FAQ - Feeds, OpenID, and Other Sites

  1. What are feeds?
  2. How do I create or subscribe to a feed (RSS/Atom)?
  3. Where can I find feeds to subscribe to?
  4. How do I view my feeds separately from the rest of my subscriptions?
  5. The feed I'm following isn't updating. Why?
  6. Can I get an RSS or Atom feed of my Dreamwidth journal?
  7. Who can read the feed of my journal?
  8. How much of each entry shows in the feed of my journal?
  9. What is an OpenID Account?
  10. Why has my OpenID account left so many comments?
  11. How can I claim my OpenID account with my Dreamwidth account?
  12. How do I comment using OpenID?
  13. Why don't OpenID accounts show up on my reading page?
  14. Why do I receive errors when logging into Dreamwidth with my OpenID?
  15. I can't log in using my Google account on Dreamwidth.

» What are feeds?

Feeds are a way for you to view content from one site on another site. If a site has an RSS or Atom feed available, you can create and subscribe to a feed account for it. When you subscribe to a feed, your reading page will include the feed's entries.

Feed accounts are only checked for updates once an hour, and only entries from the last 14 days will appear on Dreamwidth.

Last Activity:
March 7th, 2013 (denise)

» How do I create or subscribe to a feed (RSS/Atom)?

To subscribe to a feed, go to the Feeds page, which you can reach through the "Read" menu on main site pages.

Enter the URL (web address) of the feed in the "Add Feed" box. You can enter the URL of the site if you don't know the URL of the feed, but this will only work if the page has a feed associated with it. Most feeds are RSS or Atom.

If a feed account already exists on Dreamwidth, you will be given the opportunity to subscribe to that account. You can also subscribe to it the same way you subscribe to other journals.

If no feed account exists, you will be prompted to enter a name for the feed account. All feed accounts have "_feed" automatically added to the end of their names; you don't need to enter that. Once you've named the feed account, it'll be created and you can subscribe to it.

If you find a site that has multiple feeds, please let Support know.

Last Activity:
August 31st, 2015 (kaberett)

» Where can I find feeds to subscribe to?

The main Feeds page, which is part of the Read menu on main site pages, lists the 20 most popular feeds you aren't subscribed to. You can select any you want to subscribe to, then use the "Add Selected" button.

The Feeds page also links to the List of Feeds, which lists the 1000 feeds with the most subscribers on Dreamwidth.

You can also subscribe to the [site community profile] dw_feed_promo community, where people post about interesting feeds they read.

Last Activity:
August 31st, 2015 (kaberett)

» How do I view my feeds separately from the rest of my subscriptions?

You can view only your feeds by adding ?show=F to the URL (web address) to your Reading Page, for example:


If you want to exclude feeds but see all other entries, you can add ?show=PC to the URL to your Reading Page:


Last Activity:
August 31st, 2015 (kaberett)

» The feed I'm following isn't updating. Why?

The code Dreamwidth Studios uses for feeds works best with simple, valid RSS or Atom feeds. Complex feeds or feeds that don't validate may not be usable on Dreamwidth.

Some reasons why feeds may not update are:

  • Entries too old:
    Feeds on Dreamwidth only show entries from the last 14 days. If all of the entries in the feed are older than this, the Dreamwidth feed will appear to be empty.

  • Source file size:
    We only support feed files under 3MB in size. If the feed is larger than this, it won't update.

  • Invalid feed:
    Feed files must be in the correct format to be usable on Dreamwidth. You can check if a feed is valid with a feed validator.

  • Complicated source files:
    We attempt to support most common RSS and Atom feeds. However, some authors include extra functionality that we don't support. For example podcasts, photocasts, or videocasts may not work on Dreamwidth.

  • Feed URL is incorrect:
    If the feed URL has changed, and no redirect has been set up by the feed owners, the feed on Dreamwidth will stop updating. If this happens, please open a support request in the Feeds category. Please include:
    --Name of the feed account (example_feed.dreamwidth.org)
    --New feed URL

    The feed source will be updated by Support volunteers, and should be working within 24 hours of someone seeing it.

    If you are aware of a Dreamwidth feed account which is using the new feed source already, please include this as well so that it can be merged with the existing account.
  • Last Activity:
    August 31st, 2015 (kaberett)

    » Can I get an RSS or Atom feed of my Dreamwidth journal?

    Dreamwidth Studios has RSS and Atom feeds for all accounts. You can access these at:


    You can replace username with the name of any account.

    You can also access feeds for entries with a specific tag by appending ?tag=tagname to the end of the URL. So for instance, you could find a feed of all your entries tagged "cake" at:


    These feeds can be used to read content from Dreamwidth on other sites or through dedicated feed reader programs. They are also used by people who have limited web access or who use programs with special accessibility considerations.

    Last Activity:
    March 7th, 2013 (denise)

    » Who can read the feed of my journal?

    Anyone can read the feed of your journal, but this will not allow people to view any content they wouldn't be able to see normally.

    Typically, this means your feed will only contain the public entries you make. However, there are two ways for people to see protected entries to which they have access:

    1. If you're accessing the feed through a web browser or any program that uses your web browser's login cookies.
    2. You can add ?auth=digest to the end of the feed URL. For instance:


    Last Activity:
    August 31st, 2015 (kaberett)

    » How much of each entry shows in the feed of my journal?

    By default, the feed of your journal shows all text before a cut tag and then a link to the entry.

    You can change this for your journal, or for a community you're the admin of, at the Privacy tab of the Account Settings page, under the setting "Syndication Level". (To make the change for a community you admin, choose the community in the drop-down box next to "Work As" and hit the button labeled "Switch".) The options are:

    Full Text
    Displays full text of each entry, including everything after a cut tag
    Cut Tag
    Displays the entry up to the first cut tag, along with a link to the entry.
    Brief Summary
    Contains only the title of the entry and the first few lines, then a link to the entry.
    Title Only
    Contains only the entry's title and a link to the entry.

    If you set your feeds to display only a summary or title, this will make it harder for people who use your feed to read your journal. Be sure this is what you want to do before making the change!

    Last Activity:
    August 31st, 2015 (kaberett)

    » What is an OpenID Account?

    OpenID is a way for you to take the account you've created from another site that supports OpenID and use it to comment or participate in communities on Dreamwidth. Sites that offer OpenID support include all sites based on recent versions of the LiveJournal code, all sites based on Dreamwidth code, many email providers, and many more.

    After you've logged in to your regular site, you can log into Dreamwidth using OpenID. When you're setting up your OpenID for use on our site, the other site will ask you if they can "pass your credentials" to Dreamwidth. This is how your identity is validated and why you need to be logged in to another site to log in to Dreamwidth with OpenID.

    After setting up the account, you should set and confirm your email address for use on the Dreamwidth site. If you do, you will be able to receive emailed notifications of replies to your comments, and your account will be treated like a Dreamwidth account for the purposes of comment screening and comment security in other journals. If you don't, your account will be treated like an anonymous commenter.

    Once you've set up your OpenID account, you can use it in many of the same ways you would use a regular account. The main difference between an OpenID account and an account you maintain on Dreamwidth itself is that you can't post entries in your own journal with an OpenID account, since OpenID accounts don't have journals. However, OpenID accounts can post comments in other journals, subscribe to other journals, use a Reading Page, and be added to other people's access lists, and participate in communities.

    As with Dreamwidth accounts, you'll only be able to read locked content in a journal if the journal owner has added you to the access list for that journal.

    Last Activity:
    August 31st, 2015 (kaberett)

    » Why has my OpenID account left so many comments?

    An OpenID account is automatically created for everyone who's left comments on the various journals account holders import to our site. This makes sure that the people who originally left those comments still have control over them and are able to delete them if they wish.

    Depending on how many comments you've left in imported journals, you may find your OpenID account listed as having posted hundreds or even thousands of comments, even if you haven't posted anything to Dreamwidth yourself. This is normal and doesn't mean someone else has access to your account.

    Last Activity:
    March 7th, 2013 (denise)

    » How can I claim my OpenID account with my Dreamwidth account?

    If you've imported your journal or a community that you've posted in, and want to update the imported comments and community entries so that the comments and entries appear to come from your Dreamwidth account instead of your OpenID, you can claim your OpenID account with your Dreamwidth account.

    Visit the Claim your OpenID page while logged in as the account you want to claim the OpenID with. This is the account that the posts and comments will update as having been posted by.

    Put in the URL of the OpenID account -- for instance, if you want to claim comments that show up as having been posted by exampleusername.livejournal.com, you'd enter http://exampleusername.livejournal.com.

    You will be forwarded to the remote site to verify your identity. You will only get this step if you haven't previously told the remote site to always verify you to Dreamwidth. For instance, if you logged into Dreamwidth using your LiveJournal OpenID before, and told LiveJournal to always authorize Dreamwidth to have access to your identity, this step will be skipped; the authentication will happen quietly and automatically in the background.

    After a delay of about an hour — to give you a chance to change your mind — you'll get a confirmation link in email. As soon as you click that link, your OpenID will be claimed. The process is not undoable, so be sure you're logged into the right account, and enter the right OpenID URL, before you click the confirmation link. Clicking the link will activate the process.

    Once the process has been started, your entries and comments will slowly be updated. It may take a while for all your entries and comments to be updated. The "comments posted" count on the profile of both accounts won't be updated to reflect the new numbers.

    You only have to claim your OpenID once. After you've claimed it, any new comments or posts that are imported will automatically be updated to use your Dreamwidth account instead of your OpenID.

    Right now, if your username on the remote site has an underscore in it, you might not be able to claim your OpenID properly. This is a bug we're working to fix.

    Last Activity:
    August 31st, 2015 (kaberett)

    » How do I comment using OpenID?

    If you already have an OpenID account, you can log in with that account. When you're logged in, your comments will be posted with your OpenID name by default. If you're not logged in, you can enter your OpenID directly comment form by selecting the OpenID option and entering your OpenID URL into the form. You may need to use the More Options button to move to the full reply page which includes this part of the form.

    You don't need to have an OpenID account set up on Dreamwidth for this to work. If you don't, though, your comments will be treated as anonymous and you can only comment if anonymous comments are allowed. If you've set up an OpenID account and confirmed an email address for it, your OpenID comments will be treated as comments from a known person. Where you're not allowed to comment with unregistered OpenID identities, the OpenID part of the form will be de-activated. In this case, logging in with your OpenID will let you comment.

    Last Activity:
    August 31st, 2015 (kaberett)

    » Why don't OpenID accounts show up on my reading page?

    OpenID accounts can be used by your friends to read and comment on your entries, including protected entries, on Dreamwidth. For example, if one of your LiveJournal friends logged into their OpenID account on Dreamwidth, they would be able to see protected entries here just like they would on LiveJournal.

    However, the content of the source journal isn't carried over, and OpenID accounts can't make entries of their own. Subscribing to an OpenID account won't have any effect on your reading page. For more information on what OpenID accounts can and can not do, see What is an OpenID Account?

    Dreamwidth is working towards better cross-site integration, but there are limits to the methods that can be used without the cooperation of the remote site.

    You can set up individual feed accounts for each account on another site whose posts you would like to follow. How do I add a feed to my reading list? explains how to do this. Feed accounts will pull the content from LiveJournal, although it will only have access to public entries. This may not be ideal if you have many friends who post friends-locked entries.

    Last Activity:
    December 20th, 2016 (karzilla)

    » Why do I receive errors when logging into Dreamwidth with my OpenID?

    There are several reasons you may receive an error when trying to log into Dreamwidth with your OpenID.

    First, be sure that the URL you're using supports OpenID. While many services support using your URL as an OpenID, not all do.

    If you know that the URL you're using is for a service that supports OpenID, there are several other troubleshooting steps you can take:

    1. Make sure you are using the right version of the URL. If your username on the other site has underscores in it, replace them with hyphens. For instance, instead of using user_name.example.org, use user-name.example.org.

    2. Make sure the other site doesn't show any "click-through" or "interstitial" pages before loading your URL. For instance, some websites will show full-page ads that the viewer has to watch or click on before a page will load. Other sites like LiveJournal give you the option to mark your journal as having "adult concepts", which requires the viewer to acknowledge this before displaying your journal. If you're having trouble using your OpenID on those sites, removing those click-through pages — by switching to a different ad provider or by removing the adult content warning — may help to resolve the problem.

    3. Make sure you haven't overriden the part of the webpage header that declares it is an OpenID server. On sites such as LiveJournal, this means making sure your account customizations don't override the automatically-generated header tags.

    If you can't resolve the problem on your own, contact Support. Let them know what URL you're trying to log in with, and be sure to include the text of any error messages you get.

    Last Activity:
    December 20th, 2016 (karzilla)

    » I can't log in using my Google account on Dreamwidth.

    Dreamwidth does not currently support OpenID Connect, which means that we can't accept logins from Google and its affiliated sites.

    The only workaround currently available is to either create a Dreamwidth account, or use an OpenID from another site which still supports an earlier version of OpenID. LiveJournal and most LiveJournal-based sites (InsaneJournal, for example) provide this type of OpenID.

    Last Activity:
    December 20th, 2016 (karzilla)

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