The RSS Blog
Randy Charles Morin blogs about Really Simple Syndication, RDF, FOAF, The Semantic Web and Social Software.
 
Copyright 2003-5 Randy Charles Morin
The RSS Blog
Mon, 01 Aug 2005 04:14:43 GMT
New Sharpreader

After more than a year without a new version of Sharpreader, Luke Hutteman finally released a long awaited new version, with Atom 1.0 support.

http://www.hutteman.com/weblog/2005/07/28-230.html

Sat, 30 Jul 2005 01:46:01 GMT
JournalHome

A long-time ago, I had a few blogs on JournalHome. One day, JournalHome announced they were no longer allowing user to run ads on the blogs, but would be running their own ads. The blogs were new and only experimental, so I quickly deleted the blogs and moved onto another host. Today, I received an email from JournalHome telling me that they were removing their own ads and allowing clients to run ads again. I guess they realized what a stupid decision that was. Well, stupid will always be stupid. The email they sent me didn't even have a link back to JournalHome.com. In fact, other than in their email address, the string JournalHome.com didn't occur once in the entire email.

http://www.journalhome.com

Fri, 29 Jul 2005 15:10:53 GMT
Google Patents RSS Ads
It would seem that Google has patented RSS ads :-) The patent seems to have been filed less than one month before Pheedo appeared on the Web. The basic claims in the patent are most likely non-enforceable.
Thu, 28 Jul 2005 17:18:03 GMT
HTML vs. XML

A very interesting thread is circulating the Blogosphere about the disadvantages of XML on the Web. I'll let you read the thoughts to day. I won't quote these articles otherwise, because my points isn't about any one point they make, but rather about a general misunderstanding people have about XML.

Let me begin with a history lesson which I'm certain Dare, Tantek and Anne don't need, but for the rest of us.

A long time ago, Charles Goldfarb invented a markup language called SGML. SGML described how you could encode a hierarchical data structure inside of angled brackets. A little bit later, Tim Berners-Lee implemented HTML using SGML. That is, he created a hypertext-based hierarchical data structure based on the principles of SGML. The next part of story we all know very well. The Web and HTML got very popular.

At this point, people wondered if other SGML applications could also exist on the Web. The problem was that SGML parsing required knowledge of the application format (the DTD). This required a very smart parser. IE and Firefox are very smart parsers. You couldn't imagine how many mistakes the average Web developer makes and yet IE and Firefox are still capable of rendering something intelligent to the end-user. If we wanted other applications to exist on the Web, then SGML could not be the answer. What we needed was a subset of SGML that could be easily parsed. Enter XML.

Meanwhile some really intelligent people realized that HTML had another flaw. It mixed content and presentation. We could separate the content from the presentation (stylesheets). Now here's where I get confused. Along came XSLT and CSS. Both were god-awful attempts to add stylesheets to XML and HTML, but simple enough that they were widely adopted. In another thread, people started wondering how they could port HTML from SGML to XML and there ya go, we have XHTML. Now we're getting pretty close to lightweight parsing Web. But how does this all fit together? It doesn't.

You can format generic XML by tossing it thru a stylesheet and you can format XHTML by applying a bit of CSS, but there's no real convergence. So, you have two camps; one argument for styled generic XML and another for styled XHTML. What's new? Both have upsides and both have downsides. It's like Atom vs. RSS. XQuery vs. XPath.

On the other hand, XML is also great as a wire format for transferring data (RSS) between applications, but that's entirely another story and has little (but some) TODO with whether we should style generic XML or style XHTML. Should you apply a stylesheet to RSS to make your feed presentable? I guess you could and it works, so people are doing it. This is kinda how my blog software works. You see, each page has an equivalent RSS (XML) view. On the server side, I run the RSS thru an XSLT and apply a CSS.

Last, can we at least agree that HTML and SGML should be burried ASAP?

Thu, 28 Jul 2005 11:42:15 GMT
My AOL

Baher Al Hakhim AOL has just launched a cool-looking Web-based RSS Reader, naturally called My AOL. According to SiliconBeat Feedster is providing the technology that lets My AOL users find feeds they want to subscribe to, in its biggest deal to date.

http://www.technoogle.com/?p=46

Thu, 28 Jul 2005 11:28:53 GMT
Atomic RSS

Tim Bray: Other Good Ideas. It would be perfectly legal to put an <atom:link rel="self" href="[your feed address here]"/> in your RSS 2.0; this is designed to support one-click subscription, which is something the world needs. Randy Charles Morin is proposing that existing RSS-reading software start supporting this.

http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2005/07/27/Atomic-RSS#p-5

Randy: Cool! And I love XFDL.

Thu, 28 Jul 2005 03:02:10 GMT
Introducing KBCafe link search

Now you can get all the most recent links to your blog in one place. Goodbye Technorati.

http://www.kbcafe.com/links.aspx

Wed, 27 Jul 2005 17:17:28 GMT
R|mail styling

Paul R. Pival has been bugging me all month to provide more detailed instructions on formatting an R|mail subscription widget. Let me apologize upfront for not reacting earlier, I really need to focus on some customer satisfaction karma. I'll give you an excuse, I switched houses this month after nine years in the old house, there's was more boxes of junk than their should have been. Enough already, onto Paul's problem.

When I built R|mail I realized that people would want to style the R|mail widget, so I added classes attributes to the major HTML elements. Normally you added an R|mail widget to your blog by placing the following HTML <script>.

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.therssweblog.com/rss2smtp.aspx?rss={your feed URL goes here}"></script>

Don't forget to replace the {your feed URL goes here} with your actual feed URL. This will produce the widget in the black box below.

If you look under the hood, that <script> is actually translated to HTML that looks like this.

<form class='kbcafermail' action='http://www.therssweblog.com/rss2smtp.aspx' method='post'>
<div class='kbcafermailmailto'>
<input type='hidden' name='rss' value='http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheRssBlog' />
<input type='hidden' name='lang' value='' />
Email:<input type='text' name='mailto' value='randy@kbcafe.com' /></div>
<div class='kbcafermailsubmit'> <input type='submit' value='Subscribe' /></div> </form>

Using CSS, we can now apply styles to this HTML. If you want to change the 'Email:' text to white, then add the following style inside your HTML <head> element.

<style type='text/css'>
.kbcafemailmailto { color: white; }
</style>

Or, if you wanted to center the Subscribe button, then add the following style inside your HTML <head> element.

<style type='text/css'>
.kbcafemailsubmit { text-align: center; }
</style>

I hope this helps! Thanks Paul for pushing me TODO this.

Wed, 27 Jul 2005 16:35:56 GMT
Stop it with the Angled Brackets Already!!!

Dave points us to MSNBC's new podcast. <rant>This is the stupidest implementation of XML that I've ever seen. When you click on the podcast icons on MSNBC, they render some beautiful angled brackets into my browser. Some techie at MSNBC should be fired. Could you guys stop rendering angled brackets in my browser? Sure, I could cut and paste the URLs between the angled brackets into the address bar, but do you really think the average user is gonna figure this one out? Let me suggest an alternative. Change the Content-Type of the XML file from text/xml to application/rss+xml. Now a podcasting agent should be able to pick it up. Also, always provide a Play button on the left (more pronounced than the podcast button) for the 99.9% of the Web that doesn't have a podcatcher installed.</rant>

Wed, 27 Jul 2005 12:33:46 GMT
Tracking the Blogs

BusinessWeek: CEO Technorati David Sifry talks about the prospect of big-name competition and the challenge of the blogosphere's hand-over-fist expansion.

Read entire article.

Wed, 27 Jul 2005 12:19:59 GMT
Worst Than Having Nothing At All

Rok Hrastnik: All that Google's RSS functionality allows you to do is subscribe to feeds, which are then placed on your homepage as headlines, with the ability to select the number of headlines displayed, but no ability to see the descriptions or even full-text content.

Wed, 27 Jul 2005 05:39:36 GMT
Technorati Up!
I think it's appropriate, with all the complaining this month, that I have to point out, Technorati seems to be working better than ever right now.
Wed, 27 Jul 2005 03:34:11 GMT
Freshness Search

Of late, we've all been Technorati bashing, because they are no longer producing consistent results. We're looking at BlogPulse and IceRocket and Feedster and they all have their own problems. No solution. What about Google link searches? No, they are weighted by relevance, not freshness. Since we're looking for new links to our blogs, relevance is no longer really useful. What about MSN link searches? By default MSN link searches report results by three criteria, one of which is freshness. I wonder if Scoble knows you can set these criteria and search exclusively by freshness. You can. By the way, I just added BlogPulse and MSN to kbcafe link searches. The results are actually disappointing, so I'm not gonna make a big deal about it. BlogPulse is experience increasingly longer response times and MSN is not reporting enough timely results. I also found the MSN Search Builder was broken in IE (works in Firefox). In the meanwhile, Yahoo! says they will be the solution. Can't wait.

Wed, 27 Jul 2005 02:10:58 GMT
Yahoo working on a Technorati killer

Ian Forrester: Jeremy Zawodny was very interesting and pointed out a couple of things.

Randy: Yummy! It'll be great to finally get a blogosphere search engine that works.

Wed, 27 Jul 2005 00:52:11 GMT
I Blog, the Stamp
I Blog
Tue, 26 Jul 2005 23:48:11 GMT
Bad User-Agents

As more and more User-Agents start polling RSS, more and more badly written User-Agents being polling my feed more than once per hour per subscriber. Giving a little bit of room for error, here are those reporting more than 30 polls per day according to FeedBurner.

Rojo is a Web based aggregator and likely is not reporting their subscriber numbers. I'll let them slide. If you have any of the other RSS readers, then please unsubscribe. I don't want you reading my blogs. Thanks!

Tue, 26 Jul 2005 20:42:41 GMT
FeedBurner does Atom 1.0

Eric Lunt: We're happy to announce immediate support for the latest syndication format, Atom 1.0, across the entire spectrum of FeedBurner services.

http://www.burningdoor.com/feedburner/archives/001340.html

Randy: These guys are good. And fast.

Tue, 26 Jul 2005 20:25:52 GMT
KBCafe Shopping search
I just kludged in shopping search on KBCafe. Here's a search for Harry Potter. Since Amazon doesn't provide very rich RSS feeds, I wrote an XSLT to convert their REST search API to RSS and then another XSLT to convert their REST lookup API to HTML. Feed free to borrow them. Like everything I do, it needs UI work ;-) 
Tue, 26 Jul 2005 17:31:14 GMT
Podscope to Index Podcast Universe

Podcasting News: Podscope, a search engine that indexes the spoken audio content of podcasts, has announced that it plans to "cover all non-music audio and video podcasts by August 31, 2005".

http://www.podscope.com/

Randy: Can we start calling the podcast universe the podosphere? Podscope has a blog. Subscribed.

Tue, 26 Jul 2005 16:43:05 GMT
Google Adds RSS

Steve Rubel: Google has turned its Google Fusion customized home page into a full-fledged RSS reader.

http://www.micropersuasion.com/2005/07/google_adds_rss.html

Randy: MHO, this is extremely uninteresting. It's like My Yahoo! by Google. But it's Google, so they'll get a lot of users. The Ajax is pretty cool (very similar to start.com).

Tue, 26 Jul 2005 15:04:59 GMT
The 7 habits of highly effective bloggers

Amit Agarwal: These are some of the lessons I learned in my one year of existence in the blogosphere.

  1. Thou shalt not edit or delete user comments
  2. Thou shalt make your site statistics public
  3. Thou shalt not copy paste press releases
  4. Thou shalt get to the point early
  5. Thou shalt not blog only for Adsense
  6. Thou shalt make your blogroll public
  7. Thou shalt research before blogging

http://labnol.blogspot.com/2005/07/7-habits-of-highly-effective-bloggers.html

Randy: A lot of people are trying to bind bloggers into following one style. This I entirely disagree with. Here's my item-by-item response.

  1. If you don't like a user comment (maybe you don't like cursing), then you should be free to delete or edit (without significant change to the meaning) the user comments.
  2. There is no requirement to publish your site stats, unless you want to, your choice.
  3. Press releases are there to be copied and pasted, that's the whole point of a press release, to get the message out.
  4. You don't have to have a point to blog, just blog it!
  5. If you want to blog only for Adsense, then fine, just don't SPAM the search engines.
  6. Blogroll or not, I like them, but it's not a requirement.
  7. Research? Why not! It can't hurt.

I prefer the following 7 habits.

  1. Don't SPAM.
  2. Don't email spam.
  3. Don't comment Spam.
  4. Don't blog sPam.
  5. Don't search engine spaM.
  6. Don't sPaM.
  7. Don't SpAm.
Mon, 25 Jul 2005 16:45:49 GMT
Dave's OPML Editor

I tried out Dave's OPML editor this morning. Hours before the pending public release. The UI concepts are exactly similar to Radio Userland. Creating an outline and uploading it to the server was trivial. Congrats Dave! I'm still unsure what the application is.

GET IT HERE!!! >> http://support.opml.org/download << GET IT HERE!!!

Update: My OPML Editor blog.

Update: Dave's "brief podcast to celebrate the public ship of the OPML Editor".

Mon, 25 Jul 2005 14:07:59 GMT
Why R|mail?

An R|mail user: Doesn't the email clients like Thunderbird have already a rss feed reader?

Randy: This is a common question I get from potential R|mail users. R|mail is not about trying to convince Thunderbird users to switch to R|mail. R|mail is about enabling users that otherwise don't really care about RSS and RSS readers, which is the vast majorify of the potential market. Only a very small percentage of Web users actually use an RSS reader, but all of them have email. Those email users are using Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and Outlook and none of these have RSS reading built-in. Adding an R|mail subscription widget to your blog enables these users to subscribe to you. This translates directly to more subscribers.

http://www.therssweblog.com/rss2smtp.aspx

Mon, 25 Jul 2005 11:33:32 GMT
Blogpulse Profiles

Blogpulse: Still in testing phases (patience, please?) is a totally new feature called BlogPulse Profiles, which adds metrics to the top-ranked 10,000 blogs, based on citations, posting and linking behavior.

Randy: I was happy to find iBLOGthere4iM in the top 10k, just barely. The RSS Blog is not in the top 10k, even though my own metrics show a lot higher readership and in-coming link count :-(  I hope they take the lid off the top 10k blogs only, as this could become the replacement for broken Technorati.

Mon, 25 Jul 2005 04:12:58 GMT
Automated Blog Chatter
I'm getting a lot of automated blog comment chatter today. Here and here and many other places. Unsure why? Any ideas?
Sat, 23 Jul 2005 16:58:43 GMT
Feedster {noearlycompletion}

Scott Johnson: Like many search engines, the values that Feedster displays for the number of search results a particular query produces is an estimate. [cut] How did I know that the estimate was off? Well I used the search modifier {noearlycompletion}. This is a search optimization hint which says to Feedster "Actually perform this search to its fullest extent before returning the results and the total number of results".

http://scott.feedster.com/archives/143-Understanding-noearlycompletion.html

Sat, 23 Jul 2005 16:36:17 GMT
Problems with Pubsub in Bloglines?

Richard Querin: When I add a search feed to Bloglines it shows the entry but the feed hardly ever updates. The one I've still got in there has updated twice in two weeks even though it's updating much more frequently when I check at the pubsub site. I found a blog post citing a similar problem.

http://jack-of-all-tradez.blogspot.com/2005/07/problems-with-pubsub-search-feeds-in.html

Randy: I've also seen reported the same problem with FeedBurner feeds in Bloglines. The feeds in Bloglines seem to get jammed or something and you have to contact their technical support to fix.

Sat, 23 Jul 2005 00:04:24 GMT
star.com OPML

Someone from Microsoft's experimental start.com group has left a comment on my blog saying "We just added OPML import and export. Check it out". I'll check it out tonight and hopefully report back with an update.

http://www.start.com/myw3b/

Update: I imported 500+ subs into start.com no problem. I do have one feature requests, if you could sort the subs by <title>, then I could easily locate them without Ctrl+F.

Fri, 22 Jul 2005 20:25:19 GMT
Technorati Beta: Slowed to a Crawl

Stowe Boyd: I am starting to wonder if the backlog and performance is making Technorati not only difficult to use, but maybe the data is becoming incomplete or erroneous?

Fri, 22 Jul 2005 19:35:52 GMT
Blogosphere vs. rel=NOFOLLOW

More and more, I hear bloggers complaining that their total incoming referred hits from Google have fallen dramatically. It's my belief that this is happening because the total amount of link between blogs and that are indexed by Google have been reduced substantially by the rel='NOFOLLOW' attribute. Here's a sample hit chart for a French blog.

This month, I noticed a similar change in Google referrers on the kbcafe.com domain. This is the price the blogosphere pays for not controlling comment SPAM.

Fri, 22 Jul 2005 19:00:21 GMT
New url for the ping site form

Dave Winer: Today we changed the url of the "ping site form."  [cut] if you can reprogram your client to use the new address, now would be a good time to do it. [cut] So here's the new address...

http://www.weblogs.com/pingSiteForm

Fri, 22 Jul 2005 16:38:06 GMT
What if a Tree Fell

Kent Newsome: So how do the rest of us get noticed? Here's my approach so far:

  1. Let folks know you have a web site
  2. Use blogrolls and trackbacks
  3. Cross promote
  4. Keep on keeping on

http://www.newsome.org/2005/07/what-if-tree-fell.shtml

Randy: Following up on my a-lister blog entry, Kent has some advice on getting noticed.

Fri, 22 Jul 2005 15:25:53 GMT
Blogosphere Search Wars

So, I wrote a pretty interesting article yesterday that got picked up by a dozen or so blogs. This gives me the chance to find out just how many links each of the major search engines were capable of finding.

  1. Technorati got 7
  2. Bloglines got 9 (removing duplicates only 6)
  3. IceRocket got 5
  4. Feedster got 3 (removing duplicates only 2)

Hmmm! It would seem, at first glance that Technorati is winning the war. But, I don't have time to check every permalink of my blog. I should be able to just give the blog homepage URL and get all the incoming links. In fact, Technorati use to do this, but for some reason, no longer does. Now, let's re-examine using the blog homepage and counting only results for the specific article.

  1. Bloglines got 9 (some duplicates)
  2. IceRocket got 4
  3. Technorati got 0
  4. Feedster got 0

Further, both IceRocket and Feedster provide their results as an RSS feed. You can also get the link results of Technorati as RSS, but only if you register and create the feeds individually. To get the results as RSS, you have to create a new feed with Technorati for each permalink. That's too much work to be useful.

Last, none of the search engines picked up even half of the in-coming links. I think it's about time, I introduced link search to kbcafe search (Feedster and IceRocket only).

Note: Results are not accurate, because they change with time. Feel free to update the counts with your own interpretation in the comments.

Fri, 22 Jul 2005 15:09:10 GMT
RSS Usage Revealed

Bill Flitter:  Led by Bloglines, 70 percent of Pheedo managed feeds are read by only five aggregators. [cut] Pheedo is seeing Bloglines atop our feed reader statistics, followed by Firefox, Thunderbird, NewsGator and Sharpreader.

http://www.pheedo.info/archives/000265.html?rss-specifications

Randy: Pheedo's stats differ significantly from FeedBurner's or my own. I attribute this difference to the timing when these services came online and the customer base. Pheedo, a much older service, has Sharpreader, a much older reader, as #5. FeedBurner has BoingBoing and other top blogs using their service. Cross promotion of these services with My Yahoo! means that FeedBurner is gonna get a lot of hits from Yahoo! Further, FeedBurner has awesome podcasting support and this translates to more hits from iPodder, iTunes and the other podcatchers.

Thu, 21 Jul 2005 23:58:20 GMT
R|mail Passes 2000 Subs

Coolz0r: Since it started, April 24th '05, R|Mail has always been on the move. A little slow at first, but certainly progressing. This morning, the counter hit 2000 subs, and by now, it's already 2065.

http://blog.coolz0r.com/posted/rmail-passes-2000-subs.html

Randy: For the record, R|mail crossed 2000 subscriptions between 8 and 9AM EST this morning.

Thu, 21 Jul 2005 21:13:15 GMT
Feed the Feeds

In her usual long-winded fashion, Shelley tells us she's pulling her Atom and RSS 2.0 feeds. It's RSS 1.0 or bust.

http://weblog.burningbird.net/archives/2005/07/21/feed-the-feeds/

This gives me an idea. When Atom 0.3 is pulled from the FeedValidator, then I'm pulling support for Atom 0.3, RSS 0.9x and RSS 1.0. It's Atom 1.0 or RSS 2.0 or forget-bout-it.

Thu, 21 Jul 2005 17:45:56 GMT
Review of RSS Readers

As promised, this article is a rundown of all the RSS readers that I've used over the years (and others) and a little bit about what I like and dislike about each. Not to mention, a lot of linking juice to other previous reviews of RSS readers. Please feel free to continue the discussion in my comments or on your blog.

Pluck

Pluck is a family of RSS readers; a Web-based reader, a Firefox sidebar and an Internet Explorer toolbar. I was able to synchronize my subscriptions across all three readers, which is really nice, since I often have need for all three platforms. The thing about Pluck is that it's pretty easy to use, doesn't require you to launch an application that you aren't already using and it simply works. This is a great starter RSS reader, but on the downside, they seem to have technical issues that prevent some users from using it (even thought it's a Web application, I'm unable to connect from my workplace) and Pluck lacks some of the more interesting features of other RSS readers.

My Yahoo!

My Yahoo! is by far the most broadly used RSS reader. The reason is simple, Yahoo! slipped RSS under the hood of My Yahoo! without the user having to know WTF RSS is. Compound that with the +my.yahoo buttons found across all their Websites and partner Websites and it's no wonder they are #1. An A+ goes to Yahoo!'s information management and marketing departments. On the downside, My Yahoo! isn't a very good RSS reader [for the advanced user] and Yahoo! often creates invalid RSS that works in My Yahoo! but that doesn't work in other RSS readers. Again, like Pluck, My Yahoo! is a great place to get started with RSS, but I find it lacking compared to other RSS readers. On a more broad scope, Yahoo! is doing a lot of interesting things with RSS and that makes Yahoo! a great community leader and well ahead of the competition; Microsoft and Google.

Update: Some feedback indicated that my words were harsher than I wanted them to be on the downside of My Yahoo! and I just wanted to stress that My Yahoo! is one of the best places to get started with RSS.

GreatNews

GreatNews is the first really interesting reader I'm discussing in this article. The reading view [screen shot] is actually very interesting and as advertised, you can scan thru articles twice as fast as with other news readers. One feature that Bloglines users will appreciate is that GreatNews uses the Bloglines API to reader directly from Bloglines, which means you can alternate between GreatNews and Bloglines, and your subscriptions and read items are synchronized. The product is still in Beta and has a rather large Chinese following, which is a good sign that it's internationalized and Chinese localized. Although many other RSS readers are internationalized and many are Chinese localized, this is one of a few RSS readers that have an active Chinese support forum. The downside of GreatNews is that it's less than six months old (still in Beta) and mostly playing catch-up at this point, but development is progressing quickly and it could become one of the most powerful RSS readers before the end of the year.

Custom Reader Demo

Custom Reader Demo is a brandable-RSS reader. In other words, it's not really meant for general distribution, but if you have a Website and you'd like your users to read RSS in a reader branded with your logo, then this is the solution. Recommended for those looking for their own branded RSS reader.

Bloglines

Bloglines is a very powerful Web-based RSS reader. It is also extremely popular among geeks. They also provide an API that allows other RSS reader, like GreatNews to synchronize subscriptions and read items. I find the framed Website difficult to navigate and reading 500 subscriptions in Bloglines is next to impossible. I use Bloglines mostly to maintain my blogroll. Not recommended.

Firefox

Firefox is the simplest of RSS readers and really is just a knock-off of Internet Explorer channels, which is almost 10-yr-old technology. I wouldn't recommend using Firefox as an RSS reader, unless you have less than ten feeds that you are interested in following.

NewsGator - FeedDemon

The most complete line of RSS readers is produced by NewsGator. Very similar to Pluck, they provide three types of RSS readers; Web, Outlook and stand-alone reader called FeedDemon. They also have a podcatcher called FeedStations. Comparing NewsGator to Pluck, NewsGator has much better technology under-the-hood and is more feature-plenty, but I find all of NewsGator's product difficult to navigate and a step down from the easy-of-use found in Pluck. A final note, I hate and don't use Outlook, except when forced, which doesn't translate well to liking NewsGator's Outlook client. On the other hand, if you use Outlook, then NewsGator might be for you. The big downside, FeedDemon is not free ($29.95 USD).

NetNewsWire

NetNewsWire is a Mac OS X RSS reader. I don't use Mac, but I've heard good things and it's really popular. If you Mac, then NetNewsWire is likely your best and one of your only choices for a rich RSS reading experience. And the screenshots are pretty cool too! The big downside, it's not free ($24.95 USD).

R|mail

R|mail admittedly is of my own creation. It's a small little script that I run on my servers that turns RSS in SMTP. You use the form to subscribe your email address to an RSS feed. Every hour, I check if there are new posts and send you the latest one. Pretty simple and you don't need to login to anything or install any software. Not recommended for non-geeks.

RSS Bandit

RSS Bandit was one of the first RSS readers that I used. In fact, 18 months ago, I think it was one of the top 5 distributed RSS applications. But as a hobby project, it hasn't kept pace with the commercial RSS readers. On a technical level, RSS Bandit is quite amazing and since it's open source, I often download the source code to figure out how Dare went about coding this or that feature.

Juice

Juice is my personal RSS reader. I wrote Juice, because I hate Outlook and Outlook-styled RSS readers. That's pretty much 99% of the RSS readers out there. I needed something to quickly read RSS items. In Juice, I have a button 'Read', which I click and click and click and click all day. It makes for fast reading. I also have a button 'Mail', so that I can quickly route RSS items via email and another button 'Post', so that I can quickly post content to my linkblog.

Sharpreader

Two years ago, Sharpreader was by far the best RSS reader on the market. It had some cool features that many RSS readers still don't have today. Unfortunately, like RSS Bandit, it was a hobby project and the owner hasn't been able to allocate any time to moving it forward. I'm also finding that Sharpreader is not very bandwidth friendly, which was acceptable two years ago, but not very acceptable today.

eCruiser

eCruiser is a very popular Japanese RSS reader. I can't tell you much about it, but if you feel more comfortable in a Japanese localized client, then this is likely your best choice.

Trillian News Plugin

Trillian is a very flexible and extensible chat client. They have a news plugin for reading RSS feeds. I can't seem to link directly to the plugin today, unsure why. I haven't used this plugin, but I'm not a Trillian user and I've found that people who use Trillian as an alternate IM client, often complain that it drops IM messages. Last Trillian has features that annoy the other side of the conversation. Not recommended.

Radio

As with most early adopters, my first RSS reader was the Radio Userland client. It was more than just an RSS reader, it was a blogging platform. In some ways, it's still better than the RSS clients above. For instance, most of the RSS readers above allow you to read news, but don't have blogging and most of those that allow blogging only allow very simple link style blogging. But Radio hasn't progressed as an RSS reader in a few years and cannot be used as a stand-alone RSS client. Not recommended.

Thu, 21 Jul 2005 01:57:10 GMT
Cuban to relaunch IceRocket

News.com: [Mark Cuban] will soon relaunch his IceRocket search engine as BlogScour. Similar to Technorati or PubSub, Cuban's BlogScour will search for the latest postings across the so-called blogosphere and return a list of results.

Randy: Awesome, I'll then relaunch KBCafe search as IceRocket and R|mail as IceMail.

Wed, 20 Jul 2005 21:09:59 GMT
Interview with a FeedBurner

Chris Pirillo: If you are still trying to figure out what all this RSS stuff is good for or if you want to understand how to get better information about your podcast or online publishing efforts, this conversation with Rick about using FeedBurner for RSS. [Randy: added link]

http://media.thechrispirilloshow.com/mp3/cps_20050707_feedburner.mp3

Randy: Rick suggests that RSS crossed the Chasm with the Microsoft announcement. The Microsoft announcement might be the anchor that allows us to cross the chasm, but we haven't entered the chasm yet and don't worry.... we will.

Wed, 20 Jul 2005 20:03:45 GMT
kbSearch plug-in updated

Cori Schlegel: Randy at kbcafe updated his meta-search engine to include paginated results, so I took that opportunity to update the kbSearch plug-in to add Netscape’s Prev/Next sidebar functions and to fix some spelling errors in the source.

http://kinrowan.net/development/#kbSearch

Randy: Thanks Cori, this is awesome!

Wed, 20 Jul 2005 19:07:33 GMT
IceRocket Tags
I added IceRocket tag search to the kbcafe search engine, but moments later, I started received (403) Forbidden responses on the RSS results.
Wed, 20 Jul 2005 18:49:05 GMT
Atom 0.3 Denouement

Sam Ruby: As much as I appreciate Longhorn’s support, I really would appreciate it they did not include Atom 0.3 support. [cut] In early August, I plan to have the Feed Validator start issuing warnings whenever it encounters an Atom 0.3 feed. [cut] Possibly as early as October, and certainly no later than the end of the year, these warnings will be converted over to errors.

Randy: This is a good idea, since Atom 1.0 is not backwards compatible with Atom 0.3. Of course, it would have been more convenient if it were backwards compatible, but c'est la vie. I'm personally gonna watch the adoption before I make any concrete decision with respect to R|mail, Juice and my other RSS agents.

Wed, 20 Jul 2005 16:59:42 GMT
70 million blogs

The Blog Herald: There are now at least 70 million blogs in existence with 63 million blogs having been created on 8 leading blog hosting sites that host 1 million or more blogs alone.

  1. MSN Spaces: 15 million
  2. Blogger: 14 million +
  3. Cyworld: 11 million
  4. SixApart (Live Journal/ TypePad, MT): 9.5 million
  5. Planet Weblog Service: 6 million
  6. Yahoo Blogs Korea: 3 million
  7. Skyblog: 2.5 million
  8. Greatest Journal: 1 million

Read on.

Randy: Excellent work! 100 million by x-mas.

Wed, 20 Jul 2005 16:50:46 GMT
FeedTime

FeedTime: The best place to find RSS feeds on the web.

http://www.feedtime.com/

Randy: A feed search engine that features one click subscription, feed ratings and features The RSS Blog on their homepage.

Wed, 20 Jul 2005 16:20:56 GMT
Blog in Space

BloginSpace: When Telling the World Simply Isn’t Enough.

Randy: Mindcomet will send your blog into space for free! Wow! Think of the readership potential? Millions of lifeforms across our universe could be reading about how much I hate spam. A note of caution, you have to give them your email address and a bunch of private information. Or you could just fake them.

Wed, 20 Jul 2005 15:48:17 GMT
A-List Linking
More and more, bloggers are talking about the A-List circular linking. Winer links to Scoble, then Pirillo links to Winer's post on Scoble, then Rubel links to Pirillo's link to Scoble's link to Winer and finally Winer link's to Rubel's link to Pirillo's link to Scoble's link to Winer. In the end, they all get a bunch of Google juice from linking to each other and everybody is happy or at least four of us are happy. There's no sense complaining, this is simply common sense and good marketing. The problem is that the many of us link to the a-listers like mad in hope that they'll just link to us once in a blue moon and boost our Google karma. They get 10 links for every link they give you, sometimes more. I admit, I link to those four quite often myself and rarely get a link back. Let's break this cycle and here's my plan. I have a pretty good Google PageRank (6). Anybody that links to me, gets a return kiss in double (assuming you're not a SPAMmer, you are a real blogger, you have a reasonable blog entry that I can link to and you didn't NOFOLLOW the link to my Website).
Wed, 20 Jul 2005 15:03:17 GMT
Your Favorite RSS Reader

Today, at the request of a reader, I'm gonna do a eval of the most popular RSS agents used to subscribe to this blog. Here's the list, in the order of most subscriptions to The RSS Blog according to FeedBurner.

  1. Pluck
  2. My Yahoo!
  3. GreatNews
  4. Custom Reader Demo 
  5. Bloglines
  6. Firefox
  7. NewsGator Online
  8. NetNewsWire
  9. R|mail
  10. RSS Bandit
  11. FeedDemon
  12. Juice
  13. NewsGator Outlook
  14. Sharpreader
  15. eCruiser

If you have any suggestions, then please leave them in the comments, or send me an email.

Update: Very cool! I just noticed that I now have 4 different RSS readers reporting 100+ subs; Pluck, My Yahoo!, GreatNews and Custom Reader Demo.

Wed, 20 Jul 2005 03:18:20 GMT
What Feeds Matter?

Ask Jeeves: According to Bloglines members around the world, 1,121,655 feeds “matter” to date.

http://blog.ask.com/2005/07/what_feeds_matt.html

Randy: Ask Jeeves published the numbers behind Bloglines.

Tue, 19 Jul 2005 21:28:43 GMT
Quick and dirty substitute for Soap

Jack Schofield: If Soap and other web services standards seem like overkill for your business purposes, help is on the way in the form of Really Simple Syndication (RSS).

Randy: This guys doesn't get it. RSS is a great way of pushing content over the Web. It's no replacement for SOAP and WS-*. It's best to think of RSS as a push version of HTML.

Tue, 19 Jul 2005 16:09:26 GMT
Onfolio is Malware
I gave Onfolio a try as an RSS reader. The first thing I noticed is that there is no exit option, other than uninstall and it restarts everytime your computer restarts. I'm gonna classify that as malware.  :-( 
Tue, 19 Jul 2005 15:52:20 GMT
FeedBurner Crosses Chasm

Dick Costolo: VNU has partnered with FeedBurner to deliver a variety of RSS-related services including the first RSS advertising program in Europe, powered by the burning flame that is us.

Randy: Congrats to Dick, Eric and team!

Tue, 19 Jul 2005 12:46:13 GMT
Bloglines blues

Paolo: Apparently Bloglines lost all my subscriptions.

Randy: What is happening to the Web infrastructure? Last night, my Web host upgraded my site without asking and destroyed it in the process. plech.net was down for 11 hours, major power failure, which caused the chicklet generator to load verryyy ssssllllloooooowwwwwllllyyy. Now, Bloglines has lost our subscriptions? Confirmed.

Update: My subscriptions have returned. That's excellent service. They recovered from the problem in hours, if not minutes. I've been struggling with my Web host for 12 hours and the struggles continue :-( They could learn a thing or two about customer services from Bloglines.

Tue, 19 Jul 2005 02:34:42 GMT
R|mail Down

About three hours ago, my Web hosting service did something that has rendered my Website nearly useless. Most of the Web services are now broken and I can't fix them (uploads don't work), nor can I put up messages indicating such. I can still blog. I hope!

Update: R|mail should be back up. Please keep reporting issues. Turns out, my Web host decided to upgrade their servers. This caused pretty much across the board failures until I was able to re-route/re-code everything.

Tue, 19 Jul 2005 00:01:32 GMT
iTunes RSS <modified>

Dave Winer: Apple improves their namespace docs.

Randy: The changes clear up inconsistencies in their documents, but still doesn't impress me. It looks like the future of media RSS extensions are being defined by people that can barely write XML, neither mind valid RSS and very far from good RSS. The biggest problem remains their funky <itunes:category> which seems to be a proprietary tag that doesn't do anything that can't already be done with the regular old <category> element. This was already raised in several forums and they seem to have decided to ignore the communities advice. Here's a specific example from their specification.

<!-- iTunes Browse Podcasts Category -->
<itunes:category text="Technology">
    <!-- iTunes Browse Podcasts Subcategory -->
    <itunes:category text="Gadgets"/>
</itunes:category>

This should be rewritten using the regular old RSS 2.0 <category> element.

<category domain="iTunes">Technology/Gadgets</category>

Mon, 18 Jul 2005 21:38:30 GMT
Yahoo! has Traffic RSS

John Resig: So, I peeked under the hood and, sure enough, there’s an RSS feed for traffic conditions! A url will look something like this: http://maps.yahoo.com/traffic.rss?csz=14607&mag=4&minsev=2.

http://ejohn.org/blog/traffic-conditions-data/

Mon, 18 Jul 2005 21:34:45 GMT
The Death of Podcasting

Steve Gilmor: Podcasting [cut] was dealt a fatal blow.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Gillmor/?p=127

Randy: You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. Does anybody wanna buy my used podcasting equipment?

Mon, 18 Jul 2005 21:24:51 GMT
RSS Screensaver for Windows

nuparadigm: The RSS Screensaver is a screensaver that lets you subscribe to one or more RSS feeds, and select a directory for background images.

http://www.nuparadigm.com/Products/Toys/RssScreensaver/

Mon, 18 Jul 2005 21:17:49 GMT
Comparing Media RSS formats

W3C: Or How to deal with Multimedia in RSS 2.0.

http://www.w3.org/2005/07/media-and-rss

Randy: Excellent overview/comparison by Karl Dubost of the iTunes and media RSS extensions.

Mon, 18 Jul 2005 19:21:09 GMT
Flickr Related Tags
Just screwing around, I created an HTML page for rendering the Flickr related tags API. Did you know Dave Winer is related to Gnomedex, Seattle and Bloggercon. What? Not RSS? Not podcasting? On the other hand, Adam Curry is related to podcasting (Dave will be pissed). Just play with the URL to vary the results.
Mon, 18 Jul 2005 18:01:42 GMT
Blog software comparison chart

OJR: This chart is a companion to the article "Time to check: Are you using the right blogging tool?," published July 14, 2005 in the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review.

http://www.ojr.org/ojr/images/blog_software_comparison.cfm

Randy: Let me add a row. Blogging software responsible for most of the blog spam? Blogger and Wordpress.

Mon, 18 Jul 2005 17:55:53 GMT
Podcasting's 'indies' are losing ground

Frank Barnako: Shortly after the iTunes software update was released, I calculated that 47 of its most popular podcasts were produced by what some call "independents." That number now is 31, and it's dropping.

Randy: To be expected, the BigCo's were not taking podcasting very seriously until Apple released podcasting support in iTunes. This was easily predicted and should be interpreted solely as the BigCo's woke up.

Mon, 18 Jul 2005 16:23:12 GMT
150,000 Comment and Trackback Spam

Geek News Central: We averaged over 150,000 attempts each day. Heck a lot of sites would love to get that kind of traffic. Considering their are 86,400 seconds in a day this breaks down to about 2 attempts every second. Someone needs to get a handle on this.

Randy: Here's an interesting thought. What if, we track the domains that have trackback/comment SPAM pointing into them? Publish a list of worst offending, along with their domain records, which happens to include email addresses and phone numbers. First we need a Web service where we can forward the SPAM.

Mon, 18 Jul 2005 15:26:27 GMT
Chinese BloggerCon
Dave Winer: Wow, there's a Chinese BloggerCon in Shanghai, Nov 5-6.
Mon, 18 Jul 2005 00:11:48 GMT
+Feedsfarm Search4RSS NewsIsFree NetNewsPlus Topix
I added one blogosphere search, Feedsfarm, one feeds search, Search4RSS and three news searches, NewsIsFree, NetNewsPlus, Topix to the kbcafe meta search engine.
Sun, 17 Jul 2005 16:08:17 GMT
The Importance of RSS

Kevin Hale: This essay started out as an explanation for Google’s foray into personal portal pages, but morphed into "a comprehensive breakdown of the state of RSS, taxonomies, advertising, and how it relates to the future of Google."

http://particletree.com/features/the-importance-of-rss

Fri, 15 Jul 2005 18:08:33 GMT
Don’t use the ‘feed’ URI Scheme

mnot: It’s been covered before elsewhere, but just a friendly reminder: ‘feed’ URIs are bad for the Web, as are any that are used solely for dispatch (e.g., ‘itms’, ‘pcast’). I’m looking at you, Apple.

Randy: Can we all reblog this to get the Apple's attention? Please!

Fri, 15 Jul 2005 16:21:08 GMT
Atom 1.0 Released

Tim Bray: It’s cooked and ready to serve. There are a couple of IETF process things to do, but this draft (HTML version) is essentially Atom 1.0.

Randy: I see everybody has already commented on it. I'll run down the best of the comments here.

Don Park: Apparently, Atom 1.0 syntax spec is now at the end of the runway. [cut] Sillyness followed by misinformation. [cut] More half-truths.

Randy: Don doesn't seem very pleased. It seems the Atom crew are creating documents describing why Atom should be used instead of RSS 2.0. The documents, I agree with Don, are mostly half-truths.

James Robertson: I'll add a double agreement on one point that Don makes  - the Atom astronauts make this claim: [cut] "No significant changes can be made [to RSS 2.0]." Yep, no further work on RSS, none. iTunes? Move along, nothing to see there, move along.

Jon Udell: Because today's blogging infrastructure delivers those benefits sufficiently well, I don't see a pressing need for most people (or rather, for the blogging tools that most people use) to replace RSS with Atom. But if things evolve in the direction I hope they will -- towards richer payloads when content is syndicated among people ("publishing") and machines ("data exchange") -- then Atom will really start to shine. To the many folks who labored over this specification: thanks for a job well done!

Bill de hÓra: Anyone publishing with the defunct 0.3 format can now start fixing their templates to use Atom 1.0.

Randy: Atom 1.0 is clearly much simpler and better defined than Atom 0.3, which partially validates the IETF process. On the other hand, I was most interested in the API, which lags in committee.

History: Atom's roots go back to a Don Box blog post from May 2003. The post has long been removed (remnants here), but the movement eventually turned into the pie project, championned by Sam Ruby, renamed Atom and sold to the IETF for an undisclosed late round draft pick  ;-) 

Thu, 14 Jul 2005 20:15:43 GMT
Podcast Awards Nominees

Nominees can be found here [http://www.podcastconnect.com/]. Voting starts tomorrow over here [http://www.podcastawards.com/]. Podcast of the year nominees are...

Thu, 14 Jul 2005 19:52:44 GMT
Use GMail to find torrent files

TipMonkies: Because your GMail account wasn’t already useful enough (small joke), you can now use it to track files on BitTorrent, as well! [cut] Read on for more info.

Thu, 14 Jul 2005 14:38:56 GMT
Comment Registration Now Required

Steve Rubel: In the last few days comment spam has increased dramatically on this blog, so I am now requiring free TypeKey registration if you want to post a comment.

Randy: Let me understand this more clearly. Because Typepad's comment SPAM protection is not otherwise adequate, you're requiring that all your users register for Typekey. I'm gonna have to say this is WRONG.

Update: Just a note that nobody (except Steve and I) has commented on Steve's blog, which is normally very vibrant, on any entries since his announcement.

Thu, 14 Jul 2005 14:00:43 GMT
IBM's Weblog Preview

IBM: A preview of a weblog component for Workplace that enables self-service blog creation, archiving, perma-links, comments, blogrolls, search, and syndication.

http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/blogpreview

Wed, 13 Jul 2005 20:15:51 GMT
Pubsub is Broken!

Geek News Central: I am not sure what is going on over at PubSub but I have not received any updates for 3 days on over 100 search terms. Hey Pubsub is your service broken?

Randy: The blogosphere search engines seem to be falling apart as the blogosphere traffic begins to surge. I've noticed a 200% increase in traffic week-over-week at kbcafe search.

Update: I'm also noticing that PubSub LinkStats has reported 3 indexed entries over the last two weeks. I've surely written over 100 blog entries in that time, probably more.

Wed, 13 Jul 2005 18:08:43 GMT
IceRocket on kbcafe

Jeremy Wright: So, what is the real alternative to Technorati? IceRocket.

Randy @ 12:17 PM: Unfortunately, unlike Feedster and Blogpulse, Ice Rocket does not allow for adhoc RSS queries. This makes it impossible to build applications on top of their APIs, like we did with Technorati. For instance, the kbcafe search engine [http://www.kbcafe.com/search.aspx] is built entirely on adhoc APIs, but I’m not able to add Ice Rocket because of this severe limitation.

Blake @ 1:06 PM: We’ve taken care of your issue.

Randy @ 1:17 PM: added to kbcafe search.

Randy: The blogosphere moves fast. KBCafe search now has IceRocket Web, Blog and News search.

Wed, 13 Jul 2005 17:33:38 GMT
Pluck RSS Reader - Firefox Extension

Moz: Pluck 2.0, Firefox Edition is a lightweight RSS feed aggregator.

Download.

Randy: My friends at Pluck just informed me that they are taking Pluck for Firefox out-of Beta. Congrats!

Wed, 13 Jul 2005 15:48:03 GMT
CITA v2.2 Released

Andy Henderson just informed me that they've released version 2.2 of their CITA RSS Aggregator. IMHO, it's got the best one-click support of all the RSS readers.

http://www.seeita.com/RSSA/RSSAFeed14.html

Wed, 13 Jul 2005 15:35:56 GMT
Interview with Patrick Chanezon

Patrick Chanezon, Google Adwords API evangelist: At Google we have this notion of 20% project, where you can spend 20% of your time on a project of your choosing (it can be a Google project or an open source project).

http://inkblots.markwoodman.com/rss-diaries/patrick-chanezon

Tue, 12 Jul 2005 19:06:12 GMT
Subscribers by User-Agent

It's time again for a list of top subscribing RSS clients to my FeedBurner hosted RSS feed.

  1. Pluck
  2. GreatNews
  3. My Yahoo!
  4. Custom Reader Demo 
  5. Bloglines
  6. Firefox
  7. NewsGator Online
  8. NetNewsWire
  9. R|mail
  10. Free-downloads.net
  11. Juice

Bloglines, which had long been my top subscribing User-Agent by a long shot is now 5th.

Tue, 12 Jul 2005 17:55:07 GMT
R|mail Down

After moving the R|mail servers this weekend, I found out that my ISP (Rogers) has blocked port 25. This means R|mail will be down until I can tunnel the emails somewhere else.

Update: R|mail is back.

Tue, 12 Jul 2005 16:54:25 GMT
Your Personal Feed
Eric Lunt: Go to your account page on FeedBurner, find the URL of your personal feed, and add it to your reader. You won't regret it. It will tell you if your feed is ever invalid or unreachable by FeedBurner.
Tue, 12 Jul 2005 16:30:44 GMT
Technorati meets iTunes

Tantek Çelik: Met with iTunes folks. [cut] We started discussing the iTunes podcast extensions (PDF link), and the reactions from the blog community. [cut] It was clear to Kevin and me that the iTunes team was very much open to feedback and constructive criticism, and subsequent fixes in the podcast extensions specification, and iTunes itself.

Randy: This is great news! Even better would be to have an open dialog with the iTunes folk.

Tue, 12 Jul 2005 15:56:17 GMT
BuzzBoost

Matt: BuzzBoost's job is to redisplay your feed content anywhere you can copy and paste a short snippet of HTML code — in a Blogger or TypePad page template, on a corporate website, or even in a "signature" block on a message board. BuzzBoost code is just a short line of JavaScript that displays content items and information from a FeedBurner feed according to settings you provide.

http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/buzzboost/howto

Tue, 12 Jul 2005 15:10:21 GMT
hRouter

Lucas Gonze: This page is the application, which is written completely in Javascript. It does just one thing: given a microcontent URL and namespace in the URL query arguments, it redirects you to another web application capable of doing something intelligent with that URL. [cut] This program exists to encourage hacking.

Randy: Love hacking! This is a very interestering page. Look thru the trees at the possible applications. The only problem is that it seems to be linked to one particular domain. Whomever controls that domain has ultimate power.

Tue, 12 Jul 2005 14:23:11 GMT
Technorati Slow and Crap

Jeremy Wright: Technorati used to brag about posts being in the index in 7 minutes. If the time difference was nearly 60 times slower than it used to be. [cut] Technorati’s index is both slow, and it’s crap. [cut] inaccurate. It’s lucky if it shows 10% of the results that PubSub, Bloglines and Blogpulse show. It’s also a SLOW site. Response times of 1 minute aren’t uncommon, and even then results sometimes simply aren’t shown. [cut] They’ve failed the blogosphere. It’s time to own up to that, ask for help, and get people who actually know how to do this stuff in to help them out

Randy: About two years ago, I was in contact with David Sifry and Kevin Marks and tried to convince them that their approach was flawed, would not scale and offered them a better approach. They didn't believe me and stuck to their guns. I now have mixed emotions, partly glad that my predicted dire came true and partly sad that they are beyond screwed.

Mon, 11 Jul 2005 17:47:46 GMT
PubSub Employee Accused of Blog SPAM

UPDATE: NON-ISSUE!

Mud's Test: We find out that the piece of [PubSub] employee that you have named EUGENE Jen is the one who has been spamming this blog.

http://mudtesting.blogspot.com/2005/07/pubsub-employee-identified-as-blog.html

Randy: I don't really see the evidence in this rant, but after the Wordpress and Syndic8 incidences, I thought it was worth a re-blog.

Eugene Jen reply: I, as Eugene Y. Jen, never took any actions to spam any blog for any reason.

Randy: Further, when I posted to Mud's Test asking for evidence, the author quickly banned my IP address. This is obviously a complete non-issue and my apologies to Eugene, Bob and PubSub for even linking to this post.

Mon, 11 Jul 2005 12:29:25 GMT
The Economics of Blogs

Mark Evans: Om Malik is one of the most popular bloggers but he barely makes enough money from advertisements on his Web site to cover his costs.

Randy: Mark wrote an article on blogs in Canada's Financial Post. The article states "at a time when the number of blogs nears 13 million." The top two blog hosting services have more than 13 million blogs, LiveJournal has 7 million and Blogger has 8 million (7+8=15). If you count all the major services, you realize that we are already well beyond 30 million blogs and possibly 40 million blogs.

Fri, 08 Jul 2005 17:54:35 GMT
Yahoo Testing Blogs and RSS Search
YahoosearchYahooblogsearch_1Steve Rubel: Shhh, don't tell anyone but you can find Yahoo's new blog and RSS search tool here. Click screen grabs at left. They're testing it out. (UPDATE: Yahoo pulled down the site Danny Sullivan says)
Fri, 08 Jul 2005 15:42:29 GMT
Where's Blogdigger?

Some of you have noticed that I removed Blogdigger last night from kbcafe search. Don't worry, it'll be back. Blogdigger was worried that my use of their data was not respecting their terms of service. We are currently working on an alternative.

Update: Blogdigger is back.

Fri, 08 Jul 2005 14:11:52 GMT
Bloglines v. Technorati
Robert Scoble: By the way, I've gotta say that Bloglines is kicking everyone's behind when doing searches for who is linking to a specific URL.[cut] Here, compare:

Now, you might think it's unfair to pick on Technorati today [cut] but I've been comparing Technorati to Bloglines for a while and the difference has been striking everytime.

http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2005/07/08.html#a10563

Fri, 08 Jul 2005 00:01:46 GMT
Odeo v. iTunes
I've been thinking a lot today about Odeo, iTunes and podcasting. There's lots of podcatching applications, but none of them really actually work IMHO, except Odeo and iTunes. Odeo works because evhead is simply a genius and created an amazing Web-based podcasting experience. iTunes works because iTunes is already on millions of desktops. This is a note to everybody else who has a podcasting application. Time to catch up!
Thu, 07 Jul 2005 20:37:27 GMT
kbcafe has HotJobs
Just a few notes for this very slow news day. I added HotJobs to the kbcafe search engine, bringing us to a total of 4 job search engines. I also uploaded a Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for the entire Website. These will apply equally across all applications (R|mail, chicklets, search, blogomatic, validation, Juice) of the Website. I think this means that I'm graduating from a hobby Geeksite to a 4-profit Website (thanks Adsense!) ;-) 
Thu, 07 Jul 2005 15:15:35 GMT
NO NOFOLLOW

11 Reasons against nofollow

  1. nofollow does not prevent comment spam
  2. nofollow is semantically incorrect
  3. nofollow harms the connections between web sites
  4. nofollow is not useful for humans, just for search engines using PageRank or a similar technique
  5. nofollow could be used to shut web sites out
  6. nofollow discriminates legitimate users as spammers
  7. nofollow heists commentators' earned attention
  8. nofollow could be used to further discriminate weblogs
  9. nofollow prevents the Web from being a web
  10. nofollow eliminates the dissemination of free speech
  11. nofollow was developed in privacy with only search engines companies taking part in the discussion

http://www.nonofollow.net

Randy: I'm a big believer in #6. That's why my comments don't do NOFOLLOW. I'm giving you insentive to post comments. You post in my blog and you get Google juice, whereas posts elsewhere do not. But... IMHO, NOFOLLOW is good, it has a purpose. If I published referrer logs, then a NOFOLLOW on the referrer links would be very appropriate.

Thu, 07 Jul 2005 15:08:40 GMT
Technorati Tags Broken

IO ERROR: It appears that Technorati is somehow confusing the tags of my posts, and in many cases the tags for one post get associated with the previous post.

ioerror.us

Randy: Confirmed, it's doing this to my posts as well. Further more, it's mostly non-responsive today and is no longer picking up timely links and tags.

Thu, 07 Jul 2005 04:13:49 GMT
Much Better RSS
FinancialContent wrote an RSS extension that works. Maybe Apple should hire these guys.
Thu, 07 Jul 2005 03:48:48 GMT
HotJobs RSS

It would seem that Yahoo! is now provide job searches via RSS. Very cool! You'll see Hotjobs in kbcafe search tomorrow.

Update: Just a note, there should be a referrer on this entry, but... The referrer also had a referrer and the link was 404. When I tried to submit this information via blog comment, I was informed that I was blacklisted. Nice.

Wed, 06 Jul 2005 21:21:18 GMT
Please Resub me!

Susan Abbott: We've heard so many good things about Feedburner that we are moving our RSS feed there. [cut] If you are already subscribed, we would appreciate you re-subscribing using one of the buttons at left

Randy: This is so wrong! You shouldn't have to tell your subscribers to resub. Typepad needs a checkbox+textbox option that says you'd like to burn your feed over there.

Wed, 06 Jul 2005 15:42:20 GMT
Support for iTunes is Live

Traci: As promised, we [FeedBurner dudes and dudettes] are pleased to announce the immediate availability of iTunes metadata for your podcast. [cut] After a[n] audio post has been created, it must be properly transformed into an RSS2.0 feed with enclosures in order for it to be distributed correctly. That's where we come in. FeedBurner ensures that your feed is not only configured correctly, but also incorporates the appropriate metadata for inclusion in a variety of podcast directories.

http://www.burningdoor.com/feedburner/archives/001302.html

Update: It seems FeedBurner is getting a lot of support posts regarding their iTunes RSS. 1 + 1 = 2.

Wed, 06 Jul 2005 15:36:57 GMT
void iTunes(rss xml)

It seems Sam Ruby and friends have found holes in iTunes. I think it was originally a bunch of small holes, but then it escalated into "Does anybody at Apple have a copy of the XML spec?"

http://www.intertwingly.net/blog/2005/07/05/Insensitive-iTunes

Update: Tim Bray wrote a great follow-up to Sam's post.

"The Internet isn’t a thing. It’s an agreement."

Wed, 06 Jul 2005 15:23:36 GMT
R|mail Bookmarklet

An R|mail user was kind enough to create an R|mail bookmarklet. Thanks!

http://www.oui-blog.com/balduran/archives/006615.html

Wed, 06 Jul 2005 14:12:30 GMT
FeedDemon goes Subscription

Nick Bradbury: FeedDemon will become subscription-based software.

http://feeds.feedburner.com/NickBradbury?m=29

Wed, 06 Jul 2005 12:33:48 GMT
Try Google!

Yesterday, a co-worker approached me and said, "How do you find anything on MSDN?" Hint: the MSDN search engine really sucks. I told him, I use Google to search MSDN. I asked him for a class name, he said Random, I typed System.Random and bingo, the first page on Google was the class description on MSDN. Someday, somebody is going to ask me "How do you find anything in the blogosphere?" Here's a test. Think of your favorite blog entry of all time, but don't navigate to the page. Now, try to find it with Technorati or Feedster. And again with Google. I'm wondering if anybody can complete with Google? What about everybody? I admit, there's still niches where Technorati and Feedster can exist, but I have to wonder how quickly Google can cover those niches? And I wonder how much better they'll be?

Wed, 06 Jul 2005 11:45:14 GMT
OPML is Beautiful

Dave Winer: I have an automated tool that cleans out comment spam from all my sites, every hour at the top of the hour. The tool, when it starts up, looks for a file that contains a list of keywords to search for. So when a new spammer pops up, I just add its name to the list and save it. Of course the list is in a public spot, and I thought at some point I'd share the list.

Randy: I like sharing.

Wed, 06 Jul 2005 01:57:52 GMT
Typepad RDF Weirdness

During the last few months while I've been developing R|mail, I've noticed and many of my users have noticed that R|mail sends redundant blog posts for Typepad blogs. I figured this was a bug in R|mail and over the last week I set out to uncover the bug. Here's what I discovered, by logging the Typepad RDF once per hour. Every once in awhile, Typepad drops posts from their RDF feeds. For example, if a feed has three items A, B and C, A being the last item, then once in awhile, I get only B and C. I've even seen cases where both A and B are dropped and I only get C. The dropped posts seem to be the last or latest ones. This seems to occur more often for blogs that receive a lot of comments. Has anybody else witnessed this weirdness? Can anybody explain it? Is this possibly an RDFism?

Update: Since I'm not a registered Typepad user, I can't submit this to them as a support request. If you are a registered Typepad user, then you can copy and paste this into a new support request and keep us updated on their responses ;-) 

Tue, 05 Jul 2005 21:16:40 GMT
Stats from FeedBurner

I love numbers. Two minutes after I published my own stats, I found an entry by Eric that links to the bigger picture.

Table 1: Top 20 RSS Readers of FeedBurner-Served Feeds

  1. My Yahoo* -- 59.02%
  2. Bloglines* -- 10.42%
  3. Firefox Live Bookmarks -- 4.20%
  4. NetNewsWire -- 3.74%
  5. iTunes -- 3.37%
  6. iPodder -- 2.38%
  7. NewsGator Online* -- 1.82%
  8. Pluck -- 1.59%
  9. FeedDemon -- 1.56%
  10. Reader not identified -- 1.02%
  11. Apple CFNetwork Generic Client -- 0.96%
  12. SharpReader -- 0.86%
  13. Thunderbird -- 0.82%
  14. Safari RSS -- OS X Tiger -- 0.61%
  15. iPodderX -- 0.54%
  16. LiveJournal -- 0.52%
  17. NewsGator Outlook Edition -- 0.51%
  18. RSS Bandit -- 0.50%
  19. RssReader -- 0.34%
  20. Opera RSS Reader -- 0.33%

and

Table 2: Top 20 RSS Readers (excluding 10 most popular feeds)

  1. Bloglines* -- 19.49%
  2. NetNewsWire -- 10.07%
  3. iTunes -- 9.53%
  4. Firefox Live Bookmarks -- 7.25%
  5. iPodder -- 7.17%
  6. My Yahoo* -- 6.68%
  7. FeedDemon -- 4.23%
  8. NewsGator Online* -- 3.83%
  9. Reader not identified -- 3.07%
  10. Pluck -- 2.07%
  11. SharpReader -- 1.91%
  12. iPodderX -- 1.77%
  13. Thunderbird -- 1.75%
  14. Safari RSS -- OS X Tiger -- 1.75%
  15. LiveJournal -- 1.44%
  16. NewsGator Outlook Edition -- 1.27%
  17. Apple CFNetwork Generic Client -- 1.21%
  18. RSS Bandit -- 0.99%
  19. Opera RSS Reader -- 0.90%
  20. Sage -- 0.82%.

http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/columns/executive_tech/article.php/3517646

Tue, 05 Jul 2005 21:05:59 GMT
Subscribers by User-Agent

It's time again for a list of top subscribing RSS clients to my FeedBurner hosted RSS feed.

  1. Pluck
  2. My Yahoo!
  3. GreatNews
  4. Bloglines
  5. Custom Reader Demo 
  6. Firefox
  7. NewsGator Online
  8. NetNewsWire
  9. R|mail
  10. Sharpreader
  11. eCruiser
  12. Juice

I'm only reporting agents that report 7 or more subscribers, I use to report agents with as few as 2 or 3 subscribers, but the list was getting too long. The big mover this last 2 weeks is GreatNews which now includes The RSS Blog in its default subscription list.

Tue, 05 Jul 2005 19:46:51 GMT
Alexa says Technorati #1

Alexa, which reports numbers based on the surfing patterns of users that have downloaded their toolbar, says that Technorati is #1 in blogosphere search. Richard MacManus took the time to generate all the comparison charts. By the way, if you want to have a voice in these results, then simply download the toolbar.

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/002775.php

Update: Technorati's recent jump in traffic seems to have partially maimed their Website. I haven't been able to do much more than visit their homepage today :-( 

Tue, 05 Jul 2005 16:32:18 GMT
Atom: The Standard in Syndication

Robert Sayre: Early syndication and publishing protocols faced various problems related to interoperability, scalability, and extensibility. The Atom format and protocol builds on earlier efforts to establish an open, extensible, interoperable, and clearly specified framework for Web-logging applications.

Randy: Robert published an Atom article in IEEE Internet Computing. Congrats!

Tue, 05 Jul 2005 12:58:58 GMT
150 Thousand Searches

Well, it was a great month. Just over a month ago, I wrote a search engine. In that month, it recorded 150 thousand searches. I expect the number of searches will triple and more this month. Thanks!

http://www.kbcafe.com/search.aspx

Mon, 04 Jul 2005 21:28:35 GMT
Subscribe More!
If your RSS inbox is empty, then you're not subscribed to enough feeds.
Mon, 04 Jul 2005 20:35:54 GMT
Blogging 2.0

Fred Wilson: Take Weblogs Inc for example.  Everyone knows Jason Calacanis and he certainly is a controversial figure.  But how can you not be impressed with what he's built on a Blogging 2.0 platform in less than two years.

http://avc.blogs.com/a_vc/2005/06/blogging_10_con.html

Randy: Although Weblogs Inc. has done well, I wonder if a business model of having more ads on a Webpage than content can actually succeed. I myself read therssweblog, but with each new day I find more ads on the site, more ads embedded in the content and more content that is really just ads. This is very similar to the about.com model, which seems to play well for the mundane Internet user who doesn't seem to mind clicking on ads all day and obviously it works, just ask the NYTimes. So long as enough A-list bloggers keep linking to his blogs, he'll be fine.

Mon, 04 Jul 2005 19:53:13 GMT
RSS Spam Cometh?

Om Malik: It has been working well, but lately I have observed a few disturbing signs that can quickly turn RSS into yet another technology to avoid. RSS searches are now throwing up classifed listings from not just Craigslist but other sites. [cut] I find feeds from some dubious websites, which sole purpose is to output hundreds of RSS items and dupe people into clicking on some of the links. Others are simple commercial messages.

http://gigaom.com/2005/07/03/rss-spam-cometh/

Randy: Did I hear RSS SPAM clearing house?

Mon, 04 Jul 2005 18:51:53 GMT
AllPodcasts.com

Just now, I took 5 minutes out-of-my-day and added AllPodcasts.com to the kbcafe search engine. Sample results for a search on Gnomedex. Now, you can search all the major blogosphere search engines, all the major folksonomy search engines, jobs, news, podcasts and the Web. All from one Webpage. I also added the openSearch for  Indeed (see Next button in bottom right of Indeed result pages).

Update: I also added Koders, so you can now search 200 million lines of source code too!

Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:13:53 GMT
Comment? Please login!
Last week, Chris Pirillo turned off anonymous comments, or even worse, required you to login before you comment. Leading up to that post (and including it), he was getting 7-15 comments per blog entry. Now he gets 0 or 1 comments on most posts.  I think he got some bad advice. I've seen this over and over, where bloggers eventually disable comments to avoid SPAM or cyber-stalkers. It's too bad! It's turning the 2-way Web back into a 1-way Web. Of course, there's always trackbacks. I personally stopped sending trackbacks months ago, because most blogs turned off in-coming trackbacks to avoid SPAM. I'm gonna re-enable trackbacks this week, to see if any actually get thru (doubt it).
Sun, 03 Jul 2005 12:53:15 GMT
RSS Security

Quinton point us in my comments to an interestering RSS file that reveals potential security holes in the RSS infrastructure and most RSS readers. Subscribe to this RSS file and watch for fireworks.

http://izynews.com/en/safe_rss/check.xml

Sun, 03 Jul 2005 00:06:58 GMT
RSS feed broken

Marc Abramowitz: I just yanked out the crap rather than figure out why WordPress wasn’t escaping it properly.

Randy: I've always wondered why people bother with Wordpress. Marc tells us every week why his Wordpress blog is broken. I have other Wordpress friends who's feeds are more often broken than not. Why do people persist in using WordPress? Cause it's PHP? Tell me why!

Sat, 02 Jul 2005 20:17:23 GMT
Atom not Simple

Ben Hammersley has an Etech 2005 Atom presentation in PDF. In the first few pages, he seems to try and make the point that Atom is simple like RSS, not complex like RDF. Does anybody actually buy his argument? 

I wonder what he says to spin this into simple.

Sat, 02 Jul 2005 19:09:18 GMT
GreatNews

GreatNews GreatNews has a fantastic feedview. By the way, this is the default install of GreatNews. The RSS Blog is the topmost feed listed. Very cool! Click the image to enlarge.

http://www.curiostudio.com/

Sat, 02 Jul 2005 18:41:00 GMT
Hack-a-Feed

Eric Lunt: This past Thursday we had the first of hopefully many "Hackathon" days at FeedBurner world headquarters to celebrate the last day in our old, very cramped office.

http://www.burningdoor.com/feedburner/archives/001299.html

Randy: Sample ticker shown inline at right.

Sat, 02 Jul 2005 18:14:14 GMT
A New Kind Of Conversation

Robert Scoble: Let's start. Since my comments are down, come on over to Channel 9 and tell us what you want in Media Player. What kind of podcasting support do you want? [cut] Or, write on your own blog. [cut] Update: I started a thread for this discussion over on Channel 9. Reader Comments.

Randy: Let me start with, I can't comment at Channel 9 because I refuse to create yet another password.

Sat, 02 Jul 2005 15:25:06 GMT
Winer on iTunes RSS

Dave Winer: Apple has defined a namespace for podcast information. Just took a brief look. Some of it is non-controversial. Some of it is.

http://www.reallysimplesyndication.com/2005/06/28#a682

Sat, 02 Jul 2005 15:01:32 GMT
javascript:onSub

Examining the R|mail subscription logs this morning, I notice a lot of users subscribe to javascript URI schemes. That's because these users have been instructed to right-click | Copy Link Location and paste the URL into their reader. Now, image your blog overrides the onClick on your RSS chicklet with custom javascript. The mundane user will paste the javascript code, not aware that this is not the RSS feed. Some readers will accept this, others will reports it's not a valid feed. Either way, you lose the subscriber.

Lesson: right-click | Copy Link Location must work as expected.

Sat, 02 Jul 2005 14:17:41 GMT
The RSS Blog in GreatNews

Wow, this morning, I wake up and the number of subscribers to The RSS Blog using the GreatNews RSS client has jumped big time. And I also have an email from the GreatNews team telling me that The RSS Blog is now part of their default subscription list. Thanks, this is much appreciated! GreatNews "is a desktop rss reader optimized for fast reading, and integrates with Bloglines."

 - http://www.curiostudio.com/download.html

Fri, 01 Jul 2005 14:59:47 GMT
RSS focused VC fund is announced--$100m

Tom Foremski: Jim Moore and John Palfrey have launched RSS Investors with $100m of capital. It is the first VC fund with a focus on Really Simple Syndication, (RSS), the syndication technology at the heart of media technologies such as blogging and corporate news communication.

View entire article.

Fri, 01 Jul 2005 14:40:29 GMT
kbSearch in Firefox

Cori Schlegel created a kbSearch search plugin for Firefox, so you can search kbSearch from the Firefox search box. Thanks Cory! Much appreciated.

http://kinrowan.net/development/#kbSearch

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