Thanks!
Frankly speaking still your article is fresh like previously :)
Check out http://bpinger.com
here is the ultimate smart update pinger link. so you dont have to give out your email to get access to it.
I'm really liking that Pingoat...thanks again!
Actually, upon further exporation www.pingtheempire.com is quite good also... tho not as simple and easy to use.
I've got to agree, i've been using Drupal for over 2 months and find it has more to offer than other ping services. Still, they are all good for the price!
I just wanted to add a note for all users regarding Michael's comment above. I actually checked out PingTheEmpire today and they are offering a script that you can host on your own site for pinging.
I thought it was cool, but was wondering if anyone knew of any others that might hit even more pings. I think they have 20 right now that they ping, and they say more are coming and I won't have to update the script, but wasn't sure if there were any free scripts like this out there?
Just wanted to add www.PingTheEmpire.com as a new RSS Ping Service!
You can ping Blog Buzz Machine via RPC at http://rpc.blogbuzzmachine.com/RPC2 or via web form at http://www.blogbuzzmachine.com/
Pong is an application that allows you to send pings from your desktop. http://pongpong.org
Pingoat.com pings over fifty such services from one point.. http://pingoat.com
Weblogs pings for many services available for free also at http://Pings.ws . Plus other services: weblog counter, weblog directory, weblog top, comments and more.