FAQ: Feed Error in Mother Blog

QUESTION:

I’m trying to add a student’s blog feed to the MotherBlog in my course and I keep getting errors…like this

“The data could not be converted to UTF-8. You MUST have either the iconv or mbstring extension installed. Upgrading to PHP 5.x (which includes iconv) is highly recommended.”

OR

similar to “This XML is invalid, likely due to invalid characters. Undeclared entity error at line 10, column XX. The column number is different.”

ANSWER:

This is likely caused because the blog in question is set to restrict access to only people logged in, rather than open to the public. I would have that student change the settings and see if that resolves the problem.

The settings for this can be found under the blogs dashboard, then Settings, then Reading. Make sure “Site visibility” is set to “Allow search engines to index this site” or “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”. The last three options restrict the blog in a way that FeedWordPress will fail.

After the student removes the restriction, you’ll have to relink for syndication, which is most easily done by deleting the syndication entry and setting it up again. Generally, if you look at a syndication entry that was setup when the blog was restricted, you’ll see that the “feed” column shows blogs.lt.vt.edu/{student account name} instead of blogs.lt.vt.edu/{student account name}/feed/, an indicator that something is wrong here.

Comments are closed.