The RSS Blog
RSS, OPML and the XML platform.
 
Copyright 2003-5 Randy Charles Morin
The RSS Blog
Wed, 30 Nov 2005 19:37:27 GMT
Yahoo! Mail does RSS

TechCrunch has the best review of Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Alerts' new RSS integration. I'll have to check this one out for myself. An all-in-one Gmail-Google Reader?

Wed, 30 Nov 2005 16:07:30 GMT
OneFeed Beta

Nathan Weinberg has an indepth review of a new AJAX-based RSS reader called OneFeed.

http://google.blognewschannel.com/index.php/archives/2005/11/30/onefeed-beta/

Wed, 30 Nov 2005 15:15:23 GMT
Canadian Blog Awards

Today is the last day of voting for round 1 of the Canadian Blog Awards. I have one blog up for nomination in the category of Best Sports Blog. Please take the time to vote for me today thanks. Step-by-step instructions follow.

  1. Go to http://cba.myblahg.com/
  2. Click on Best Sports Blog header
  3. Select Game Certainty radio button
  4. Click Submit Vote button

Thank you very much!

Wed, 30 Nov 2005 03:29:42 GMT
Travelocity RSS

About: Find out fast when fares to your favorite destinations drop by at least 20%! It's easy, thanks to Travelocity's new RSS feed.

http://rss.travelocity.com/

Randy: I had to blog this. Why? Because, it's absolutely the worst implementation of RSS I've ever seen. It's not really a technical problem, it's more of a they don't get it. You see, I viewed a few of their feed and they all returned exactly the same thing. If you subscribe to their feed, then you get a constant reminder in your RSS aggregator that Travelocity has 20% off fairs to your chosen destination. That's it :-(

Tue, 29 Nov 2005 20:09:43 GMT
RVing and blogs

Question: I have an account on Flickr due to a digital imaging class I am taking at the local college.  I want to start a blog to chronicle my RV travels and get it up and going before I leave in Jan on my Snowbird trip.  I would like to be able to ask you some questions, such as how to have photos on Flickr that can be viewed from the blog, any advice you may have on setting up either the blog or Flickr (my experience on Flickr is limited and non-existant on a blog), etc.

Randy: I suggest setting up your blog on Wordpress. You can post your Flickr images to Wordpress.

And don't forget to check out my RVing blog. The last two winters, I've driven to DisneyWorld in March.

Tue, 29 Nov 2005 18:51:33 GMT
del.icio.us Growing Pains?

Chris Nolan: del.icio.us [cut] for at least the last 15 minutes it hasn't been working. It responds, it just services no content :-(

http://chrisnolan.ca/archive/ID/00000738

Randy: Scale (damn)it! Every Web 2.0 company eventually doesn't scale. Does anybody other than Google write Web-ware that scales?

Mon, 28 Nov 2005 22:14:14 GMT
FolioFirst

About: An integrated feed aggregator and podcatching package, full featured yet designed with ease of use as the highest priority

http://www.feedisgood.com/

Mon, 28 Nov 2005 21:20:16 GMT
Ten Bloglines Hacks

Steve Rubel: Here are ten of my favorite hacks that work with Bloglines.

  1. Put Bloglines on Your Blackberry
  2. Blog Right From Bloglines
  3. Sync or Swim
  4. Get Bloglines Notifications via IM
  5. Get Notified When Pages Without Feeds Change
  6. Tonight on TiVo - It's the Bloglines Channel
  7. Put Bloglines Inside Your Desktop Blogging Tool
  8. Create a Blogroll Using Bloglines
  9. Add a Feed to Multiple Readers at the Same Time Using Firefox
  10. Post Read Bloglines Items to del.icio.us

http://www.micropersuasion.com/2005/11/ten_bloglines_h.html

Mon, 28 Nov 2005 20:47:13 GMT
CITA RSS Aggregators v2.3

Andy Henderson: Version 2.3 is now available for free download [of Version 2.3 is now available for free download]. I've included support for version 1.0 Atom.

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

Mon, 28 Nov 2005 17:42:33 GMT
RSS Bandit 1.3.0.38

Dare Obasanjo: The Nightcrawler release of RSS Bandit is now done and available for all. [cut] New features [edited subset follows]

Randy: I'm sure there are already others, but it's great to see Atom 1.0 support happening and cool to see someone use the Newsgator API. A few thoughts...

Mon, 28 Nov 2005 17:32:45 GMT
feedAnalyzer

feedAnalyzer is a Japanese RSS validator. What a great idea!

http://feedanalyzer.com/

Mon, 28 Nov 2005 15:30:18 GMT
Happy Bday! Technorati

David Sifry: Wow, it has been 3 years since the public release of Technorati, which I described in this blog post on November 27,2002.

http://www.sifry.com/alerts/archives/000402.html

Randy: Haaapppyyyy Birthday!

Mon, 28 Nov 2005 15:12:24 GMT
OPML Compatibility

Robert Scoble: I kept trying to open my OPML file in the OPML Editor and it wouldn’t open. [cut] I tried both the OPML file that NewsGator exported as well as the one that Bloglines exported. Newsgator’s OPML file wouldn’t even open (gave me an error) but Bloglines opened with blank titles.

Randy: Sam Ruby runs Robert's OPML thru the top three OPML validators. Hmmm! This is a great use-case. When I export from Bloglines, I know they use title attribute instead of text. A classic bug. I simply search-and-replace "title=" with "text=" and it works.

Mon, 28 Nov 2005 13:12:28 GMT
Share Your OPML

Dave Winer: We’re pretty close to having feeds.scripting.com ready for a reboot. Should happen this week. [cut] That is, Murphy-willing of course. ;->

Randy:  For those that don't know, feeds.scripting.com allowed users to share their OPML and the results were aggregated into a top 100 list. About six months ago, it broke. I asked Dave and he said it was a resource allocation problem (he didn't have time for it). Now it's back! Or soon, Murphy-willing. Great News!

Sun, 27 Nov 2005 14:24:19 GMT
Zipped OPML
Scoble just uploaded his new reading list in OPML form. Just one problem, it's zipped. This excludes it from working with most OPML tools, like the OPML surfer.
Sun, 27 Nov 2005 03:39:54 GMT
Jeff Jarvis vs. My Yahoo!

Jeff Jarvis: Hey, My Yahoo, Google Reader, Pluck, Newsgator Enterprise and other RSS readers: Hand over my numbers. You are taking my RSS feed and caching it to serve more efficiently, which would be fine if only you told me how many times you are doing that. But you’re not.

Randy: I love my Dell laptop. It's my second Dell laptop. I gave the first one to my wife. It's still working many years and dozens of hardware failures later. Their on-site at home customer support is amazing. I love Dell servers too. I use to run a Website with a farm of them on a baker's rack.

I think some people open their mouth, just to catch flies. Yes Jeff!

Hello Memeorandum. I wonder how much crap I have to write to get myself on the top entry. The top article is currently Jeff's latest rant about Web aggregators caching the RSS and spoiling his FeedBurner reader counts. I wonder if Jeff knows that Web proxies around the Web have been caching some of his Webpages for years.

What I'm finding is that people are writing long winded and absolutely boring blog entries like this one, in order to game Memeorandum. Not entirely aware of how the algorithm works, this is my first experiment in gaming Memeorandum. I don't know how much more crap I can write.

BTW, if you think you might commit suicide in the next 20 yrs, then try birth control. My daughter has too many fatherless friends already.

Update: The answer was about 5 minutes.

Note: Please sign in the comments if you read this. It's a study! All signers will be given an unlimited supply of dihydroxide.

Sat, 26 Nov 2005 14:06:31 GMT
Blogspot Comment SPAM

Of late, I'm receiving an enormous amount of comment SPAM that links to splogs on Blogspot.com. Unfortunately, this means that I'm gonna have to add ".blogspot.com" to my kill file. This will prevent any new comments with links to blogspot.com blogs and delete any existing comments with links to blogspot.com. Even legitimate comments. This will apply across all blogs hosted on kbcafe.com.

cross-posted

Fri, 25 Nov 2005 15:37:00 GMT
The Specs are Ignored

Danny Ayers: People care about applications, but if HTTP and HTML were so badly specified that no-one had a clear idea how they should be implemented, we wouldn’t have a Web.

http://dannyayers.com/archives/2005/11/24/tools/#comment-40802

Randy: Danny believes that clear specifications are important. Unfortunately, nobody actually reads them or bothers following them. Even Danny. This isn't a knock on Danny. It's simply the truth.

Thu, 24 Nov 2005 16:17:51 GMT
iFeedPod
About: Download your favourite RSS and Atom feeds to your iPod. Read them anywhere.

http://www.carnglas.com/

Wed, 23 Nov 2005 20:24:33 GMT
OPML meets Attention

AttentionTech: This week OPML got a big boost following a commitment from Dave Winer, the developer of RSS and OPML, to include support for namespaces that will make it easier for people using an RSS feeds to uses OPML to export and import not only their feeds, but their personal rankings of those feeds across different applications and devices. Joining us today to explain why this is important to the future of the Web is Nick Bradbury, architect of the Feed Demon news aggregator that is now owned by Newsgator.

http://mp3.attentiontech.podshow.com/AttentionTech-2005.11.18.mp3

Wed, 23 Nov 2005 20:06:09 GMT
Semantic Web Concepts

Tim Berners-Lee explains the 3 hot directions of the Web.

  1. Mobile Web
  2. Web Services
  3. Semantic Web

OK, maybe that's 2 hot directions and 1 failed initiative that he refused to give up on.

http://www.w3.org/2005/Talks/0517-boit-tbl/

Wed, 23 Nov 2005 15:27:53 GMT
The All New and Way Better Feedster 500 is Live

Scott Johnson: One of the things we saw as we analyzed the data is that blogs from Weblogs, Inc has a striking showing in all this. [cut] They show up strongly in the Top 500 because the way they chose to model their content is very similar to ours.

http://scott.feedster.com/?p=5

Randy: This also explains how one of my blogs made it into the top 20.

Scott Johnson: We had to pull [cut] features at the very last minute due to some qa issues - [cut] OPML output [cut].

Randy: That was my favorite features :-(

Update: I found an OPML of the Feedster top 500. OPML heaven.

Wed, 23 Nov 2005 15:06:47 GMT
Atom Growth

Atom Growth Tim Bray: I made a graph of how often the ongoing feeds have been fetched so far this year, and the popularity of RSS vs. Atom 1.0.

http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2005/11/22/Feed-Rates

click the image to enlarge

Tue, 22 Nov 2005 21:45:30 GMT
del.icio.us Past the Breaking Point
del.icio.us is past the breaking point. It's officially broken. I have to bookmark something at least twice to make it stick. Sometimes, it just won't stick. I give up!
Tue, 22 Nov 2005 21:06:56 GMT
Technorati Mini

Technorati: Introducing the next small thing in search: The Technorati Mini. It's a fun little popup window that refreshes your favorite search every minute, so you can stay up to date while going about your web surfing as usual.

http://technorati.com/mini/

Tue, 22 Nov 2005 17:02:47 GMT
Feed for Thought

State of Feeds Dick Costolo: Back in October of 2003, when we first started building FeedBurner with hammer and chisel, RSS was, for many people, synonymous with blogs. [cut] Today, however, while almost all blogs still have feeds, there are innumerable feeds that are unrelated to blogs. Commercial publishers have embraced feeds wholeheartedly; most web services and many search engines now provide subscribed results; and podcasts and videocasts are entirely feed-based while not necessarily tied to blogs.

http://www.burningdoor.com/feedburner/archives/001518.html

Randy: A great essay on the state of feeds by Dick Costolo. I guess you could call this the FeedBurner State of Feeds address to the Webosphere (no longer just the blogosphere).

Tue, 22 Nov 2005 17:00:12 GMT
Interview: Dick Costolo on RSS Ads

Nick Wilson: In this interview Dick talks about their new ad network, the RSS in ads debate, competition and feed adoption among other things.

http://performancing.com/node/214

Tue, 22 Nov 2005 15:37:04 GMT
Feedster 500 Alive!

Feedster just released their blog rankings for November/December. A pleasant surprise at #20.

http://top500.feedster.com/

  1. Engadget
  2. Boing Boing
  3. TV Squad
  4. Daily Kos
  5. Download Squad
  6. The Unofficial Apple Weblog
  7. The Huffington Post
  8. Michelle Malkin
  9. Media Matters for America
  10. Luxist
  11. Gridskipper
  12. Techdirt
  13. Gizmodo
  14. Kotaku
  15. Instapundit.com
  16. Fleshbot
  17. Lifehacker
  18. Spacefem.com
  19. flagrantdisregard
  20. Destroy all Malware << me
Tue, 22 Nov 2005 05:40:33 GMT
Add Google Blog Search to Your Blog

Rich Lafferty shows us how to include a Google blog search widget for any blog.

http://www.livejournal.com/community/lj_nifty/134239.html

<form method="get" action="http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch">
<input type="text" name="as_q" size="31" maxlength="255" value="" />
<input type="hidden" name="bl_url" value="http://www.kbcafe.com/rss" />
<input type="submit" name="btnG" value="Search The RSS Blog" />
</form>

Replace the references to The RSS Blog with your own.

Mon, 21 Nov 2005 22:19:00 GMT
Google Base Experiment

I experimented with uploading RSS to Google Base and found it quite easy. Following Niall Kennedy's instructions, I first created a Webpage that enhanced RSS with Google Base's RSS extensions using an XSLT.

Original RSS + XSLT = Enhanced RSS

Then I began uploading, which is a very manual task of naming and selecting files. I encountered a Beta limitation after uploading my 10th monthly archive (10 bulk uploads max). Later, I was able to search and discover these blog entries at Google Base. Next, I plan to remove what I've already uploaded and start anew, but with much larger RSS files (working around the max 10 issue). Hopefully, I can get the majority of my blog entries indexed tomorrow.

Mon, 21 Nov 2005 17:00:58 GMT
Google Base blog import instructions

Niall Kennedy: Create a new feed containing additional elements from the "news and articles" information type. These additional elements include author name, tags and categories (label), and a publication date. I set the number of pages to 1 because all my posts exist on their own individual web page.

http://www.niallkennedy.com/blog/archives/2005/11/google_base_blo.html

Randy: This is a great way to get more referrer hits. Put all your blog entries in Google Base. I'll give it a test try.

Note: I would avoid using the obsolete Atom 0.3 format. Stick with RSS 2.0 until Google upgrades to Atom 1.0, because you know RSS 2.0 won't get deprecated.

Mon, 21 Nov 2005 16:25:49 GMT
Add to Google button

Google: You can promote your feed by placing an "Add to Google" button to your website. Add to Google 

http://www.google.com/webmasters/addfeed.html

Randy: ETA to chicklet generator? Very small.

Mon, 21 Nov 2005 16:22:03 GMT
Technorati Performance Improvement Update

David Sifry: Since beginning our infrastructure improvements, Technorati's uptime has improved significantly. [cut] According to GrabPerf, even while our overall traffic has increased, our response times have consistently decreased. [cut] The index is over 3 years old, currently 21.5 million blog posts. [cut] Our median time to index is now under 3 minutes from the moment a blog post is created.

Randy: Congrats to the Technorati team. I have to agree, Technorati as been a lot faster this last month. But, Technorati is returning mostly Blogspot splog referrers now. They need some severe splog spotting or maybe just remove all Blogspot posts from their index. I'm pretty sure David meant 21.5 million blogs, not blog posts. BTW, my own calculations indicate we are now beyond 100 million blogs, so Technorati is only indexing about 20% of them. Last, David's claim of a median time to index under 3 minutes is beyond ridiculous. For instance, the Bad Politics blog is updated several times per day and pings Technorati each time. Yet, Technorati hasn't indexed the blog in 3 days. iBLOGthere4iM pings Technorati several times per day, but hasn't been indexed in 20 days. The RSS Blog pings Technorati several times per day, but hasn't been indexed in 3 days. The Besting Adwords blog pings Technorati several times per day, but hasn't been indexed in 3 days.

Mon, 21 Nov 2005 15:21:05 GMT
Wordpress.com Live

Matthew Mullenweg: We’ve decided to open up WordPress.com for signups without invites for a bit.

http://wordpress.com/

Randy: I suspect Wordpress will quickly become one of the most popular blogging platforms and later splogging platforms. Matt, please quickly hire scalability and splog detection experts :-) BTW, Wordpress doesn't have a login link on their hompage, a big usability gap.

Mon, 21 Nov 2005 15:11:45 GMT
Simple Sharing Extensions for RSS and OPML

Ray Ozzie: Here’s the draft spec for SSE, and here’s a FAQ that we put together.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/xml/rss/sse/

Randy: I don't really understand why we need these extensions to support replication. RSS feed splicing is pretty trivia, IMHO. BTW, that's Ray Ozzie's new blog on MSN Spaces. Subscribe

Mon, 21 Nov 2005 02:42:24 GMT
Validating the Google Base RSS extension

Sam Ruby: People who propose extensions should try to validate them first.

http://www.intertwingly.net/blog/2005/11/20/Google-Base-Format-Review

Randy: Wow, it's amazing how many errors Sam found. Had they tossed that document at Sam, Danny or myself prior to the release, I'm certain most would have been easily fixed.

Sun, 20 Nov 2005 18:41:04 GMT
del.icio.us on Your Blog

RSS Blog reader: Is it difficult to place the xml feed of your del.icio.us posts on your blog?  I noticed you’ve been doing this for a while and I’m intrigued.

Randy: There are more than a few ways of getting your del.icio.us links in your RSS feed.

  1. Scott at Tech.Life.Blogged does this by using his ultimate del.icio.us, FeedBurner, Rmail, Gmail mashup.
  2. Personally, I do this using the FeedBurner Link Splicer, but I'm thinking about changing to Scott's method because the links get burned in both your feed and directly on your blog.
  3. Nathan at InsideGoogle and others uses del.icio.us daily blog posting. Unfortunately, it's not documented at all.
Sun, 20 Nov 2005 18:19:41 GMT
Sphere Interview

Robyn of the GamingAndTech blog has an podcast interview (podcasterview?) with Sphere.com CEO Tony Conrad.

http://www.gamingandtech.com/2005/11/sphere-interview.html

Notes

Sun, 20 Nov 2005 17:25:51 GMT
W3C Feed Validator

The W3C has a Feed Validator with both a Web and SOAP 1.2 interface.

http://validator.w3.org/feed/

Fri, 18 Nov 2005 22:41:22 GMT
Blogdigger Works!
In another response to my State of Blogosphere Search article, Greg Greshman of Blogdigger responds that they are currently working on a syntax that will report all referrers to a blog (not just blog entry). He asked that I not reveal the syntax until they are finished their optimizations. The syntax works and I'm getting excellent results from it.
Fri, 18 Nov 2005 22:15:04 GMT
OPML 2.0?

Dave Winer: I think OPML should have a way to include elements from other namespaces [cut] so I plan to include this advice in the new OPML spec.

http://www.opml.org/2005/11/17#a198

Randy: Awesome! A new version of OPML is in the works. Clarifications? Extensions? Point Dave to samples of extensions you would like to see. BTW, OPML is already very extensible, as you can include pretty much any attribute in the outline element. But, it's true that clarification of its extensibility points would be a community win.

I personally maintain a lot of OPML file where I embed the RSS associated with the <outline> within the element. I use PASS to include the RSS within a namespace. Sample...

<opml version='1.0'>
<body>
<outline>
   <rss xmlns:pass="http://duderesearch.com/archives/000043.html">
      ....
   </rss>
</outline>
</body>
</opml>

Fri, 18 Nov 2005 17:33:16 GMT
Google Blogsearch Podcasts

It seems some geeks (Chris Wetherall and Jason Shellen) at Google started podcasting. It was a brief experiment. Also, Peter Norvig of Google has a speech available over at ITConversations.

Thu, 17 Nov 2005 01:34:55 GMT
Nudge, Nudge

Coming to a blogosphere near you.

http://top500.feedster.com/

Wed, 16 Nov 2005 16:57:48 GMT
Google Base RSS Extensions

With the launch of Google Base, Google has created a new RSS extension. The RSS extensions facilitates bulk uploads of classifies to Google Base and supports RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0 and Atom 0.3. I'm unsure why they didn't do Atom 1.0. Could've been a timing thing. Their development complete date may have been too near the Atom 1.0 finalization date. Yet another reason to have gotten Atom 1.0 done earlier (is anybody using it yet?).

Dave Winer asks "Where's the API?" It's RSS Dave. Remember, you helped create it.

http://base.google.com/base/attribute_list.html

Tue, 15 Nov 2005 15:07:02 GMT
State of the Blogosphere, Follow up

Following up on my article on the State of the Blogosphere, Mark Cuban sent me the following additional comments that I thought should be shared.

Thx again, a couple of quick notes..
  1. We do allow blogspot blogs, but have very specific rules.
  2. We no longer worry about how quickly we convert from ping to result. Its more important to scrub out the splogs.
  3. We will be adding features, bu I think its important to note that we aren't trying to be a blogosphere portal. We are a tracking tool that  lets users search based on freshness. Not relevance.  We aren't trying to help you find the best blog to read, we are hear to help you find what people are talking about, whther its a blog,a discussion forum or other resource..
Any feedback or ideas are always welcome. Feel free to post this ! Thx for all you have done in this space

And thank you Mark for kicking off the fight against splogs.

Mon, 14 Nov 2005 18:36:14 GMT
State of Blogosphere Search

It's been awhile since I reported on blogosophere search. This is mostly because it's not getting any better, with a few exceptions. The problems mainly arise from the broken blogosphere ping infrastructure and the unyielding supply of splogs. Let's start with blogosphere ping and move onto splogs.

Blogosphere Ping

I've tried manually pinging Technorati and the like. I've tried using Ping-o-Matic. I've written my own ping agents. Currently, I'm using FeedBurner's PingShot to ping Technorati, My Yahoo!, PubSub, Ping-o-Matic, NewsGator, Feedster, IceRocket, Weblogs.com and Blogdigger. The results are not great. According to The RSS Blog profile in Technorati, it hasn't been updated in 3 days. My other blogs have similar issues, iBLOGthere4iM hasn't been updated in 13 days, Besting Adwords in 4 days, Destroy all Malware in 13 days, Bad Politics in 28 days, R-mail in 28 days, Game Certainty in 13 days. Yet, everyone of these blogs is updated quite regularly (many several times per day). Now, Technorati is by far the worst of the ping sinks, but others are experiencing very similar. According to IceRocket, iBLOGthere4iM hasn't been update in 3 days, The RSS Blog hasn't been updated in 24 hours and so-on. PubSub reports 0 posts on my Website most days, yet I post about 20 times per day and others posts on KBCafe.com another 10 times per day. Google blog search hasn't updated it's cache of iBLOGthere4iM in 3 days or it's cache of Besting Adwords in 3 days. I don't want to leave anyone out, so I'll continue. Blogdigger hasn't updated it's cache of The RSS Blog in 3 days, BlogPulse hasn't updated it's cache of The RSS Blog in 2 days. I honestly couldn't even find a recent post in Feedster from the KBCafe.com domain. Why do we bother pinging? They surely don't actually do much with the pings. All of these sources would do better to simply poll our feeds once in awhile and stop all these ignored pings. Personally, I've decided that redundantly pinging them is now acceptable game. Anyhow, onto a second rant.

Splogs

Splogs are killing me. Particularly from two domains; Weblog.ro and Blogspot.com. I'm not sure if Weblog.ro is a legitimate Romanian blog hosting service, but I can't believe how many invalid trackbacks, blog comment spams, referrers I'm getting from there. I've blocked it completely and most of the search engines have too, from what I can tell. Blogspot is definitely legitimate, but it's presence as the #1 hosting service makes it the primary target of sploggers. I don't know why Google is struggling so much with banning sploggers, but I'm at the point where I prefer search engines that ignore all referrers from Blogspot. Funny thing, Google blog search seems to filter out the Blogspot splogs better than most. The best, seems to be IceRocket, who I assume have completely banned new Blogspot blogs from getting into their index.

Anyhow, with the major subjects addressed, let's move onto evaluating how the individual blogosphere search engines are performing. I'll start with the ones I like the best and move onto the ones I don't think work at all.

IceRocket

The #1 blogosophere search engine IMHO is IceRocket. It responds in about 1 second. It filters out splogs better than all else. Its index is reasonably current and large. It has link search, keyword search, tag search. The results are available via RSS. What else can you say?

Google Blog Search

The #2 blogosphere search engine IMHO is Google Blog Search. It responds faster than IceRocket, but 1 second or 1/3 second doesn't really affect my overall experience. It filters out splogs better than most. The index seems to be more current, but not as large. It has link and keyword search, but lacks tag search. The results are available via RSS. Very good!

BlogPulse

BlogPulse has gone thru the best improvement of late. The response times are much better, although it can be somewhat slow at times.  It filters splogs well. The index is somewhat current, but not very large. It has link and keyword search, but lacks tag search. The results are available via RSS. The BlogPulse profiles are somewhat cool! Very good!

Technorati

Technorati is the biggest disappointment this month. The response times are usually pretty good. It doesn't filter splogs at all, from what I can tell. I usually use Technorati to find new splogs to report to Matt Cutts at Google. Technorati often responds with new results that are actually days, weeks and sometimes months old. One of the most common emails that I get is users asking how they can get indexed by Technorati. Honestly, I don't know. I've setup profiles for all my blogs and ping Technorati regularly (sometimes even manually) and I don't know what works and what doesn't. Effectively, Technorati is mostly broken. Lot of great features in there if it actually worked.

Feedster

Feedster has been degrading for some time now. It still tends to be very good for keyword searches, but the response time is usually 5+ seconds, often much longer. Javascript errors abound. The SERPs show a random number of results. I've even seen pages with zero results and a next button that when clicked displays more results. There doesn't appear to be much splog filtering. Feedster like Technorati is mostly broken.

Bloglines

Blogslines is actually a pretty good link search tool when it works. Unfortunately, the two most common responses are errors. The third most common response is no response at all. Even when it does respond with positive results, so much time has elapsed that I forget what I was looking for in the first place. Blogslines is not mostly broken. It is broken.

PubSub

PubSub is infested with mostly splogs and it's very hard to find anything useful anymore. Beyond broken.

Blogdigger

Blogdigger is also broken. It has found exactly one new link to my blog in the last month. Thanks Coolz0r!

Yahoo! Blog Search

A promising future star. It currently doesn't have a homepage and it's really hard to use. I'd point at it, but there's nothing really to point to yet.

Mon, 14 Nov 2005 04:04:17 GMT
IE Proxy settings

Onfolio Support: When I tried to access feeds last night, every single one of them gave me the red x icon, even the feed for this support forum. [later] I opened IE to see what was up with that program, and it told me that it was working "offline". When I told it to work online, it showed me that I had a proxy set up, and the proxy was not working properly (since I'm back at home). When I had checked the proxy information in Firefox, all was correct, i.e., no proxy.

Randy: This is very common problem across most-all of the native Windows RSS readers. It's not exclusive to Onfolio. I run across it a few times per year in support forums. I just wanted to save it for easy reference in the future and just maybe somebody will Google it and end up here. The problem happens when you move your computer between network and use a Web proxy in one of the two networks. The second network may not have access to the Web proxy and your RSS reader may be using those proxy settings, thus failing. Disabling the proxy settings removes the problem and you may have to re-enable the proxy settings when you return to the other network.

Mon, 14 Nov 2005 03:20:32 GMT
Scott Johnson Moved

BTW, Scott Johnson of Feedster fame, has once again moved his blog. Subscribed

Mon, 14 Nov 2005 03:15:54 GMT
feed: URI scheme is broken
I'm honestly amazed that people continue to use broken techniques like the feed: URI scheme. Today, I right-clicked on a feed I wanted to subscribe to and copied the link location, not thinking to look at the URL. I then pasted it into Google Reader and got a nice empty screen. I realized the problem almost immediately, but most Web users would've never figured it out. I wonder how many subscribers they lost.
Mon, 14 Nov 2005 02:08:55 GMT
What's with FeedDemon

Chris Nolan: I've noticed it hitting my comments feed about 18 times in the last few minutes. It's getting a 200 and according to the Feed Validator nothing funky has gotten into the feed. Strange.

http://chrisnolan.ca/archive/ID/00000726

Sun, 13 Nov 2005 21:53:48 GMT
KissMyRSS

KissMyRSS sells interesting RSS merchandise via CafePress.

http://www.kissmyrss.com/

Sun, 13 Nov 2005 21:06:00 GMT
DigitalGrit Launches Business Blog Service

PR: Web marketing and technology firm DigitalGrit introduced its Business Blog Service today. The new service offers large and medium sized companies a turnkey solution for creating, maintaining, marketing and measuring the success of a company web log, or blog.

http://www.digitalgrit.com/pr/62.asp

Sun, 13 Nov 2005 18:08:28 GMT
BlogSpot is Dead!

This morning was another bad day for Blogger.com and Google. I found 57 splog referrers from BlogSpot and forwarded them to Matt at Google. Basically, Google doesn't seem to be capable of stopping the splogs. IMHO, the recent splogs on Blogspot have easily identified patterns that make them easy to pick off. How Google is not able to identify and remove them is beyond me? IceRocket already has kicked them out of their index. I now have to agree with Mark Cuban and Blake Rhodes. This is now the only way that a Blogosphere search engine can move forward with reasonably clean results. I also note that Google doesn't show these blogs in Google's blog search, but haven't disabled the accounts. That seems like dirty pool to me. If you host on Blogspot, then don't expect me to point to you or find you anymore. BlogSpot is Dead!

cross-posted

Sun, 13 Nov 2005 17:03:18 GMT
Do You Ping Manually?
Last week, I was talking with Coolz0r about Blogosphere ping and how it's completely broken (another discussion). Coolz0r thought it was working for him, but then I showed him how Technorati actually picked up his last post about 10 hours after it was originally posted. I asked Coolz0r how he pings Technorati and he told me that he use the manual ping form. I then explained to him how PingShot would ping 10 ping sinks on your behalf, without you requiring to do any additional work. I also realized that not everybody knew about this and a small tutorial started writing itself in the back of my mind.

I'll assume the reader does not have a FeedBurner account. If you already have an account, then skip to step 6. If you already have a FeedBurner feed, then skip to step 11.

  1. Goto FeedBurner [http://www.feedburner.com].
  2. Click on the Register link (top right).
  3. Fill in your desired User, Password, your E-mail Address and optionally the Secret Question and Secret Answer.
  4. Click the Sign In button (bottom). You are now registered.
  5. Skip to Step 7.
  6. If you are not already signed in, then sign into FeedBurner.
  7. FeedBurner will now ask you for the URL of the feed you wish to burn.

    Enter your RSS feeds URL and click Next.
  8. FeedBurner will ask you to confirm that you want to burn your feed. It'll also check the URL to make certain it's a valid feed. Click the Activate Feed button when you are read.
  9. Congrats, your feed is now live. You can add different options to your feed by clicking the Next button or simply click the Skip directly to feed management link to continue with this tutorial.
  10. Skip to Step 13.
  11. If you are not already signed in, then sign into FeedBurner.
  12. Click on the Feed Title you want to activate PingShot with.
  13. Click on the Publicize tab.
  14. You'll see the PingShot service in the left sidebar. Click on the PingShot service.
  15. Finally, we arrive at the PingShot service.

    Enable as many ping services as possible. I suggest Feedster, IceRocket, Weblogs.Com and Blogdigger as they are major search engines that can get you a lot of hits.
  16. When you are finished selecting your ping services, click on Save or Activate.

FeedBurner will automagically check your feed every 30 minutes and when it changes, it'll automagically ping the ping sinks you selected. You know longer have to do that yourself. BTW, Ping-o-matic is also a ping source and it will ping several other ping sinks, maybe even redundantly.

Sat, 12 Nov 2005 16:45:39 GMT
If it's not MP3, is it still podcasting?

Dave Winer: The thing that makes podcasting special is that it is accessible to everyone. [cut] Basically MP3 can't be rigged up to serve the purpose of advertisers, and that's why I love MP3. And only MP3 provides the portability and compatibility that users depend on. Any other method will force them to jump through hoops that they will resist.

Randy: MP3 is not the only road to accessibility. My rules of thumb is simple. It's gotta work (audio or video) in a typical installation of XP and OS X. MP3 does that? What other formats work? Not Real media. Not Quicktime. Not MPEG-4. Not WMV. If you are picking one of these formats, then you are limiting your audience. If your audience is OS X only, then Quicktime is likely OK. If your audience is XP only, then WMV is likely OK. MHO.

Sat, 12 Nov 2005 04:30:00 GMT
Another OPML browser

Yet another OPML browser.

Fri, 11 Nov 2005 17:00:06 GMT
Office 12 does RSS

Alexander Gorlach: Yes, Outlook 12 will support RSS news feeds! Say bay-bay to NewsGator and Attensa...

http://blogs.officezealot.com/gorlach/archive/2005/11/01/8450.aspx

Randy: I suspect the next 12 months are gonna prove difficult for Outlook plug-in based RSS readers. BTW, Alexander has lots of screenshots.

Fri, 11 Nov 2005 16:53:27 GMT
Drowing in Web 2.0 Apps

Mark Evans: It's probably my fault given my enthusiasm to "apply" for new Web 2.0 services but it's getting out of hand. In the past few weeks, I've tried out Sphere, Flock, Tailrank, Rollyo, SearchFox, Wordpress, Slawsome and Remember the Milk. They're all interesting and some of them are even useful but I feel like I'm at an all-you-can-eat buffet and my appetite is disappearing.

http://evans.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2005/11/11/1380684.html

Randy: The part I hate is that most of these applications will eventually find their way into the DOES NOT WORK anymore pile.

Fri, 11 Nov 2005 14:47:44 GMT
Pingoat is dying

Kailash Nadh: Pingoat is dying. The server is choking to death. Please immediately contact me at kailash.nadh@gmail.com if you can offer help in anyway. It wouldnt be more than a few days before the whole server collapses :| So please do offer a helping hand if possible. URGENT

http://www.pingoat.com/goatlog/post/index/35/URGENT-Help-needed

Randy: Although Kailash isn't offering details, I would assume that Sploggers are pounding his server into submission. Pingoat joins Ping-o-matic in the valley of dead blogosphere services. Let's just hope Kailash's SplogSpot doesn't meet the same end. I use to run a blog ping service called Blogomatic, but it didn't take ping requests, rather it would passively check for updates and ping the blogosphere when changes occurred. FeedBurner now provides a better version of this same service called PingShot.

Thu, 10 Nov 2005 15:10:58 GMT
RSS causes RSS

It turns out that RSS + Google Reader can cause RSS.

http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2005/11/may-we-get-you-some-chips-and-soda-too.html

Thu, 10 Nov 2005 04:28:09 GMT
MetaWeblog API for MSN Spaces in beta

Dare Obasanjo: Yesterday I sent out mail to a few dozen beta testers to let them know that we had started the beta of our implementation of the MetaWeblog API for MSN Spaces.

Randy: Great news! Now, if they can work on selecting themes that don't burn my eyes ;-) BTW, this is not good news for Atom API, which seems to be stuck in committee. The original milestone for Atom API was April 2005. Had they hit that date, would MSN be implementing MetaWeblogAPI? There's still action on the mailing list and wiki, but the Atom news has slowed considerably.

Wed, 09 Nov 2005 15:16:04 GMT
Q&A: Blogger Full Posts

RSS Blog reader: I use sharpreader as my rss reader and tonight noticed that it has started treating one of my blogs differently to the rest (ie mine...@$@$#%!). Whereas it used to import and display each full post with pictures, formatting and links, it now only reads the first 40 words or so and strips all the rest (including formatting, piccies etc). My friend also runs a blog on blogger.com yet HIS feeds are still coming through beautifully. WHY oh WHY would blogger.com or sharpreader suddenly start treating the randomselections posts in this way?

Randy: Most likely your blog was set to partial content. You can change it back with the following instructions. Login to blogger.com, goto Settings | Site Feed and set Description to Full.

Tue, 08 Nov 2005 16:35:51 GMT
Chicklet Generator v2.0

I've received dozen of requests to re-enable the chicklet generator. I figured, instead of re-enabling it on a case-by-case basis, I would simply create a version that cannot be abused by sploggers and the like. So, I created a brand new version of the chicklet generator, with no bandwidth requirements or restrictions on use. Hope you like it!

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

Tue, 08 Nov 2005 03:29:14 GMT
CNN Interviews Mena

CNN: Chances are, if she weren't the co-founder of a successful Web log publishing company (Six Apart), her Web log probably wouldn't get much press.

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/TECH/internet/08/10/mena.trott/

Randy: Agree, if she didn't create Six Apart, then few Web logs would be getting any press and we'd still be asking "What's a Blog?"

Sat, 05 Nov 2005 23:06:58 GMT
Changes in OPML-land

Dave Winer has proposed a new addition to the OPML vocabulary. A new OPML nodetype to include one OPML document within another.

<outline text="Florida" type="include" url="http://hosting.opml.org/dave/florida.opml"/>
Sat, 05 Nov 2005 16:04:33 GMT
Best Tech Blog? Thanks!

Aimee Evans of DigitGrit has nominated The RSS Blog for Best Tech Blog at the TechWeb Blog-X Awards. Thanks Aimee!

http://www.techweb.com/blogawards/nominate2.html

I nominated 5 blogs. No particular order, they are just the ones I link to a lot and read everyday.

Sat, 05 Nov 2005 14:38:55 GMT
IE7 supports only well-formed XML

Microsoft Team RSS Blog: We’ve adopted the following overriding principle for IE 7 and RSS platform in Windows Vista: We will only support feeds that are well-formed XML.

http://blogs.msdn.com/rssteam/archive/2005/11/03/489065.aspx

Luke Hutteman: Maybe there's an exception to Postel's law after all.

Randy: This shows great community leadership on Microsoft's part. It also means that some Windows-based RSS readers will refuse to use the RSS platform in Vista and claim their RSS aggregator accepts more feeds. When that happens I'm gonna be ready to pounce.

Sat, 05 Nov 2005 01:06:17 GMT
WebLoggers.Org

Last month, I announced a new webloggers forum. I've been posting there from time-to-time and I've notice that over the last week, the volume of posts has increased substantially. It's great seeing community sharing between webloggers. Dude, check it out!

http://www.webloggers.org/

Thu, 03 Nov 2005 17:11:21 GMT
MSN Search API

Dave Winer: An open message to Microsoft and Yahoo, and major implementors of search engines: Please clone the Google API, without the limits.

http://www.clonethegoogleapi.com

Robert Scoble: We CAN NOT chase Google’s tailpipes.

http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/2005/11/02/the-new-robert-scoble-services-agenda/

Randy: I'm gonna agree 100% with Scoble here. In fact, Microsoft already provides a great API into their MSN search service. And the funniest part, is that Dave invented that API.

Wed, 02 Nov 2005 22:02:55 GMT
Feedster 500 Dead?

Feedster (August): Each month, Feedster brings you a list of 500 of the most interesting and important blogs.

http://top500.feedster.com/

Beverly Parenti (September): The next edition of the Feedster Top 500 Blogs will be released at the beginning of October.

http://corp.feedster.com/blog/archives/2005/09/feedster_top_50.html

Scott Johnson (October): Why do you think that the Feedster 500 is late? Its not that we're lazy; its that the bulk of my time over the past two months has gone not into the next rev of the Top 500 but into dealing with spam.

http://scott.feedster.com/archives/159-Splog-Explosion.html

Randy: November 2nd.

Wed, 02 Nov 2005 18:46:49 GMT
RSS Chicklet Generator Abuse

It appears that some of the sploggers have caught onto the chicklet generator and are abusing it. I mean who would subscribe to a splog anyway? The end result is that this is not gonna scale and I'm gonna have to reconsider making this available publicly. Any insight would be appreciated.

Update: It appears that recently a splogger has been creating thousands of blogs with the chicklet generator javascript code on their homepage. All the templates are exactly the same, so it's obviously one splogger. A quick calculation had him pegged at 7% of my bandwidth. As such, I've shut-off the chicklet generator. If you are using it (and you are not a splogger) and want to be re-enabled, then send me an email.

Wed, 02 Nov 2005 17:39:48 GMT
Live.boring!

Microsoft has announced a new Web 2.0 initiative called Live.com. And of course, the blogosphere is littered with commentary on how this will or will not change the world. Personally, I find this to be a complete non-announcement. When your press release includes statements like "powered by cutting-edge technologies such as RSS and Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX)", then I tend to yawn. An end user really shouldn't care what technology is under the hood. I mean, did you really think Microsoft was gonna ignore Gmail and not come out with their own AJAX powered Web mail (AJAX mail). Anyhow, here's a short run-down of what's new in Live.boring!

Can you say branding exercise? Anyhow, lots to check out.

Oops! I give up. Microsoft now insists that I'm French (ok, maybe I am) and isn't giving me an option to switch back to English. Goodbye! BTW, they offer a smaller subset of the features to lang="fr" people. Maybe Microsoft should rename this buggy.com. I'm kinda getting tired of this whole beta thing.

Update: I checked out Live Safety Center. That was actually pretty good and could be very useful to the mundane user who doesn't already have Virus protection. In fact, I'm using AVG which is malware that scans for malware. Live Safety Center means I can uninstalled AVG tonight. Now, I don't have to worry about AVG thrashing my harddrive every morning.

Wed, 02 Nov 2005 11:55:25 GMT
Feeds and the Conditional-GET

Chris Siebenmann: Conditional GET is the HTTP technique used to save bandwidth by not re-fetching unchanged pages.

http://utcc.utoronto.ca/~cks/space/blog/web/AtomReadersAndCondGet

Randy: Good evaluation of RSS readers and their implementation of Conditional-GET.

Wed, 02 Nov 2005 01:56:16 GMT
r-mail.org

Today was the big move. R|mail is no longer a service offered on the KBCafe Website, or at least not for long. I put $400 where my mouth is and bought the r-mail.org domain for 10 years plus one year prepaid hosting. Today and tomorrow, I'll be modifying all the R|mail pages on KBCafe and forward them to our new homepage. I moved the blog, but the FeedBurner feed remains the same. Email me immediately if you encounter any issues during the move. This will allow me to offer more services without overloading the KBCafe domain, which if you haven't noticed has been less than responsive. I've got a lot of plans and I need way of paying for them. As such, I'm selling links on the r-mail.org homepage for $1/d. I've already got one sponsored link from the RRBBS Discussion Group and in their first week, they've acquired 8 R-mail Subscribers. Send me an email, if you want in on this deal.

http://www.r-mail.org

Tue, 01 Nov 2005 16:13:06 GMT
Do you sub with MSN Alerts?
Three weeks ago, I was considering dropping MSN alerts from my right sidebar. There was many reasons for this decision, but foremost, nobody has ever told me that they were subscribed with this service and were happy with it. Anyhow, it's still there, mostly because of Marjolein Hoekstra of CleverClogs who forwarded my blog entry to a friend at MSN Alerts and Mike Rubin of MSN Alerts who responded in my comments. Now, if MSN Alerts is gonna stay there, then I need to know that somebody is subbing using that chicklet. Anybody? Now, if MSN Alerts was reporting their subscribers to FeedBurner, then I wouldn't need to ask that question, would I?
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