The RSS Blog
RSS, OPML and the XML platform.
 
Copyright 2003-5 Randy Charles Morin
The RSS Blog
Sat, 29 Apr 2006 19:56:47 GMT
Your Tube, Whose Dime?

Dan Frommer: Meanwhile the site's [YouTube] bandwidth costs, which increase every time a visitor clicks on a video, may be approaching $1 million a month. [cut] Industry observers estimate that YouTube, which is streaming 40 million videos and 200 terabytes of data per day, may be paying between a tenth of a cent and half a cent per minute.

Sat, 29 Apr 2006 03:39:34 GMT
GreatNews Build 368
Despite of usual distraction of spring time Build 368 is out on time!

http://www.curiostudio.com/blog/24

You can download it from the CurioStudio homepage.

Fri, 28 Apr 2006 20:42:13 GMT
ResumeBay.net

Today, I launched a new Website called ResumeBay. It's still pre-alpha, but I'm going full launch next week. Don't need no stinking beta.

http://www.resumebay.net/

Fri, 28 Apr 2006 19:00:26 GMT
Google Reader does Flash Video

Chris Wetherell: In our never-ending quest to help you waste your day in better and richer ways, we've added support for video feeds that have Flash players. Mainly, this means you can watch videos from Google Video or YouTube directly in Reader.

Fri, 28 Apr 2006 14:52:07 GMT
The del.icio.us Network
del.icio.us: To make sharing easier, we’ve just released a new feature called “your network”. You can add other del.icio.us users to your network either by visiting their del.icio.us pages or from the your network page itself. Once someone is in your network, you can keep track of their latest saved public bookmarks. And when you save new bookmarks you can easily share them with people in your network just by clicking on their username.

http://blog.del.icio.us/blog/2006/04/its_made_out_of.html

Randy: Don't forget to add me 'randymorin' to your network. Then you can easily send me links and remember, the best link every month, gets a free book at Amazon.

Thu, 27 Apr 2006 20:23:41 GMT
BlogExplosion.com Sold for Six Figures

Bloggers Blog wrote...

BlogExplosion.com has been sold to Stephen Sartain and a group of private investors for a six figure amount. The deal was brokered by Jeremy Wright.

http://www.bloggersblog.com/cgi-bin/bloggersblog.pl?bblog=424062

This is the biggest validation of Web 2.0 that I know of. For those that knew of BlogExplosion it was a hit trading exchange. Basically, you read other peoples blogs and in return you get an equivalent amount of reads on your blogs from other people as desperate as you. I tried it out for a few days sometime last year. I realized, the only people that would use it are those that write the worst content and are completely desperate for traffic. If that sold for 6 figures, then we are definitely in a bubble of sorts.

Wed, 26 Apr 2006 18:06:15 GMT
The Wikipedia FAQK

By Lore Sjöberg on Wired...

Is it true that anyone can contribute?
Sure, Wikipedia is absolutely open to absolutely anyone contributing to absolutely anything! As long as you haven't been banned, or the article you're contributing to hasn't been locked, or there isn't a group of people waiting to delete anything you write, or you don't make the same change more than three times in one day, or the subject of the article hasn't decided to send scary lawyer letters to Wikipedia, or you haven't pissed Jimbo Wales off real bad. It's all about freedom.

http://www.wired.com/news/columns/0,70670-0.html

In the article Lore refers to a ficticious Randy from Boise (I'm not from Boise). I wonder, if that's a pointy to my numerous rants on the subject.

Wed, 26 Apr 2006 10:19:32 GMT
Microsoft Spins Out a Wallop

PR: Microsoft Corp. today announced the spinout of a new social networking technology, developed by Microsoft Research, to create a new Silicon Valley startup, Wallop Inc. Wallop, whose aim is to deliver the next generation of social computing.

http://mywallop.com/

Randy: Two years ago, when I first saw MyWallop.com, I was amazed. It was by far the best social computing Website I had ever seen. Two years later and MyWallop hasn't changed much. Now MyWallop wants to get out of Beta and go live later this year. They may already have missed the boat.

Tue, 25 Apr 2006 22:18:51 GMT
The Blogosphere Ping is Broken

Bob Wyman is championing the cause of the OPML ping infrastructure and suggesting that the RSS ping infrastructure is working just fine.

Bob Wyman: Pito Salas of BlogBridge recently wrote that they have implemented "Reading List Pings." This brings to OPML the same push-based bandwidth saving technology pioneered and proven in the realm of RSS/Atom syndication.

http://bobwyman.pubsub.com/main/2006/04/dave_winer_show.html

I cannot believe at this time that anybody continues to believe that the blogosphere ping infrastructure is working. Bob has staked his company on the ping infrastructure and this has resulted in PubSub's indexer breaking repeatedly over the last year. I blog countless (estimate a dozen) times per day and ping PubSub with every new blog entry, yet PubSub has indexed my Website one third of the days of the last 30. That's 12x30=360 pings in a month and only 10 of those 30 days I got indexed. That's somewhere between 240 and 350 missed pings out of 360. This is the technology proven in the realm of RSS/Atom syndication? I think not.

Tue, 25 Apr 2006 20:18:30 GMT
inclue! for Outlook

inclue! is an RSS reader for Outlook. They have custom landing pages that allow publishers to provide their readers with a custom install with choice of pre-installed feeds.

http://www.inclue.com/

Mon, 24 Apr 2006 19:14:03 GMT
Jason Shellen and Jake Savin join the RSS Advisory Board

Rogers Cadenhead: Jason Shellen, the product manager of Google Reader and a former strategist for the company that created Blogger, has joined the RSS Advisory Board.

http://www.rssboard.org/news/49

Randy: Jake Savin, the lead developer at Userland, has also joined.

Mon, 24 Apr 2006 16:11:39 GMT
Get Your Blog Noticed!

Alec Saunders: Last August I began a serious effort to try to increase the traffic to my blog, after switching from Radio (where it had been for three years) to WordPress.  Since then, I’ve gone from an average of 216 visitors per day, to 3400.  March was the first month I had more than 100,000 visits, and over a half million hits.  At Barcamp Ottawa, on Saturday, several people asked about this, and I promised to put together a "How to" post. 

http://saunderslog.com/2006/04/24/get-your-blog-noticed/

Randy: Alec writes an excellent read on how to get your blog noticed. And he compliments me too. Thanks Alec!

Mon, 24 Apr 2006 02:36:51 GMT
More Podcasts than Radios Stations

Rick Klau:  FeedBurner recently surpassed a major milestone of 44,000 podcast feeds under management which, according to the CIA World Factbook, exceeds the total number of radio stations worldwide.

http://www.burningdoor.com/feedburner/archives/001755.html

Mon, 24 Apr 2006 01:21:07 GMT
It's Referrer Madness!

Track your referrers with Reeferss. Haven't tried it myself, I'm using Google Analytics.

http://www.reeferss.com/

Sun, 23 Apr 2006 18:36:34 GMT
Russell Beattie retires his blog
Russell Beattie: Well, I think it's time to put this weblog to bed. Yep, after four years and almost 3,000 posts I've decided to close up the Notebook.

http://www.russellbeattie.com/notebook/1008990.html

Randy: Dave Winer suggested he'd retire from blogging sometime this year. Russell Beattie beat him to the punch and pulled the trigger on his blog. RIP.

Sun, 23 Apr 2006 16:32:53 GMT
Happy Bday Steve!
Happy Birthday to Steve Jenson, one of the original developers of Blogger.com.
Sun, 23 Apr 2006 14:09:49 GMT
For MySpace, Making Friends Was Easy
Saul Hansell: More than 70 million members have signed up — more than twice as many as MySpace had when Mr. Murdoch agreed to buy it — drawn by a simple format that lets users build their own profile pages and link to the pages of their friends. It has tapped into three passions of young people: expressing themselves, interacting with friends and consuming popular culture. MySpace now displays more pages each month than any other Web site except Yahoo. [cut] The company will have revenue of about $200 million this year.
Sun, 23 Apr 2006 03:54:38 GMT
Moodgrapher

About: Moodgrapher plots the mood levels reported by LiveJournal users in their posts during the last days, updated every 10 minutes.

http://ilps.science.uva.nl/MoodViews/Moodgrapher/

Sun, 23 Apr 2006 03:48:31 GMT
Police: MySpace foils school shooting

CNN: Five teenage boys accused of plotting a shooting rampage at their high school on the anniversary of the Columbine massacre were arrested Thursday after a message authorities said warned of a gun attack appeared on the Web site MySpace.com.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/04/20/plot.foiled.ap/

Randy: Anybody want to argue how terrible MySpace is?

Sun, 23 Apr 2006 03:10:27 GMT
Polling is Scalable

After two years of polling RSS feeds won't scale debates that have ended with the naysayers turning into mutes, the debate is now whether polling OPML files won't scale. SHUT UP!

http://www.blogbridge.com/archives/2006/04/amyloo_and_dave.php

Sat, 22 Apr 2006 23:41:16 GMT
David Sifry and Technorati Get On My Nerves

Dare Obasanjo: Dave Sifry plays fast and lose with language by interchangeably using blogosphere and number of blogs Technorati is tracking. There is a big difference between the two but unfortunately many people seem to fail at critical thinking and repeat Technorati's numbers as gospel. It's now general knowledge that services like MySpace and MSN Spaces have more blogs/users than Technorati tracks overall. [cut] I suspect that the number of blogs out there is closer to 100 million.

Randy: The thing about Dare is ... he doesn't pull punches. I like that!

Sat, 22 Apr 2006 21:47:21 GMT
State of Blogosphere Search, Part III

Scott Karp of Publishing 2.0 noticed that Technorati results were changing radically, that Dave Winer was nowhere to be found and was being replaced by MSN Spaces blogs. The fear, of course, is that Technorati was compromised by SERP (search engine result page) spammers. Chris Edwards followed up with some actual analysis and determined that it wasn't SERP spam, but rather some lucky MSN Spaces bloggers that snuck thru a hole in Technorati's engine and other very explainable occurrences. In other words, Technorati is not compromised by rather broken, but this isn't a new thing. Dare Obasanjo noticed a bunch of MSN Spaces in the Technorati index over a month ago. Similar occurrences have also been noted more than two months ago and as Domiziano Galia explained, in the comments for The RSS Blog, "every blog on MSN Spaces has a box where are shown links to other MSN Spaces blogs. This is not a choice from the blogger, but an automatism of the platform, so that every blog gets free unjustified links."

The problem is that Technorati does not index blog entries, but rather webpages. Technorati often reports referrers to my own blogs where the blogger is simply listing me in his sidebar blogroll. Actually, it wouldn't be so bad if I got one referrer from that sidebar link, but Technorati will often repeatedly give me referrers every time that blogger writes a new entry. So, we have a big problem. Is MSN Spaces gaming the Technorati index? Guess what, they are not. MSN Spaces is marking these automated links with NOFOLLOW attributes, as they are suppose to. I then went to the Technorati 100 and checked if they were including links with this attribute and found out they were. Why is Technorati including NOFOLLOW links in their rankings? Technorati drafted a specification of the NOFOLLOW standard more than a year ago. More than six months ago, David Sifry wrote "Early this year, a number of search engines including Technorati adopted the rel='nofollow' microformat." David? Are you sure? Cause all the evidence indicates that Technorati is still ignoring NOFOLLOW attributes. David, what happened to "we have been battling the spam situation in a significant way for about 2 months?"

While I'm beating up on Technorati, let me also point out that World Live Web is no longer live and mostly cluttered with link spam. Let me show you an example. Every morning, I do a search for people linking to me. Here's a screenshot of what I see most mornings.


According to Technorati, Memeorandum linked to me 1 and 2 hours ago, but as you can see from the titles, the links are from several months ago. This is actually better than usual. Usually, the first few links are the overnight link spam attack on Blogspot.

Now, don't get me wrong, Technorati is actually not that much worse than the other blogosphere search engines, although they are clearly now the worst. Similar searches on Feedster give me nothing but smog (blogosphere spam) and posts from my own blogs. Bloglines Citations tends to be good at eliminating the smog, but more often than not, it reports an error and false positives. PubSub too is good at finding results, but also good at finding smog and often broken. BlogPulse has been better, but I've noticed more and more splogs in the results. IceRocket and Google Blog Search have the least smog and generally get me some good results. I'd say they rank #1 and #2, with IceRocket in the #1 spot based on Google being the heart of the splogosphere. I actually use IceRocket and Google Blog Search throughout the day, whereas I might hit the others once or twice on the oft chance they pickup a referrer not reported by IceRocket or Google.

Well, that's my rant. Guys pick up the slack!

Previous State of Blogosphere Search articles.

Sat, 22 Apr 2006 17:36:22 GMT
Buy.com Product RSS Extension

Today, I stumbled onto a great new RSS extension written by Buy.com to enhance RSS with more detailed product data. It's about 2 weeks old and IMHO, one of the best extensions I've seen to-date. They already have an array of RSS feeds using the extension that list their top selling products. The feeds don't validate (even the sample in their RSS extension documentation), but the mistakes shouldn't affect usage much.

http://www.buy.com/rss/module/product/

Sat, 22 Apr 2006 17:24:15 GMT
Upgrade or Free RSS

This is a note to whomever is in charge of the Harvard website that publishes the RSS specification. Please upgrade the server to handle its current load or free RSS from your apathy.

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss

Please, if you're concerned with the non-responsiveness of the Hardvard website that publishes the RSS specification, then please re-blog this.

Sat, 22 Apr 2006 01:25:07 GMT
GData Link Roundup

Joe Gregorio: There are some minor rough spots but it looks very good.

Richard MacManus: Why Google is extending RSS.

Vincent of A Feed Is Born: This protocol could be the base of all new Google services from now on.

Jeff Jarvis: Can someone explain to me what’s going on with Google’s syndication protocol?

Deeje Cooley: As a client developer, my first question is... when/does this work with Blogger? And my next question is, who else is on board? SixApart? Roller? Wordpress?

Matt of HowRadical: Gdata. Sounds like a 2-way, push/pull version of RSS.

Maurice Cook: GData means that the walled garden of Google's applications is coming to an end

Steven Livingstone-Perez: If Microsoft had done this they would be hammered in the media..

Karl Martino: Google does an end run around the RSS and Atom war. GData, Google's new API to read and write from the web, combines elements of both.

Mark McLaren:  This all sounds a bit like the beginnings of a Google powered enterprise portal to me.

Reto Meier: The protocol and APIs are fully extensible so expect to see GMail, RSS reader, news, bookmarks, blog, and search APIs roll out using the GData API.

Amit Agarwal: Get your creative juices flowing. Build calendars on your site using Google Calendar Data API.

Randy: This is simply a snashot of a few trees in a forest. I think I could've quoted 100 intriguing statements. What that means to me? GData is disruptive.

Fri, 21 Apr 2006 23:24:12 GMT
Wikipedia is Broken
The other day, I was talking with a friend of mine, whose a mathematical scientist whose proven a couple interesting things in the field of random prime numbers. He told me that links to his proofs on the Web were being removed from Wikipedia. This is becoming a repeating story. It would seem the folks at Wikipedia are internatizing their link structure and removing many useful external links. Whenever you review these occurances, the Wikipedia folk are referring to all external links as link spam. Wikipedia has enough Google juice and enough people that continue to link to them, that they are unlikely to ever disappear, but their usefulness as a portal to the Web is disappearing. Wikipedia is now a portal to Wikipedia, all links simply point back to Wikipedia.
Fri, 21 Apr 2006 21:34:21 GMT
Web 2.0: TANSTAAFL!

Bob Wyman: There has been all sorts of commentary recently about the new world of Web 2.0 applications and mashups built on "free" API's. Somewhere in all the excitement, people seem to have forgotten Robert Heinlein's famous warning:TANSTAAFL ("There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch..."). While mashups based on free API use are often innovative and sometimes delightful, the providers of the APIs being exploited in the mashups will eventually need to find some way to monetize the services they are providing or to at least limit the cost of providing these valuable services.

http://bobwyman.pubsub.com/main/2006/04/web_20_tanstaaf.html

Randy: Or people could start building free APIs with business models built-in. The problem is that most APIs are developed without reguard to financial scalability, by the hacker without any business sense.

Fri, 21 Apr 2006 04:58:36 GMT
Tracking RSS annoyances
James Robertson: I'm starting to see a trend in syndication feeds that I don't much care for - the inclusion of 1x1 pixel graphics in each item. The theory being to find out how many people are actually reading the items, I suppose.
Fri, 21 Apr 2006 04:15:44 GMT
Google Calendar Rocks!

Over the last week, I've been getting the occasional meeting notification directly in Gmail and accepting the event places the event in my Google Calendar and returns a confirmation to the inviter. Gmail+Google Calendar is Outlook Web Access without the $Exchange$ server. I even created my own event, wow it was easy, and invited 3 friends. Google Calendar does to Yahoo! Calendar what Gmail did to the old Yahoo! Mail. It made it obsolete. Now, if only I could import my Yahoo! data into Google.

http://www.google.com/calendar/render

Oh ya! And they have an API.

Thu, 20 Apr 2006 16:45:34 GMT
AOL to Lauch MySpace Killer

Dave Winer: I just heard a rumor that AOL is going to challenge MySpace, "head on," to be announced in approximately two weeks. 

Randy: The rumour was confirmed on a AOL blog called downloadsquad. I hardly doubt they will live up to the MySpace killer promise. What you have to remember is that MySpace really isn't all that good. MySpace was at the right place at the right time and word-of-mouth in high schools did the rest.

Wed, 19 Apr 2006 23:46:46 GMT
IceRocket's new MySpace Search

Mark Cuban: Icerocket.com has added a Myspace tab. Any search defaults to myspace.com and you can search for anything and everything. Its fast. Its easy. Its not infallible. Its not a replacement for keeping an eye out for what your kids are doing when they surf the net, but it might make you as a parent feel a little more comfortable and arm you with a tool that can only help.

http://www.icerocket.com/?tab=myspace

Randy: Very cool! Now why didn't I think of this, we all say. Not only is this great for parents looking out for their kids, it's also great for kids looking for their friends.

Wed, 19 Apr 2006 19:44:09 GMT
Hacking A More Tasteful MySpace

Mike Davidson: What we really want to do here is simply decrappify our home page as much as we can without violating the Terms of Use and replace all evil design elements with a cleaner, more professional look. We also want to maintain MySpace’s actual HTML so our page is functional and not just a facade hiding our grotesque underbelly.

http://www.mikeindustries.com/blog/archive/2006/04/hacking-myspace-layouts

Randy: Mike does a great job of showing you have to design a more useful and eye pleasing MySpace homeplace. Check-it-out!

Wed, 19 Apr 2006 15:54:14 GMT
Simply Hired gets $13.5M from Fox
Michael Bazeley: [Simply Hired] announces it has closed another round of funding in what is probably its most important investment to date. News Corporation's Fox Interactive Media, which is quickly becoming a must-watch Internet company, joined venture capital firm Foundation Capital in a $13.5 million "strategic investment." The financing brings the company's total funding to $17.7 million.
Wed, 19 Apr 2006 15:43:33 GMT
RSS in Italian

The RSS Specification is now available in Italian. Thanks Simone!

http://rss.specifiche.it/index.htm

Mon, 17 Apr 2006 20:39:45 GMT
Blogware denies Google Referrers

Ten days ago, I reported that Blogware was blocking Google referrers. I even sent an email to a friend who works at Tucows. No response. Very weird. I can't image how many bloggers using Blogware are being robbed of readers from both Google search and Google reader. Some companies are using Blogware for their corporate blog and unknowingly rejecting potential clients. I even noticed that some Blogware blogs were removed from the Google index, most likely related to this flaw. To replicate, simply subscribe to the Qumana blog in Google reader and click thru to one of their blog entries. You'll get...

access from http://www.google.com/reader/view/ has been denied

What's up?

Mon, 17 Apr 2006 20:25:53 GMT
The Blogosphere We Track

David Sifry: I continue to marvel at it, but the blogosphere continues to grow at a quickening pace. Technorati currently tracks 35.3 Million weblogs, and the blogosphere we track continues to double about every 6 months.

http://www.sifry.com/alerts/archives/000432.html

Randy: And for the next month everybody will be saying the blogosphere is doubling every 6 months. Just one problem. Technorati recently added MySpace blogs to those they are tracking, a.k.a. another variable in the mix that means you can't equate growth in the Technorati index to growth in the blogosphere. Further, the blogosphere is made up of well over 100 million weblogs, so effectively Technorati is tracking what they are capable of tracking and not nearly anything. So, if you hear in the next week somebody saying "the blogosphere doubled in 6 months cause Sifry said so", then feel free to call them a liar. And if Sifry could retitle his "State of the Blogosphere" as "Technorati's inability to keep pace with the blogosphere", then I'd feel we're being more honest with ourselves.

Sun, 16 Apr 2006 15:43:10 GMT
Google Calendar

Last week, Google finally launched Google Calendar. I've long been a user of Yahoo! Calendar and long hated thick-client calendar applications like Outlook. Google Calendar is a large step forward in online calendars. Much easier to use. Very responsive. Support for Atom feeds. Just one problem. How do I export the calendar data from my Yahoo! and import that into Google? I've built up a large set of over the years that I've been using Yahoo! It would take several hours to re-input the data into Google.

http://www.google.com/calendar/render

Update: Microsoft intends to keep up with the Jones.

Sun, 16 Apr 2006 01:05:43 GMT
The Feedvalidator is Dead to Matt

Matthew Mullenweg: I’m not even talking about deciding they can change the world by decree. (Which has already been addressed.) The latest in their line of enlightened changes is that the author of the Well-formed Web spec has changed the capitializition of the wfw:commentRSS element at some unknown point to lowercase Rss. This arbitrary decision has been codified by the validator, which now reports the millions and millions of feeds that use the previously correct capitialization as invalid. [cut] But wait, there’s more. “In addition, this feed has an issue that may cause problems for some users.” They’ve also started marking all uses of content:encoded as potentially causing problems, which is funny because it actually avoids a ton of problems and (again) people have been using it in RSS 2.0 feeds for 3+ years now, and I even asked Dave Winer about it in the past and he said that was fine. Their documentation on the topic seems more geared toward instilling fear, uncertainty, and doubt in RSS 2.0 than addressing the reason they’ve decided to start warning about this element.

http://photomatt.net/2006/04/15/feed-validator/

Randy: I'm going to both agree with Matt and take the blame. In my persuit to avoid the noise on the RSS mailing list, I failed to address these issues when raised. Some, have taking that the random chatter on the RSS mailing list is somehow the rule of the day. It's NOT!

Sat, 15 Apr 2006 18:05:41 GMT
A Little Funding (for Wordpress)

Matthew Mullenweg: We [the Wordpress team] took a small amount of capital to put things that were already growing fast in a stable position, so from month to month you’re not robbing Peter to pay Paul.

http://photomatt.net/2006/04/12/a-little-funding/

Randy: Congrats Matt!

Sat, 15 Apr 2006 17:57:01 GMT
Feed Insurance

FeedBurner has invented safe sex for RSS feeds, I think?

 

http://www.feedburner.com

Fri, 14 Apr 2006 17:17:38 GMT
Cuban sells IceRocket

RedHerring: Think Partnership, which owns a variety of ecommerce sites, said Thursday it plans to buy two-year-old blog search engine IceRocket from broadcast entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

http://www.redherring.com/article.aspx?a=16506

Fri, 14 Apr 2006 15:22:52 GMT
Dane Cook has 1Million MySpace Friends

Dane Cook, a semi-celebrity, has 1,045,470 MySpace friends. You have to wonder, if it's even physically possible to accept that many friend requests. I guess, if I hired a personal assistant, I could also have as many friends as Dane.

http://www.myspace.com/danecook

Fri, 14 Apr 2006 12:58:08 GMT
Feedbite.com

Feedbite.com allows you to group RSS feeds and splice them together into a new feed. You can then name and choose to share (or keep private) the spliced feeds.

http://www.feedbite.com/

Fri, 14 Apr 2006 12:50:19 GMT
Codenamed Pulverati

Pulverati is Jeff Pulver's, the VOIP blogger and co-founder of Vonage, take on tagging.

http://www.pulverati.com/

Thu, 13 Apr 2006 01:50:29 GMT
Blogosphere Advertising grows 195% in 2005, 145% in 2006

PR: Combined spending on blog, podcast and RSS advertising bolted 198.4% to $20.4 million in 2005, and is expected to grow another 144.9% to $49.8 million in 2006.

http://www.pqmedia.com/about-press-20060411-amrs1.html

Wed, 12 Apr 2006 18:44:41 GMT
ITConversations Podcast Ad on eBay
Andrew Grumet: IT Conversations is auctioning a month of advertising on Tech Nation. [click here for eBay link]
Wed, 12 Apr 2006 18:40:18 GMT
FeedDemon 2.0 reviewed by PCMag

Davis Janowski: You'll find dozens for free—Web-based ones, add-ins, extensions, sidebars, Microsoft Outlook-integrated plug-ins, even standalone software (and plenty more are coming). So why buy one? Because none of the free alternatives offer the same level of organization and filtering abilities—or breadth of features—as FeedDemon.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1948585,00.asp

Wed, 12 Apr 2006 01:12:08 GMT
Google Calendar is coming
Nathan Weinberg posted a couple screenshots for the coming Google Calendar. They may or may not be authentic.
Tue, 11 Apr 2006 19:59:58 GMT
Amazon to take Mechanical Turk Live

EcommerceTimes: Amazon expects to take its Mechanical Turk service out of beta within the next two months.

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/49821.html

Tue, 11 Apr 2006 15:27:08 GMT
Niall Kennedy landing at Microsoft

Niall Kennedy, the x-Technorati evangelist ended his carreer courting adventure with a job at Microsoft. Congrats!

Mon, 10 Apr 2006 15:29:20 GMT
Wikipedia Sucks!!!

I've notice in the last few months that Wikipedia is expending a lot of energy internalizing the links on their Website. This became too obvious when they deleted the List_of_news_aggregators Wikipage. The reasons given include...

The page was clearly not external link spam. This is not the first recent instance where I've seen pages get deleted because of external links that I thought were entirely useful. If Wikipedia is gonna start removing outbound links, then I'm gonna stop creating inbound links. Also, I'm going to grab the last good version of that page and host it on this blog.

Update: I found out that once a Wikipedia article is deleted that you can't get at the history. A lot of people, including myself, put a lot of effort into maintaining that list. Now because of the Wikipedia zealots, all the information appears to be lost forever. Thus I changed the title of this blog entry from Wikipedia internalizing to Wikipedia sucks! This is no longer a community project, it's a bureaucratic black-hole. If anybody can recover that content and send it to me via email or post it in my comments, then I'd be greatly appreciative.

Mon, 10 Apr 2006 15:01:28 GMT
APIs APIs APIs
The blogosphere is ripe with conversations about the various Web APIs. Tim O'Reilly wonders why every likes the Google Maps API and not Yahoo!, MSN or Mapquests? Adrian Holovaty is telling everybody about his positive experience with Amazon's S3. Even Dave Winer is experimenting with S3.
Mon, 10 Apr 2006 03:35:35 GMT
FaceParty, the British MySpace

Nico Hines: Teenagers are so obsessed with the site [http://www.faceparty.com/] that last year it saw more traffic than Yahoo's email service, Tesco's website and Amazon. Only eBay, Google and Hotmail are viewed more often in Britain. The site allows its 6 million members to send each other messages.

http://www.faceparty.com/

Mon, 10 Apr 2006 03:11:34 GMT
Windows RSS Platform and Bandwidth

Walter of the Microsoft Team RSS has posted an extensive article on techniques supported by the Windows RSS platform for reducing bandwidth. I was glad to see they referenced my HowTo RSS Feed State article and implemented most everything I wrote about. They even implemented the techniques I mentionned, but wrote off as bad ideas because nobody supports them.

http://blogs.msdn.com/rssteam/archive/2006/04/08/571509.aspx

Mon, 10 Apr 2006 02:13:36 GMT
PubSub where art thou?

PubSub seems to have stalled. If you check the site-stats for the kbafe.com domain, then you'll find zero in-links for the last four days and zero out-links for the last three weeks. I can maybe buy that nobody is linking to me :-), but I'm pretty certain I'm linking to a lot of people. What's really weird is that Friday it reported 31 blog entries, but no outbound links. A couple weeks ago, I had a random encounter with Salim Ismail, a founder of PubSub and he gave the impression that things were gonna get better. Unfortunately, they've gotten even worse. On the back of Technorati now reporting an all-time low of nothingness and the near death experience of Feedster, it's become apparent that the blogosphere infrastructure has completely collapsed.

Now don't get me wrong, the problems with PubSub are not restricted to my domain. PubSub is reporting zero links to bbc.co.uk in three of the last four days. And according to PubSub LinkRanks, bbc.co.uk is the #1 linked-to Website.

Sat, 08 Apr 2006 16:18:23 GMT
Play Tag with Me
I've got my first contest. Whomever sends me the best link via del.icio.us, every month, gets a free book. To send me a link via del.icio.us, get a del.icio.us account and mark a URL with the tag for:randymorin. Keep marking them and I'll post the best ones here and on my other blogs. The best link every month, gets a free book. Most books at Amazon are $20 or less, so I'll limit you to $20 (excluding delivery), but feel free to request any book, but hit me up on a good day :-)
Sat, 08 Apr 2006 16:00:14 GMT
APIs to the Future

At a recent geek event, I was talking to a product manager at one of the promising new Website start-ups. Although they were growing, they weren't growing at the pace of the successful Web 2.0 start-ups like Flickr or YouTube. The product manager was asking for ideas on jump starting his Website. I asked, if he considered an API, where third party developers could tap into their database (their database is very impressive). He asked what I meant. I tried to explain the benefit of open APIs and how they could be used to recruit new users. It then clued into him that they already do this. You see, a user could go to their site and create some data, then they could post that data on their blog. NO! I exclaimed. What if a blog tool could use your API to create some data in your database and post it to the blog. He responded, yes, we already do that and gave me a do you know what we do. He couldn't make the leap that Website could work seamlessly together and share user data, rather than the user having to cut-n-paste HTML from one Website to another. BTW, the well-known Web 2.0 start-up is often associated with the phrase "we need APIs for everything." I really don't think most Web 2.0 techies and BAs understand the power of APIs beyond RSS.

In a second example, I discovered an API for another Web 2.0 startup. Investigating the API, I found it lacked one important ingredient. It didn't use XML. It used an alternate well-known data encoding, but now I had to write a new encoder for my data, rather than using my trusty old DOM parser. Had the API been XML, then I'd be already using it. Now, there's a risk, that I might never use it.

Sat, 08 Apr 2006 02:50:07 GMT
Honda to add Google Earth to cars

LeftLaneNews: Honda will soon add Google Earth to its ‘internavi Premium Club’ navigation service in Japan.

Sat, 08 Apr 2006 01:58:27 GMT
Meetro Acquires Friendster

In another April Fool's joke that I unfortunately missed till just now, Meetro announced they had acquired Friendster.

PR: Meetro, the world leader in Instant Messaging software announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire Friendster, one of many social software sites for keeping in touch with friends and hooking up with new people.

http://www.prleap.com/pr/31267/

Sat, 08 Apr 2006 00:22:39 GMT
Blogopedia

Wikipedia has a Wiki page List of blogging terms. A couple new terms, I hadn't heard before (and like).

Blaudience
The audience, or readership, or a blog
Blog hopping
to follow links from one blog entry to another
Blogstorm
When a large amount of activity, information and opinion erupts around a particular subject
Multi-blogger
An individual, business, or institution that runs multiple blogs.
Shocklog
Weblogs to produce shocking discussions by posting various shocking content.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_blogging_terms

Fri, 07 Apr 2006 23:57:21 GMT
Blogware blocks Google Referrers

A few months ago, I ran into this situation where I got a 403 error when I clicked thru to a friend's blog from a Google search. I refreshed, the blog loaded and I forgot about it until about 2 weeks ago. I ran into the same error, again via click-thru to another friend's blog from a Google search. The error? HTTP 403 with the text "access from http://www.google.com... has been denied". I removed the query parameters from the Google link. I was gonna tell the person, but a refresh cleared the problem and I never recalled the error until today. Again, via click-thru to another blog from a Google search, I get HTTP 403 access from http://www.google.com... has been denied. I tied all three incidents together and realized they were all running Blogware. I then Googled 403 Google Blogware and found that others have experienced this problem as far back as early January. I confirmed the problem on multiple browsers; IE6 and Firefox. The problem is not regional either, as Coolz0r confirmed similar errors in Europe. The bug seems to be caused by referrer SPAM filters on steroids. I sent an email to a friend who works at Tucows.

Fri, 07 Apr 2006 19:50:39 GMT
Why I use Google Reader et al.?

a.k.a. Why Google doesn't suck at anything anymore.

It took 53 minutes for Mihai Parparita of Google to track down my problem and move it into the next release. He also sent me my OPML reading list via private email. A second employee, Jason Shellen was also all over my blog in just over one hour and moving into repair mode. It felt like a billion dollar company was at my command. That's why I use Gmail. That's why I use AdSense. That's why I use Google Search. That's why I use AdWords.

Now imagine I have a problem with Yahoo! 360 or Microsoft whatever. You complain in forums and blogs and nothing! Except for Don. He was good. Lucky FeedBurner.

Fri, 07 Apr 2006 19:22:26 GMT
Lycos/Qumana Release RSS Reader and Blog Editor
Lycos and Qumana have teamed to release a Lycos branded versions of Qumana's RSS reader and blog editor.
Fri, 07 Apr 2006 16:01:28 GMT
EFF PSAs for your Podcast

Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing and other EFF friends have recorded EFF public service announcements that you can embed into your podcast. Listen to Cory's EFF PSA.

http://www.eff.org/press/PSA/

Fri, 07 Apr 2006 14:56:20 GMT
News Alloy, the Ajaxing RSS Reader

Judging from my subscriber reporting, a lot of people have been checking out NewsAlloy, an ajax-based RSS reader. So today, I checked it out too. It was pretty awesome. So good, that I decided to switch from Google Reader to NewsAlloy for awhile to give it a real test.

Also, NewsAlloy has a blog. Subscribed

http://www.newsalloy.com/

Thu, 06 Apr 2006 23:09:03 GMT
Interview w/ Ward Cunningham

About: Madhu Siddalingaiah interviewed Ward Cunningham [father of Wiki] about his EclipseCon keynote.

http://www.sqlsummit.com/People/WCunningham.htm

Thu, 06 Apr 2006 21:11:25 GMT
Google Toolbar adds feed subscriptions

Niall Kennedy: The latest version of Google's Firefox toolbar adds support for feed subscriptions to online aggregators with just one click. [cut] I was able to choose between Bloglines, Google Personalized homepage or Google Reader, My Yahoo!, NewsGator Online, and Pluck.

http://www.niallkennedy.com/blog/archives/2006/04/google-toolbar-1.html

Thu, 06 Apr 2006 00:33:22 GMT
YouTube +$8M

PR: YouTube [cut] announced it has received $8M in Series B funding from Sequoia Capital.

http://www.youtube.com/t/pr_060405_funding

Randy: Hopefully, this means the end of the recent scalability issues.

Wed, 05 Apr 2006 19:04:48 GMT
Maximum Feed Size

Today, I encountered the little known limit on the size of an RSS file. FeedBurner cuts you off at 256k. That's reasonable. Slicing time!

http://forums.feedburner.com/viewtopic.php?t=76

Wed, 05 Apr 2006 14:41:29 GMT
State of Technorati

Although I'm not the biggest fan of the quality of Technorati results, I find that it his a new low today. When doing a search for my domain, I'm noticing that Technorati search results have now become completely useless. Here's the results I was presented with today. All of these results are reported in the last 12 hours.

  1. http://www.topix.net/search?q=
  2. http://www.blogdigger.com/search?q=subject:(Google+AdWords)
  3. http://www.bloggersblog.com/marketingandpr
  4. http://www.kbcafe.com/tags.aspx/googlenews
  5. http://www.therssweblog.com/?guid=20051222133901
  6. http://tech.memeorandum.com/050915/p4
  7. http://feedjumbler.com/3343d4cf
  8. http://vitamincgraduationsonglyrics.melsvitamin.com/foreverfir
  9. http://emcyahoo.firnemc.com/
  10. http://tech.memeorandum.com/051121/p24
  11. http://news.techrepublic.com.com/search.aspx?log=no&tags=IM
  12. http://saunderstown.mezerhodeisland.com/
  13. http://submiturl.ikatsubmit.com/
  14. http://payc1nho.blogspot.com/2006/04/finding-to-discover-wireless-headset.html
  15. http://spcyahoo.shesspc.com/

Six splogs (Google Juice removed). Six are not even blogs. Only three are actually non-splog blogs. But all three are blog entries from more than 3 months ago. Dave, what's up?

Tue, 04 Apr 2006 19:58:45 GMT
An Interview With Feedlounge's Alex King

Rich Ziade: I recently had a chance to have an email conversation with Feedlounge’s Alex King. [excert from interview follows]

Q: What do you think differentiates Feedlounge from other web-based readers like Rojo and Bloglines?
A: I think the primary difference is the powerful and efficient reading interface FeedLounge delivers.

http://www.basement.org/archives/2006/04/an_interview_with_feedlounges.html

Tue, 04 Apr 2006 16:10:31 GMT
Invalid Atom

Robert Sayre: Next time someone tells you Atom 0.3 is invalid because the validator says so, point them to this page. The validator is full of it, because it doesn't reflect reality.

http://www.franklinmint.fm/blog/archives/000701.html

Randy: I'd like to add, that from my own feel of the market, more RSS aggregators support Atom 0.3 than Atom 1.0, but I don't have any data to back that up. That said, you can be certain that support for Atom 1.0 is increasing. Whether it will ever rival RSS 2.0 is another story. Is Atom 0.3 invalid? Let's examine the version number. It starts with a zero. RSS 0.91 also starts with a zero. If I were building software and I published a format whose version number started with a zero when a newer version that starts with a positive integer is available, then I'd have some explaining to do. Is Atom 0.3 or RSS 0.91 invalid? NO! Are they deprecated? YES! Should you publish them? NO! Do RSS vendors have the right to say they are not support those version without repercussion? YES. IMHO.

In fact, I think I'm gonna remove support for Atom 0.3 and RSS 0.9x from Rmail. Sorry Blogspot. Get with the plan.

Mon, 03 Apr 2006 16:11:04 GMT
MySpace on The Daily Show

Demetri Martin of The DailyShow features MySpace. Totally funny! He also mentions Facebook and Friendster (it's gotten gay).

http://youtube.com/watch?v=EJqKQonmwdY
Sun, 02 Apr 2006 23:59:40 GMT
://URLFAN

About: ://URLFAN is an evolving experiment designed to discover what websites the blogosphere is discussing all in real time. It does this by cultivating the content of thousands of RSS feeds and parsing billions of pieces of information.

http://www.urlfan.com/

Randy: KBCafe.com is ranked 682 and R-mail.org is 2572.

Sun, 02 Apr 2006 19:06:21 GMT
All Your Web 2.0 Are Belong To Us

Yahoo! has decided to purchase all of Web 2.0. I have two questions. Does this blog count as Web 2.0 and what is my share of the winnings?

http://www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000276.html

Sat, 01 Apr 2006 19:32:55 GMT
Technorati Indexing MySpace Blogs

In the last few days, Technorati began indexing MySpace blogs. Aaron Brazell says "The quality of the Technorati results has diminished in my eyes" and "99% of MySpace blogs are not blogs". I have to disagree. Blogs are blogs. Whether they have quality content or not, does not make them any less blogs. A newspaper that contains crappy articles is still a newspaper. A bad book is still a book. Does indexing MySpace blogs reduce the quality of Technorati? I don't see how it can, I've not seen any quality there in quite some time.

http://www.technosailor.com/technorati-indexing-myspace-blogs/

Sat, 01 Apr 2006 19:09:31 GMT
Three-Way Blogger Trade

It appears that Microsoft is getting involved in the corporate blogger swap between Yahoo and Google. The latest news has Robert Scoble and Jeremy Zawodny moving from Microsoft and Yahoo! to Google. Going the other way are 80% of Matt Cutts to Yahoo! + 2546 computers and the other 20% of Matt to Microsoft. Does this mean one Jeremy is worth 4 Scobles and 2546 computers?

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/joining-yahoo/

Update:

Sat, 01 Apr 2006 17:18:31 GMT
State of the Splogosphere, Part III

Last October and January, I wrote pieces on the state of the splogosphere, that is the ability of our blog infrastructure to handle SPAM, SPAM blogs, blog comment SPAM and spings. In these pieces, I talked mostly about the splog problem that was rooted in Google's Blogspot hosting service and the inability of blog search engines to filter the splogging noise.

Here we are six months later and nothing much has changed. Splogs are still everywhere and the search engines are struggling with result pages that are littered with splogs. Let's examine a few blogosphere search engines and score the amount of splog found compared to useful results. Let's compare search results for my primary domain; kbcafe.com.

Currently, I'm using a combination of BlogPulse, IceRocket and Google blog search. All three do a good job of filtering splogs and still report a lot of new referrers.

One things that has changed is the preferred splogging framework. Six months ago, almost every splog was found on Blogspot, but thanks to a lot of effort on Google's part, this is no longer true. Sploggers prefer the self hosted Wordpress platform. Don't get me wrong, there's still lots of splogs on Blogspot, but the search engines and Google have teamed to reduce the number of those splogs that are appearing in the blog search result pages.

There's a new evil in the blogosphere and that's blog comment SPAM. The amount of blog comment SPAM is not only increasing, but the spammers are writing relevant comments that are less likely to get removed by the blog's author. Some blogging platforms are simply inadequate at stopping blog comment spam. I have a Blogspirit test blog and if you check the right sidebar, the comments are dominated by blog comment spam and I really have no idea how to stop this. I've even tried to disable comments, but the software seems to be broken in this regard.

Another new evil in the blogosphere is spings. Spings are blogosphere pings on behalf of splogs (or fake blogs). The end user doesn't really see this problem, but search engines like Technorati do. David Sifry is reporting that the majority of blogosphere pings are actually spings.

Conclusion? We're not getting anywhere. Splogs are devaluing the blogosphere, as much as email SPAM is devaluing email. The problem is that governments move at a slower speed than the Internet. A spammer or splogger is a millionaire before the authorities know how to deal with them. The solution must come from the private sector.

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