The RSS Blog
RSS, OPML and the XML platform.
 
Copyright 2003-5 Randy Charles Morin
The RSS Blog
Tue, 31 Jan 2006 20:57:17 GMT
IE7 Beta 2 Preview Available

IEBlog: If you’re a developer, an IT Pro, or just plain interested, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie7/ to try the IE7 Beta 2 Preview.

Dave Winer: This release is significant for publishers who provide RSS 2.0 feeds for their content because this is the first Microsoft release that includes comprehensive support for RSS

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie7/

Randy: Download, install, play.

Initial Thoughts: Hung and crashed after about 1 minute. Definately has Web 2.0 attributes.

Tue, 31 Jan 2006 17:01:00 GMT
Blogads Sponsor

I've always wanted to try out Blogads. Unfortunately, it's invitation only. So, how do I get an existing blogger in the network to sponsor me?

http://www.blogads.com

cross-posted

Tue, 31 Jan 2006 15:46:42 GMT
Marketing is not Evil

The latest blogosphere marketing blitz by NBC has a BlogAds employee emailing bloggers who have NBC BlogAds ads running on their blogs asking them to link to a blog run by NBC on the subject of child predators. I think this is a great idea! Now, add "MSNBC is spending about a $1 million dollars in advertising on the following: [cut] 800 blogs (largest blogad buy in history)" and you have a company that is serious about using the blogosphere to create buzz!

http://www.perverted-justice.com/

Tue, 31 Jan 2006 04:48:56 GMT
Podnography
I just discovered a new term. Podnography is video sex podcast. Sorry, no direct links. Who would have guessed the porn industry would be an early adopter of videocasting?
Tue, 31 Jan 2006 03:41:55 GMT
Patents and Start-ups
There's a lot of noise on the patent front. Here's what I know. I remember writing patents for 724 Solutions around 2000. We spent an enormous amount of time working on the wording and the patent lawyers were pretty clear that these patents were valid and had potential value. Since then, I can point to numerous infringements of those patents, but I've never been able to find those patents in the USPTO database and I even sent the lawyers emails detailing the infringements. Well after I left 724, I inquired and found out the patents were never fully filed. What a waste. I've also prepared or worked on patents for several other companies and upon reviewing them in the USPTO database, I was easily able to determine that they were in fact invalid, because they contained false information. I even once emailed the CEO of the company to tell them that the patent which I participated in was invalid because it contained falsehoods and nothing was ever done about it. In the end, I think I've worked on a handful of patentable technologies and none of them turned into valid patents, exclusive because of laziness.
Mon, 30 Jan 2006 22:41:11 GMT
RSS Advisory Board Goes Public

Rogers Cadenhead: A new era begins today for the RSS Advisory Board, an independent organization formed in 2003 that publishes the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) specification, helps developers create RSS applications and broadens public understanding of the format. The board is taking on eight new members: Meg Hourihan, Loïc Le Meur, Eric Lunt, Ross Mayfield, Jenny Levine, Randy Charles Morin, Greg Reinacker and Dave Sifry.

http://www.rssboard.org/

Randy: Heh, that's me! Thanks Rogers for the opportunity and for moving the RSS Advisory Board forward. This looks like an awesome team!

Mon, 30 Jan 2006 22:24:13 GMT
Darren's Technorati Update

Darren Rowse: I still have not heard from Technorati’s customer service department despite emailing them a number of times over the past few months. ProBlogger is listed by them as not having updated for 222 days. [cut] ProBlogger continues to have a ranking in the top 100 (97 today) yet continues to be left out of the Top 100 list. [cut] Looks like the only way I’ll get featured on the Top 100 Blogs page is if I pay for it. Maybe I should take out an Ad that says that ;-)

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/01/30/technorati-problems-update/

Randy: Technorati and blogosphere search in general continue there slow degrade.

Mon, 30 Jan 2006 22:03:41 GMT
Microformats vs. XML: Pros and Cons

Dare Obasanjo: I'll continue to pay attention to this discussion but for now microformats will remain in the "gross hack" bucket for me.

Randy: Dare doesn't pull punches and I have to admit I agree with him.

Mon, 30 Jan 2006 21:46:31 GMT
MSDN does Atom 1.0

Mihai Parparita: Blogs hosted on MSDN seem to have started to generate Atom 1.0 recently.

http://www.intertwingly.net/blog/2006/01/30/MSDN-1-0

Mon, 30 Jan 2006 16:20:29 GMT
I want to build something that grows

Quinn Norton: Even though Joshua Schachter was rumoured to be about $30m richer, this was far from his best Christmas. Just nine days after Yahoo bought his company, Delicious (http://del.icio.us), and at a time when all eyes were on it, the power failed - leading to a service outage that meant 31-year-old Schachter had to work all hours to fix the site's technical emergencies.

http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1694487,00.html

Randy: Just a note. del.icio.us has been extremely responsive this week, after a bad December and January.

Mon, 30 Jan 2006 16:06:23 GMT
Attensa Outlook due next week!

Craig Barnes: So what are we releasing next week? Attensa Outlook 1.0 and Attensa Online. What users won't see is anything visible around our AttentionStreams in the recommendation and auto-prioritization area.[cut] Yes APIs are forthcoming, so please stay tuned on that too.

http://craigslemonade.typepad.com/weblog/2006/01/preparing_for_l.html

Sun, 29 Jan 2006 20:00:57 GMT
Ping-O-Matic Meet Ping-O-Death

Stephen Pierzchala is reporting the death of Ping-O-Matic. Death by Splings, I assume.

http://newestindustry.wordpress.com/2006/01/29/ping-o-matic-meet-ping-o-death/

Sun, 29 Jan 2006 19:00:48 GMT
NASA & RSS

Luke Hutteman: I'm not exactly sure why, but someone forwarded me the feedvalidator results of a NASA RSS feed, and they fail miserably.

http://www.hutteman.com/weblog/2006/01/27-244.html

Randy: Alex, I'll take Need Another Seven Astronauts for 200.

Alex: It exploded 19 years ago yesterday?

Sat, 28 Jan 2006 04:31:09 GMT
Most Shameless Blog Network Award

Blogativity.org: The Award for the most shameless Blog Network goes to ... biznichemedia.com. [cut] From their homepage, "prioritize content volume over quality".

http://bloghurt.com/blogativity/?p=7

Randy: I think they blogiarized my tag-line, "De-prioritize quality."

Sat, 28 Jan 2006 00:45:13 GMT
It's time to bury RSS

Phil Wainewright: It's all too plain that RSS as currently delivered is fatally flawed. [cut] RSS reading remains stubbornly mired in a client-server, cubicled-user metaphor that locks out any scope for the kind of network effects that we're supposed to be reaping in the Web 2.0 era.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/SAAS/index.php?p=82

Randy: RSS is dead once again. Must be the tenth time. Obviously, RSS has more lives than your average house cat. Two years ago, I introduced Dude, Check This Out! to the world. The Dude had those network effects. Unfortunately, it was far too early. Maybe it's time for a restart.

Fri, 27 Jan 2006 22:01:21 GMT
New Syndication Icon

Rogers Cadenhead: I've adopted the icon on Workbench this afternoon, because I think it could spark greater adoption of syndication with the general public.

Sam Ruby: I decided to do something productive.  Like adopting the feed icon as the favicon for the Feed Validator.

Randy: I sense a tipping point. Get the feed  icon at FeedIcons.com. I'll update my blogs in the next week.

http://feedicons.com/

Fri, 27 Jan 2006 14:53:55 GMT
Kanoodle on MSN Spaces

MSN Spaces: You can earn money by allowing Kanoodle ads to run in your space.

cross-posted

Thu, 26 Jan 2006 15:31:26 GMT
Yahoo Will Buy Digg

Kevin Burton is reporting that Yahoo! will buy Digg and the announcement is next week. I have to wonder about Yahoo!'s acquisition strategy. They seem to be buying every Web 2.0 startup that gets popular (i.e. Flickr, del.icio.us). Is YouTube next? At what point does Yahoo! run out of money? There'll always be new popular social Websites and many of them will fail before they find a business model.

http://www.feedblog.org/2006/01/yahoo_will_buy_.html

Thu, 26 Jan 2006 04:08:37 GMT
The Danger behind MySpace

A reporter ask me via e-mail...

Do you think there is any danger behind these sites --- there is lots of hype about cyberstalking and kids getting busted for nudity and underage drinking/drugs on their pages?

I replied to him, but I thought I would copy my statements here. My reply follows.

MySpace is a social Website where people can meet, chat and generally entertain themselves. People in general (but teenagers in particular) are extremely bored and are looking for ways to entertain and express themselves. Teenagers and young adults have found MySpace to be a very good outlet for their boredom.
There is no danger behind MySpace. What MySpace does is occupy people who would likely be doing something much worse if they didn't have that vent. There's cyberstalking, nudity and drug talk. But, at least it's online where real physical damage is rare. The alternative is gangs, sex and drug usage. Which would you prefer?

What do you think?

Wed, 25 Jan 2006 22:58:31 GMT
Blog Sensationalism

Russell Beattie let's the CAT out of the bag and NAILS it to the cross!!! A great article about how bloggers seem to say THE SKY IS FALLING after every sentence.

http://www.russellbeattie.com/notebook/1008772.html

Tue, 24 Jan 2006 22:16:27 GMT
Google Web Accelerator

I just noticed that Google Web Accelerator is back. It only prefetches HTTP GET requests that don't have query parameters.

http://webaccelerator.google.com/

Tue, 24 Jan 2006 15:41:31 GMT
del.icio.us 410 Gone

I've had no luck with del.icio.us today and yesterday. It seems to have vanished from the Web? Anybody know what's up? Anybody experiencing the same?

Update: According to the del.icio.us blog, they did move facilities on Saturday. For various reasons, the site has been mostly unavailable till now.

Tue, 24 Jan 2006 01:44:14 GMT
vimeo

Vimeo allows you to upload and share videos. Looks a lot like YouTube.

http://www.vimeo.com/

Tue, 24 Jan 2006 00:04:06 GMT
Google Check This Out!

Official Google Blog: When you're signed in to your Google Account, you'll receive recommended news stories based on the previous stories you've read. These recommendations will be highlighted just below the top news stories on the page, in a clearly marked section. You can also get a full page of recommended stories by clicking on the section. All of this is done automatically using algorithms.

Randy: Two years after Dude, Check This Out! flopped, Google is doing a replay. Disclaimer: I was one of the Dudes. Of course, Google is in a much better position to make this work.

Mon, 23 Jan 2006 15:20:24 GMT
MySpace Layouts

Judging simply by the number of referrers I'm getting, MySpace is the fastest growing thing on the Web. In an effort to understand it, I've been playing with it. The first thing I wanted TODO is change my layout. I did a quick search on Google for MySpace Layouts. There's a lot of information out there on how to customize the layouts, but the instructions for modifying your layout were incomplete. The instructions were usually, paste this into your About Me. I had a hard time at first, trying to find the About Me. In the end, I figured it out, but thought I'd write up my own instructions.

  1. Login
  2. Click Home
  3. Click Edit Profile 
  4. Click Edit to the right of About Me
  5. Paste the layout code in the textarea
  6. Click Preview
  7. Click Submit

I hope this helps somebody else from wasting 15 minutes, like I did, trying to find the About Me.

Sun, 22 Jan 2006 02:05:47 GMT
Ning out-of-beta!

I recently got an e-mail from Gine, the CEO of Ning. They are now, out-of-beta. The biggest improvement, is they now allow AdSense and YPN. This will encourage more Ning sites.

http://www.ning.com/

Sat, 21 Jan 2006 00:46:10 GMT
Gmail Issues

Eric Bangeman: As an early invitee, he was able to register "ryan.coleman." Another later invitee named Ryan Coleman found that address taken, so he settled for the username "ryancoleman." So far so good. Then Ryan the first started getting the e-mail of Ryan the second.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060120-6022.html

Randy: Ooop! It appears Gmail has had a big hole for an even longer time.

Fri, 20 Jan 2006 22:44:47 GMT
Wikipedia was never down

Joi Ito posted a message from Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder, on the recent supposed German Wikipedia lawsuit. The following 7 points were copied from Joi's blog.

  1. The German version of Wikipedia is *always* at http://de.wikipedia.org/
  2. The site was never shut down not even for a single instant 
  3.  The http://www.wikipedia.de/ domain belongs to the German Verein (a club of Wikipedia users, a local chapter).
  4. That domain has never been used to access the encyclopedia. There was always a courtesy notice on the 404-not-found page there, telling people the correct URL.
  5. The Wikimedia Foundation has never been served process about any action against us in German court.
  6. The Wikimedia Foundation has not reached any temporary settlement with any Berlin court — we have no contact with any Berlin courts.
  7. The German Verein was ordered very briefly to not point people to the http://de.wikipedia.org/ — a rather stupid order which was quickly reversed — but in any event an order with absolutely no material meaning since that domain has never been used to access Wikipedia at all.
Fri, 20 Jan 2006 22:33:51 GMT
Ookles is Tagging

Ookles, Scott Johnson's new frying pan, has a blog. And Ookles is about tagging and more. Subscribed

http://ookles.wordpress.com/

Fri, 20 Jan 2006 18:56:57 GMT
Comments Turned Off

WashingtonPost: As of 4:15 p.m. ET today, we have shut off comments on this blog indefinitely. [cut] But there are things that we said we would not allow, including personal attacks, the use of profanity and hate speech. Because a significant number of folks who have posted in this blog have refused to follow any of those relatively simple rules, we've decided not to allow comments for the time being.

http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/washpostblog/2006/01/shutting_off_co.html

Randy: This is a perfect case where registration could be used to help self moderate a blog. Registration is not always the right fit, but for high volume blogs, it's the only way to go. The reason it works, is that users who can't keep a conversation civil are usually posting anonymously, fearing damage to their name. Requiring registration discourages non-civil behavior. It will discourage legitimate comments as well, but that's the price you pay and it's better than no comments at all.

Fri, 20 Jan 2006 15:34:12 GMT
Kweschun is a go

Chris Nolan: Two of my projects have launched today. See my Shortest Alpha Ever post about the launch of Kweschun. And see my post on Kekova about the launch of the Canadian Election Mashup where you can see a google map of all the ridings in Canada, do a quick lookup to find out where you need to go to vote, and link over to a series of kweschuns so you can try and predict the future along with everyone else in terms of the outcome of the elections.

http://kweschun.com/

Randy: Kweschun is a community Q&A forum. Provide a couple suggested answers to your question and you can follow which answer the community favors. Very cool!

Thu, 19 Jan 2006 23:22:53 GMT
More on RSS and Copyrights

Susan Mernit: Without some share in the revenue, it's not right to make $$ from anything more than a headline and a digest, unless the blogger has specifically given permission for a great depth to be published off site.

Randy: John replies with two examples.

John Palfrey:

  1. If a for-profit company a) aggregates RSS headlines and digests of feeds only (presumably there's a norm around what is appropriate "digesting", but presume for these purposes it's something well short of a full feed, consistent across all sources aggregated); b) provides an easy mechanism for those who wish to opt-out to opt-out; and c) observes all licenses and other stated preferences of those who offer feeds, then it's OK to make money on the aggregated content with ads served alongside the content in some fashion. 
  2. If a for-profit company aggregates full RSS feeds and makes money from the aggregation, it's not enough to give the source of the feeds some links back or a hat-tip or similar kinds of  non-cash remuneration. 

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/palfrey/2006/01/18

Randy: This makes perfect sense to me and I think pretty much any honest person would agree. Unfortunately, we're not all honest.

Wed, 18 Jan 2006 21:06:17 GMT
Technorati — Doesn’t answer email

Matt Walters: So … on December 20th I submitted a question to Technorati given the email address they provide and they have yet to answer, even though I have followed up on the email 5 times now.  What does it take to get an answer guys?

http://blog.mattwalters.net/permalink/265

Randy: Hello? Is this thing on? 2600+ subscribers and not one from Technorati? Either that, or it's not sinking in.

Wed, 18 Jan 2006 20:17:50 GMT
More Technorati Woes

Darren Rowse: I’m still a bit over Technorati as it’s now showing this blog as not having been updated for 207 days and there’s still no word from them on my enquiries.

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/01/16/more-on-technorati-tags/

Wed, 18 Jan 2006 17:54:09 GMT
RSS and Copyright, circa 2006

John Palfrey has a great discussion on how to properly aggregate RSS feeds and offer that aggregated view without stomping on your source and violating his copyrights. John runs an aggregation service called Top10Sources.

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/palfrey/2006/01/17

Here's the important points he makes.

  1. Top10Sources attempts to contact sources before republishing.
  2. Top10Sources removes content at the authors requests.

I would also add that Top10Sources doesn't not actually make a permanent copy of the RSS data. Rather, it simply lists the most recent items in the source RSS feed. He truly is aggregating feeds, not copying the content within.

cross-posted

Wed, 18 Jan 2006 05:03:52 GMT
Weird Referrer

This month, I have a new top referrer. The referrer is quite amazing. 1000 visitors from this site have clicked thru to my Website. The amazing thing is that not one of those referrers hit any of my preset Google Analytics goals. Websites that click-thru to similar pages have goals hits around 5%. I wonder how they convince their users not to click on my ads or subscription buttons?

Tue, 17 Jan 2006 21:24:45 GMT
Splogger Challenge

Over on the Destroy All Malware blog, I've started a new series called Splogger Challenge. The purpose, destroy all sploggers. I'll handle one splogger at a time and get them punted. It's my boil the ocean approach to de-splogging the blogosphere.

http://www.kbcafe.com/spam/?guid=20060117130830

Tue, 17 Jan 2006 14:58:30 GMT
Over 1 Billion (Articles) Served

Ask Jeeves Blog: With the system and hardware upgrades now in place, Bloglines users are experiencing across-the-board performance improvements, including increased freshness and faster page loads. 

http://blog.ask.com/2006/01/over_1_billion_.html

Randy: Boy, this makes me laugh. Let me just drop a couple screen dumps and explain. This is the most common result I get from Bloglines now.


click to enlarge

It doesn't hang as long before I get there, so in-a-way, they are correct, "faster page loads." Occasionally, I actually get results returned.


click to enlarge

Note in these results that none of the blog entries actually meet my criteria. The results are 100% bogus. Yes, "faster page loads" of absolute crapulence. And don't get me wrong, I'm not the only user struggling with Bloglines.

Chris Nolan: Bloglines, what's up!? I go to read my feeds and there is nothing there. Please, please fix it soon. I haven't read any news all day...

T. Beth: My blog and other Blogger blogs (blogspot.com) are showing red errors [!] in Bloglines.

Will Richardson:  Did you save your Bloglines OPML lately? Messages like this always scare me:

I'm the Bloglines Plumber. We've had a database multiple hardware failure. We'll update this when we have more information.
Mon, 16 Jan 2006 22:56:46 GMT
Take the Technorati survey!

Niall Kennedy: Technorati is planning lots of exiting new features for 2006 and we would like to know more about you, your reading and blogging habits, and the features you would most like to see implemented by Technorati this year.

http://www.technorati.com/weblog/2006/01/76.html

Randy: I'm asking for zero new features. All I want is the existing features to actually work. Without my results being infested with splogs. Without bogus results from months past. You know, current non-spammy results.

Fri, 13 Jan 2006 21:24:44 GMT
State of the Splogosphere, Part II

Many months ago, I wrote an article title State of the Splogosphere. It was generally a knock on the Blogosphere search engines which have had a hard time dealing with splogs; spam blogs. In the meanwhile, I started writing more in-depth articles on the Blogosphere Search, with a minor in the Splogosphere. What I notice this month was an overall improvement in the quality of blogosphere search results. I think I might of JINXed the blogosphere. I woke up this morning to a classic splogosphere attack with a big bulls-eye on Blogspot. My refers at Technorati, mostly Blogspot splogs and lots of them. Where is all the progress? This is what we were seeing in October 2005. I really have to wonder what the engineers at Blogspot and Technorati have been doing for the last six months. Not that the problem only lies with them, I got some horrible porn splog referrer SPAM from PubSub too.

And I'm not obviating Bloglines either. You see, Bloglines is complete borked. When I looked for citations using Bloglines, I get referrers to someone else's domain, not mine. It makes me wonder, what is better, porn referrers, splogs or complete irrelevance. In my State of Blogosphere Search article, I gave Technorati a grade of B. Let me deprecate that for a C-. And I gave PubSub a D. Turn that into a D-. Bloglines already had an F- and believe it or not, it's actually worse.

Thank god for IceRocket. And Mark Cuban and Blake Rhodes too. That's assuming that Mark and Blake aren't gods ;-)

Thu, 12 Jan 2006 04:16:21 GMT
Photocasting Feed Format

Dave Winer discovered a sample RSS file with Apple's Wallpapers extension. The file returns an error in IE, Firefox and other non-Apple HTTP clients. Can you say vendor lock-in? You can see the underlying data over here. Note the extensions are invalid. The extension looks a lot like Yahoo!'s Media RSS. Yet another RSS extension not worth supporting.

Wed, 11 Jan 2006 22:17:39 GMT
Friendster Saga Continues

Staci D. Karmer: Because of the other, unidentified company's serious interest, Viacom made a non-binding offer to get to the next step -- due diligence. That offer was at or about $20 million -- already a deep discount from the $50-100 million being tossed about late last year, which was already a deep discount from the $200 million ballpark that cropped up in early 2005. [cut] I have been told by multiple sources that later Viacom was offered the chance to acquire Friendster for $5 million -- less than the $11 million to $15 million we estimated last year so far had been invested in the company. The word Viacom got was that Friendster's VCs no longer wanted to fund the company. [cut] (Friendster's lead backers are Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Battery Ventures and Benchmark Capital, each of which has seats on the board.) When I asked one person familiar with the situation why not just buy it for that price, the response was it costs more than that a year to operate.

http://www.paidcontent.org/pc/arch/2006_01_11.shtml#053107

Randy: I can't wait to read the book; The Rise and Fall of Friendster. Sounds like a best seller.

Tue, 10 Jan 2006 06:03:25 GMT
Feedster: Evolution Or Corp. Darwinism?

Jason Lee Miller: With the backing of Feedster co-founder and former Chief Technical Officer Scott Johnson, then Vice President of Sales and Marketing Chris Redlitz was promoted to president of the company on November 7th. By December 14th, Johnson was not only given his walking papers, but also was voted off the board of directors. Redlitz was voted onto the board in his place. [cut] Redlitz calls the change part of Feedster's "natural evolution." [cut] Johnson continues to have no comment on the situation and is moving on to his next project, Ookles.com.

Randy: As the Feed Turns.

Tue, 10 Jan 2006 05:24:01 GMT
Preventing Cyberstalking

Declan McCullagh: Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime. It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.

Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:h.r.03402:

Randy: Now what do I do with the 2 hours I spent daily leaving annoying anonymous blog comments across the blogosphere? Maybe I'll take up spamming. I heard that's legal :-)

Mon, 09 Jan 2006 19:32:39 GMT
More Blatant Blogiarism

Today, I stumbed across a very blatant blogiarism. The author is copying posts word-for-word without even a link-back. I've even found (with the help of a friend) comments where the victimized authors complained to him. The complaints went unanswered. The blog is hosted on blogspot and the 3-level domain is ambiraj. He also has a FeedBurner feed. I've forwarded emails to Google and FeedBurner to shut him down. Check it out if you want and don't forget to flag him while you are there. BTW, the best way to defeat blogiarism is to talk about it. If you find any others, then feel free to send me an email and I'll try to get them kicked out of the blogosphere.

Update: Within 6 hours of this post, the blog was 404, no longer present on Blogspot.

Mon, 09 Jan 2006 18:58:59 GMT
My Yahoo! Subscribers

Two and a half months ago, My Yahoo! stopped reporting subscriber numbers to FeedBurner. At the time, we were reassured they were working on a fix. Hopefully somebody at Yahoo! will see this as a kick in the pants. Right now, neither Yahoo! nor Google, likely the two largest Web-based RSS aggregators, are not reporting any feed stats to FeedBurner. Here's a challenge. Whomever gets this done first (Yahoo! or Google), gets a dozen bonus blog posts about their products.

Readers, please add your name and the number of posts you're willing to give, in exchange for this public service. Thanks!

Update: A friend at Yahoo! says this was fixed a month ago. Unfortunately, My Yahoo! subscribers to The RSS Blog remain at 1. Before the outage, I believe the count was more than 300. I'm investigating.

Update II: Don Loeb sent me an e-mail indicating that another problem that was preventing some subscribers from getting their My Yahoo! subscriber numbers. Some would include me. The other problem should be fixed tomorrow morning. Thanks Don!

Update II (Jan 11): The problem is still not fixed.

Mon, 09 Jan 2006 16:31:18 GMT
Feedster Will Die in 2006

Jeremy Zawodny: Is it just me, or has Feedster been completely useless for over 6 months now? I have no idea if it's related to the recent departure of Scott Rafer (former CEO) and Scott Johnson (former co-founder), but I'm amazed at how bad it is.

http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/006071.html

Chris Redlitz, President of Feedster: Yes, Jeremy, we have been in transition over the past several months. To those of us working at Feedster every day, it is definitely a transition for the better. Feedster has been in the midst of the explosive growth of RSS and we have outgrown a lot of legacy front-end code. [cut] We will be operating in 2006 and beyond. Some of the old Feedster may be gone, but the new Feedster is alive and well.

Mon, 09 Jan 2006 07:35:55 GMT
Best of the Blogosphere 2005

Last year, I wrote a piece called best of 2004, where I enumerated the top 10 blogosphere events of the previous year. Following on the same theme, here's my 10 best blogosphere events of 2005.

  1. flickr sold to Yahoo! - The biggest news of the year was the rise of Flickr and sale in February 2005 to Yahoo!
  2. YouTube rises - Newcomer YouTube jumped on the seen and out-maneuvered both Google and Yahoo! video. In October, they secured financing from Sequoia. YouTube is to video as flickr was to photos. Expect YouTube to be snatched up in 2006 and make my list again next year.
  3. Weblogsinc sold to AOL - First came Weblogsinc's rise as a publisher, then came the news that Jason Calacanis sold his growing empire to AOL, followed by the How much is your blog worth permathread.
  4. del.icio.us sold to Yahoo! - On the verge of major scaling issues, del.icio.us sells it's folksonomy engine to Yahoo!
  5. MySpace sold to News Corp - Blogosphere unsavvy NewsCorp buys MySpace for $580m, then blocks YouTube videos.
  6. YPN beta launched - Yahoo! launches a competitor to Google's AdSense.
  7. Rise and Fall of Chitika eMinimalls - Darren Rowse introduces the blogosphere to eMinimalls, an excellent AdSense alternative and compliment. A massive amount of bloggers begin pasting eMinimalls across the Web and quickly find themselves in a nightmare.
  8. About.com sold to New York Times - New York Times massively overpays ($400m) for about.com.
  9. LiveJournal sold to 6apart - The year started with a merger of two of the biggest blog hosting platforms (Typepad and LiveJournal).
  10. FeedDemon/NetNewsWire sold to NewsGator - NewsGator bought not one, but two of the most popular RSS readers.

This year (2006), we can expect some more great news from OperaFirefoxMemeorandum, Wordpress, YouTube, NewsGator, 6Apart and RSS in Vista.

Mon, 09 Jan 2006 03:21:58 GMT
State of Blogosphere Search, Part II
Two months ago, I wrote a comprehensive blog entry on the State of Blogosphere Search. Since I wrote that article, I have noticed a considerable decline in the quality of results returned by the blogosphere search engines and wanted to update everybody on what I'm seeing. Let's begin with the infrastructure that is in place for making the World Live Web happen. Two primary issues are negatively affecting the ability of blog search engines to quickly report accurate conversations in the Blogosphere; the broken ping infrastructure and splogs.

Blogosphere Ping

In my last report, I noted that many of the blogosphere search engines were failing to pick up new posts via the pinging infrastructure. With a little help from FeedBurner, I was able to better Technorati's response time in indexing my posts. The problem related to Ping-o-matic. When PingShot was configured to ping Ping-o-matic, it would withhold its ping of Technorati, assuming that Ping-o-matic was pinging Technorati on its behalf. Unfortunately, Ping-o-matic does not appear to work. By removing Ping-o-matic from the list of ping services that PingShot would hit, FeedBurner began pinging Technorati and my posts are now picked up in reasonable time. In other words, Technorati pings work for me, because I was able to figure out what I was doing wrong with the help of some friends. Unfortunately, most bloggers wouldn't know what's broke and what to fix.

I still have little luck with PubSub, which seems to miss the vast majority of my posts, even though PingShot pings PubSub with every post. Google blog search is now picking up most all, if not all of my blog posts in reasonable time. Blogdigger is falling behind one or more days at a time. BlogPulse is usually behind, but not more than 24 hours. Most of Feedster's functionality was recently broken, then temporarily dropped, so I don't know how their index is doing anymore.

Overall, the blogosphere ping has improved and the improvements lie with FeedBurner and Google blog search. Everybody else has stagnated. On the downside, 75% of all blogosphere pings are now spings (a.k.a. pings from splogs). Which brings us to our second topic; splogs.

Splogs

Searching almost any blogosphere search engine returns splogs. Although a lot of progress has been made, the increasing number of splogs is making this difficult. Blogspot has been able to reduce the amount of splogs, but the sploggers have moved to other platforms, including self hosted, which allow them to stay in business, even when caught. Fortunately, when caught, they're quickly removed from the blogosphere search indexes.

I've noticed a considerable improvement at PubSub and Technorati which were splog infested two months ago. Now the results compare with the rest of the industry.  Google blog search, IceRocket and BlogPulse, which were already good at handling splogs, are now even better. Blogdigger also seems to return few splogs.

Now, let me finish with a summary of who's best at blogosphere search.

IceRocket

IceRocket remains the #1 blogosphere search engine. The response time is sub-second, it always works, good splog filtering, index is timely and complete, has tag and link search and has ah-hoc RSS results. Missing is blog profiles. Grade: A.

Google Blog Search

Google blog search compares to IceRocket in every category, but does not provide a tag search. Grade: A-.

Technorati

Technorati has the most complete feature set, but their are too many problems. Response time is mostly sub-second, but not always, getting indexed requires too much effort and the results are often untimely. Grade: B.

BlogPulse

The BlogPulse profiles are their one plus. Other than that, the response is slowing, it often doesn't work, the index is not current, nor is it complete. They don't provide tag search. Grade: C.

Blogdigger

Blogdigger is better than I reported 2 months ago, but it still has a lot of failings. The first of which is that it lacks in functionality and some of the functionality lacks public documentation. Grade D+.

PubSub

PubSub's index is quite incomplete and it remains very difficult (geeky) to use. Grade: D.

Feedster

Feedster has been broken ever since former CTO Scott Johnson left the company. Feedster has promised to bring us something new this month. Grade: F.

Bloglines

Bloglines citations has been broken for quite awhile now and the keyword search is unusable. Grade: F-.

Yahoo! Blog Search

Yahoo!'s blog search remains in Beta and still doesn't have a clean entry point. I'll refrain from grading it until they provide a clean entry point. Without a clean entry point, it's pretty much useless to the average blogger.

Summary

Note, these ratings are my opinion and thus may be incorrect because of my lack of omnipotence. If you have an opinion, then feel free to express it in my comments or link to this blog entry and I'll find you.

Sun, 08 Jan 2006 21:39:16 GMT
Unblock MySpace

Believe it or not, I get hundreds of visitors from young adults looking for help by-passing their schools filtering of the MySpace domain. These hits come from a popular query on Google; MySpace Blocked. Anyhow, I thought I'd try to enumerate a few of the methods of by-passing a school's domain block filter, maybe it'll help a few kids survived the school day while failing all their exams. Further instructions are here.

http://www.kbcafe.com/iBLOGthere4iM/?guid=20060104123727

Unblock Myspace
Sat, 07 Jan 2006 17:00:54 GMT
I Would Rather Be Blogging

Oleg Dulin is starting a new blogging portal. Right now, it's just his blog, but he plans to open that up.

http://www.iwouldratherbeblogging.com/

Sat, 07 Jan 2006 03:47:06 GMT
Firefox-Atom Bug Auto-Fixed

Tim Bray: The [Firefox] 1.5.0.1 (will auto-update) will contain the fix for Bug 262222, which kept Atom 1.0 feeds that use xml:base and relative links from working.

http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2006/01/06/Firefox-Atom

Fri, 06 Jan 2006 05:55:36 GMT
Weather.com XML

Weather.com occurs both HTML widgets that you can paste onto your blog or Website and a REST XML service. The rate limits are too (25k visits per month) small (of course).

http://www.weather.com/services/xmloap.html

Thu, 05 Jan 2006 20:15:01 GMT
RapidFeeds

About: RapidFeeds FeedManager (Beta) allows anyone to create and manage their own RSS feeds completely and effortlessly.

http://www.rapidfeeds.com/

Randy: Move over FeedBurner, you got yourself some competition.

Wed, 04 Jan 2006 22:27:21 GMT
photobloggr

photobloggr is another service provided by Marcel Marchon. It groups your public Flickr images in all sorts of new ways. Here's my Flickr images on photobloggr.

http://photobloggr.com/

Wed, 04 Jan 2006 18:16:53 GMT
Microsoft courting Yahoo?

Richard MacManus: LA Times has fun with several outlandish acquisition theories for Microsoft. First they say that Microsoft may offer to buy Yahoo for $80-90 billion. [cut] Later in the article there's a suggestion that Microsoft may pursue "a jewel like Time Warner".

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

Randy: I don't think there's an acquisition in the plans, but rather a partnership and it's with the mother ship; GE/NBC.

Wed, 04 Jan 2006 16:58:28 GMT
Search Flickr Images by Drawing Them

This is pretty cool. Simply draw something and Retrievr will lookup similar images in Flickr. It uses both form and color matching.

http://labs.systemone.at/retrievr/

Wed, 04 Jan 2006 02:58:57 GMT
Feed Of The Year Winner- Workbench

Feedster named Rogers Cadenhead's Workbench Feed of the Year. Congrats Rogers!

http://corp.feedster.com/blog/archives/2006/01/feed_of_the_yea_31.html

Tue, 03 Jan 2006 21:33:39 GMT
Feedburner statistics feed!

To subscribe to an RSS feed of your Feedburner statistics, click here.

http://www.kedrosky.com/mt/fb-index.htm

Tue, 03 Jan 2006 17:30:12 GMT
It's time to bury RSS

Phil Wainewright: Now the slashdot hordes have had their say, it's all too plain that RSS as currently delivered is fatally flawed.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/SAAS/index.php?p=82

Randy: Here we go again. RSS is broken for the millionth time. Does this ever get boring? Very!

Phil: RSS reading remains stubbornly mired in a client-server, cubicled-user metaphor that locks out any scope for the kind of network effects that we're supposed to be reaping in the Web 2.0 era.

Randy: Network effects? Like Bloglines? del.icio.us? Google blog search? IceRocket? Technorati? What is Phil missing? I can search for all new referrers across almost the entire blogosphere. Follow specific topics. Track conversations. Of course, his answer is gonna be that he wants something more that RSS doesn't provide. The truth is, buzzwords like network effects are most often used as a form of intellectual violence. Don't give me network effects, tell me what you want in plain English.

Tue, 03 Jan 2006 16:29:32 GMT
Memeorandum Stats

I got a lot of hits from Memeorandum yesterday, based on my Web 2.0 predictions entry. Thought it might be interested to drop a few stats that fell out of Analytics.

The average is for all visitors to my site (includes Memeorandum referrers). I did get a lot of new referrers, which I assume were via Memeorandum. I also got a lot of referrers from BusinessWeek, which I think can be used as a benchmark.

The sample is too small to make any conclusive arguments, but I find it interesting that Memeorandum creates a large amount of new referrers, but the visitors are not as sticky as other sources. I suspect this is caused by the Memeorandum bloggers; those that blog all day on the subjects suggested by Memeorandum.

Tue, 03 Jan 2006 14:02:52 GMT
27% Use RSS Without Realizing It

Yahoo Report: 27% of Internet users consume RSS syndicated content on personalized start pages (e.g., My Yahoo!, My MSN) without knowing that RSS is the enabling technology.

http://publisher.yahoo.com/rss/RSS_onepage1004.pdf

Tue, 03 Jan 2006 01:02:24 GMT
Atom Protocol v7

Another draft of the Atom protocol.

http://bitworking.org/projects/atom/draft-ietf-atompub-protocol-07.html

Top Articles
  1. Unblock MySpace
  2. MySpace
  3. FaceParty, the British MySpace
  4. del.icio.us and sex.com
  5. Blocking Facebook and MySpace
  1. Review of RSS Readers
  2. MySpace Layouts
  3. RSS Stock Ticker
  4. RSS Gets an Enema
  5. Google Reader rejects del.icio.us