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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Word Length Checker

This tool checks for word length, but instead of pasting text into a box, it's more complicated than that. Here's the problem I was having and why I created this tool:

One of my niche sites has several hundred posts of varying length. Since Panda it hasn't been doing so well, and a huge part of this is the length of each post. The only posts that are doing well are the longer ones. So I wanted to find each of the offending "short" posts and expand on the topic of each. There are several hundred posts, so it's something that will take quite a bit of time doing manually, thus this tool was born.

While there is a better way to do this than by pulling the blog's RSS feed (the feed only hold x amount of information) I decided that this would be the quickest way to get the program up and running. The program is written in Ruby and uses nokogiri & open-uri so that it can retrieve and parse not only the feed, but each post on the feed. It then takes each post and counts up the words. The end result is a list of articles (and their content) which does not pass a minimum word length (which is essentially just a list of blog posts I need to lengthen.)

It's a work in progress, thus the gist over the formal repo, but head on over to the project to check it out!