RSS Graffiti can't publish my feed: "missing publication date"?
This is super frustrating, Dave! I just hooked up the RSS feed from my WordPress blog to show up automatically in my Facebook fan page using the slick RSS Graffiti application. Problem is, nothing ever shows up and I see the error Missing publication date in 10 items in your feed. What the heck? How do I fix it?
I bumped into exactly the same problem when I hooked up my new Go Fatherhood blog to its Go Fatherhood fan page on Facebook: It was all set up exactly the same as the RSS Graffiti configuration for the AskDaveTaylor fan page, but while the latter worked (which you'll see once you become a fan :-) the former never succeeded at actually matching and showing anything.
It took me a while to even notice that there was a tiny 'show details' link and when I clicked it, sure enough, I had the same missing publication date on 10 items in your feed error. What to do?
Turns out the solution is surprisingly easy, but it's a bit complicated to fix it.
Let's start at the beginning.
First off, go to the RSS Graffiti application page on Facebook and confirm that you have it properly configured for your fan page. It should display something like this:
Looks good. Except when you look a bit lower down...
Well that can't be good. It's checked my feed 129 times, during which time I've written two new blog posts, and hasn't found a single item to post. What's odd is that the total errors percentage is still 0%. Why? Because that's the number of times RSS Graffiti has failed to fetch the specified feed. That's not the problem, so it's not encountering errors.
Or is it? Click on "Show details" and the truth is revealed:
The problem is incredibly subtle and you can see it revealed in the second screen capture, above: the feed is specified as "/feed/rss" but it should be "/feed/rss2", the latter including PubDate information that RSS Graffiti needs to work correctly.
To fix it, we'll add the new feed, delete the old feed, then wait patiently for the application to get around to scanning the source again.
To add a new feed, click on "+ Add feed". Ingenious, who would have thought?!
This time, specify your domain name followed by "/feed/rss2" instead of the default "rss" in the appropriate field, then give this feed a name:
Done? "Save" it by clicking on the Save button.
Now you have two feeds hooked up, rss and rss2. Not good.
Time to go back to the original "/feed/rss" feed and delete it by clicking on the "Delete" button. It'll ask if you're sure you want to do this:
And you do. Click "Okay" and you're good to go. Finally.
Oh, and that missing element in the RSS feed? It's not such a big deal when you look at it. Here's a sample from my own feed:
<pubDate>Fri, 02 Dec 2011 16:14:08 +0000</pubDate>
Amazing how a single line can cause such a confusing glitch...
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