Will an imported blog post be updated if the original blog post changes?

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Question

I imported posts from a blog into a Blog Stream using RSS. If I make a change to a post in the original blog, will the corresponding Item in Uberflip be updated as well?

 

Answer

In general, yes: if you import a blog post into Uberflip and then subsequently edit that post in the source blog, the post in Uberflip will also be updated automatically. For this to happen, the following conditions must be met:

  • The blog Item must not be edited in Uberflip: as soon as any changes are made to an imported blog Item in Uberflip, it is considered distinct from the original blog post, and the link between them is severed permanently. (However, there are some things you can change without breaking the connection.)
  • The original blog post must still be available in the RSS feed: once the original blog post drops off the RSS feed, we are no longer able to query it for updates.
  • The original blog post must be within the most recent 200 items in the RSS feed: even if the original blog post is still in the RSS feed, Uberflip will only check the most recent 200 items for updates.

This applies only to modifying the original post: if you delete (rather than change) the original blog post, the imported Item will not be deleted, and will remain in Uberflip.

Finally, note that not all changes to the original blog post will trigger an update in Uberflip. See the Technical details section for specifics.

What about other types of Items?

The same principle applies to Items in all other types of Source Streams as well, e.g. Video, Social, and Docs (except Flipbooks): in general, modifying the source content will modify the imported Item in Uberflip, unless it has been modified in Uberflip first.

 

Technical details

If you're interested in the technical nuts and bolts behind this answer, here's how the process works:

  • When you import a blog post via RSS, Uberflip takes the unique identifier of the post (the GUID) and saves it to the External ID field of the corresponding Uberflip Item. This shared identifier is what links the original blog post with the Uberflip Item.
  • Approximately every 20 minutes, Uberflip runs an automation that checks the RSS feed connected to a Blog Stream for updates. In addition to looking for new posts in the feed, the automation also checks if any posts in the feed have the same GUID as an Item in the connected Blog Stream in Uberflip.
  • For any post and Item pair with matching GUIDs, the automation then looks at the <title>, <content:encoded>, and <pubDate> fields for that post in the RSS feed. If the values in any of these fields are different from the corresponding values on the Uberflip Item, the automation assumes that the blog post must have been updated since the Uberflip Item was created or last updated. In such cases, Uberflip reimports the updated blog post and updates the Item's corresponding values to match.
  • If you make any changes to an Uberflip Item that was imported from an RSS feed, Uberflip will remove that Item's original GUID from the External ID field, and replace it with a different GUID to indicate that the Uberflip Item is now distinct from the original blog post. This why Items that have been modified in Uberflip aren't updated if their original blog post is changed: because the post and Item no longer have matching GUIDs, the automation doesn't consider the blog post in the RSS feed to be the same as the Uberflip Item.

RSS feed changes that will not trigger an Uberflip Item update

The automation will only check the <title>, <content:encoded>, and <pubDate> fields in the RSS field for updates.

The other fields that are present on each post in the RSS feed (i.e. <link>, <description>, <author>, <dc:date>, and <category>) are ignored for this purpose, and therefore updating these fields will not cause the Uberflip item to be updated (unless any of the <title>, <content:encoded>, and <pubDate> fields is also updated at the same time).

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