RSS, OPML and the XML platform.
Copyright 2003-5 Randy Charles Morin
Nominations for the 2006 KBCafe Blog Awards close tomorrow. You can nominate blogs by name, but it's better to nominate their blogsite homepage. You can also nominate one blog at a time, you don't have to nominate one in each category. You also have virtually unlimited (100) nominate votes and if you run out, then ping me and I'll bump that up.
Here's a few rules.
According to Nielsen/NetRatings, FeedBurner is growing faster than MySpace and Digg.
Amid controversy over how many people actually visit its site and how easy it is to game, Digg raised $8.5 million from existing investors Greylock Partners and Omidyar...
Blog search leader Technorati was beaten by Google Blog Search for the first time last week, according to Hitwise. Late December statistics seem even less reliable than regular statistics, but it’s worth a mention.
Some very interesting stats via Om. Both search.blogger.com and blogsearch.google.com are in the same range as technorati.com. This means that Google now has about twice the market share as Technorati. Further, if you look at the momentum, Technorati's growth is near flat.
Some random thoughts on Microsoft's two RSS patents.
First, these patents describe specific ways to improve the RSS end-user and developer experience (which we believe are valuable and innovative contributions) -- they do not constitute a claim that Microsoft invented RSS.
Microsoft's response in the RSS patents debate. I have to say, the reaction was exactly as I thought. Most are claiming that Microsoft is trying to patent RSS itself. Ridiculous. On the other hand, there appears to be items in the patent that have prior art in the blogosphere.
Before I prattle on about this, I'd like to make it clear that this is my personal blog. I speak for myself here, not the company I work for, so please don't mistake my personal ramblings for company policy. If I had that kind of clout, every...
Nick Brabury suggests the Microsoft RSS-related patents are invalid.
Update: The del.icio.us FeedFlare seems to be a little broken at the moment.
Update II: There's also formatting issues with both the FeedFlare and del.icio.us script. I've placed it at the top left of the blog, because anything else caused big gaps in the rendering.
Don McArthur passes along some huge news in the syndication world -- Microsoft filed for a patent today on the Windows RSS Platform, a common feed database and API that can be used by other applications to read, write and store RSS and Atom...
I skimmed the patent earlier today. Not sure what to say yet. I'll give the patent a good read and comment further. I know there'll be a lot of anti-patent and anti-M$FT commentary on this one.
The new version of Blogger is out-of-Beta. I'm unsure at this point what is new. I'll check-it-out later.
Note: This morning, I rewrote my blog comment spam filter algorithm. At the same time, I removed blogspot from the blacklist. That means, I now allow you to link to blogspot in my comments. Unfortunately, I've already got 2 blog comment spams with blogspot referrers this morning. This is a pretty good indication that Google has more work ahead.
Update: I've gotten 100s of comment spams with blogspot links today. It seems that Blogger is still the haven of sploggers.
This is a preview screencast of new del.icio.us publisher API services.
The Library of Congress offers several RSS feeds for use in an RSS reader or RSS-enabled Web browser. Library feeds consist of headline, brief summary, and a link that leads back to the Libraryâs Web site for more information
In the last couple votes of the RSS Advisory Board, only half of the members voted. Six of the member didn't vote in either (or abstain), even though they received multiple reminders of the vote. Now that we have a reasonably complete board, it's time to start pruning the tree. Rules #9 of the RSS Advisory Board charter states "Members who do not participate in two successive votes may be removed at the discretion of the chair." What about three successive votes and no participation on any of the message boards. What about Mark Woodman? He hasn't voted yet. And should.
Stats below were compiled by hand and may not be entirely accurate.
|Name||Last Post||AutoDisco II||AutoDisco I||RSS Spec||Mime Type|
|Matthew Bookspan||Dec 13th||v||v||v||v|
|Rogers Cadenhead||Dec 18th||v||v||v||v|
|LoÃ¯c Le Meur||Aug 11th||v||v|
|Jenny Levine||Aug 10th||v||v|
|Jason Douglas||Dec 13th||v||v||x|
|James Holderness||Dec 18th||v||v||x||x|
|Eric Lunt||Dec 7th||v||v||v||v|
|Meg Hourihan||May 15th||v|
|Randy Charles Morin||Dec 13th||v||v||v||v|
|Jake Savin||Dec 8th||v||v||v|
|Paul Querna||Nov 28th||v||x||x|
|Greg Smith||Oct 5th||v||v|
|Jason Shellen||May 16th||v|
v = voted, x = not a member at the time of the vote
There's an interesting discussion on the RSS Board public mailing list about what is a valid email address for the author, webMaster and managingEditor RSS elements. It's been suggested that mailto URIs (ex. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) are valid. I immediately thought otherwise, but re-reading the RSS spec, I think this might actually be valid.
This is not a paid advertisement ;-)
Megite is a personal recommendation engine and blogosphere tracking system similar to Memeorandum. Matthew Chen, the guy behind Megite setup a personal recommendation webpage for me based on the OPML I upload at Share Your OPML. You can email Matthew (address on the homepage) an OPML file and he'll setup a similar webpage for your OPML.
Tom Markiewicz of EvolvePoint is writing a 12-part series for web publishers to make the most of their RSS feeds. His first tip: Offer full text feed content. Markiewicz writes: If given a choice, most readers of feeds choose full...
I posted my final thought on the ReviewMe experience on the Besting AdWords blog.
Time to review my 2006 Web 2.0 predictions.
Nine out of 10, not bad.
Because of the recent ReviewMe post on The RSS Blog, I'm getting a lot of inquiries from people who want to pay me to blog about this or that. Well, the ReviewMe post was an experiment. As the author of The RSS Blog, I felt obligated to review ReviewMe itself. Honestly, if you want me to blog about your RSS or Web 2.0 business, then simply send me an email, ping me on Skype (text only), MSN (email@example.com) or Gtalk (randymorin). Tell me about your business and maybe we can even do an email or IM interview. I'll post it. You don't need to send me money. Also, if you sent me Swag, then I'll take pictures of it and include it in a blog post.
Randy Charles Morin
P.O. Box 93042,
499 Main Street South,
Brampton, Ontario, L6Y4V8, Canada
Jim Moore has retitled his blog "OPML" and is composing a book on the subject.
Jason Clarke gives his view on digg and the whole social bookmarking scene in this article. "how valuable is digg traffic, really, and is the digg community one that we should even care about? Unfortunately, after observing the digg community for about a year, I'd have to conclude no, it's not"...
read more | digg story
I can't tell you how much I disagree with Jason. If you understand how the Web really works, then you'll know it's based almost entirely on traffic and link-love. Digg is building both. While accumulating tremendous amount of traffic, they are also generating a lot of link-love. In turn, this means better Google PageRanks, which means even more traffic.
Amit Agarwal has a tutorial for changing the label text in your FeedBurner FeedCount chicklets. It's pretty easy, just add a label parameter to the image source URL. In the samplel below,I added &label=Dudes to the URL.
Yesterday, I wrote a very off-topic review on The RSS Blog. I was paid to do this using the ReviewMe service. I posted more details on the Besting AdWords blog. Note that this was an experiment and the earnings will go to SickKids. If you want to tell me this sucks, then here's your chance. Please post your comments here.
The following is a paid review:
I like to play a free game of online poker everyday and if you have a Windows PC, then you have a big choice of online poker rooms. But if you have a Mac, then your choice is very much limited. PokerOnAMac.com is a website dedicated to online poker for Mac users. The website is easy to navigate and well laid out. They have a Mac Poker News blog and a Poker Tips blog (valid RSS), a list of popular the Mac online poker software with reviews, Mac online casino software with reviews and lots of articles on poker strategy. They recommend four online poker rooms for the Mac; Full Tilt Poker, PokerRoom, Party Poker and Pacific Poker and four online casino rooms for the Mac; CasinoRoom, 888 Casino, Bodog Casino and Cherry Casino. Click on the links to read their extensive reviews of the online poker and casino rooms. Full Title Poker they rate the best Mac poker software. PokerRoom sounds interesting as it doesn't require a download. Of the reviewed poker rooms, I've only played Party Poker and I wasn't too happy with it, as the blinds go up too slow, the players are too patient, which all leads to a very slow and long game. I'm a busy guy. I tend to stick with ScorePoker (best games, but not enough of them) and PokerStars (always a game ready to go). If you're looking for poker software for the Mac, then check out PokerOnAMac.com.
Amit Agarwal published partial RSS feeds for a very long time. He switched to full feeds as an experiment and was surprised when everything he thought about full feeds turned out to be myth.
I encountered a blog today on blogspot.com where the previously available RSS feed is no longer available (404). It wasn't redirected to the Atom feed, it was simply removed completely. I checked the Rmail database and this seems to be happening to a few Blogger blogs. A bit of investigation and guess work leads me to believe that this happens when you upgrade from the old Blogger to the new Beta Blogger. The result is the Blogger users are losing their RSS subscribers.
Update: I started looking at 404 feeds in the 39k feed Rmail database. Here's a couple surprises.
I updated them to Jason's new feed, but can't imagine how many subs he's lost.
Update II: There doesn't appear to be very many Blogger blogs in this situation and very few of the bloggers have upgraded to the new Blogger Beta. Also, not one Blogger RSS feed was malformed XML.
Turns out you can use the PDF viewer [Adobe Reader 8] as a fairly capable RSS reader. To do so, click the View menu and then choose Review Tracker (a tool intended for managing document reviews). In the Subscriptions window that appears, click the RSS button on the left-hand toolbar, then click the Subscribe button to add a feed.
Microsoft has released a beta version of UniveRSS to show off Windows Vista’s graphicy goodness. It is a 3D browser for RSS feeds… that’s right, 3D. If you’re scratching your head at the usefulness of that kind of environment,...
In an under-the-hood article on how Microsoft's RSS Engine handles enclosures in Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Vista, program manager Walter vonKoch offers an important note: If you're publishing a podcast or another enclosure larger than...
BinaryComponents has released the first version of FeedGhost, a new feed reader for Windows XP and Vista users that offers Outlook- and newsriver-style reading, synchronization across several computers and search capabilities. The program...
One of the difficulties in dealing with international content, is the complication of right-to-left writing systems. There are essentially two main issues that need to be dealt with: initialisation of the base directionality, which is necessary for the...
James Holderness is way ahead of the curve. I wonder if there are any RSS reader developers not subscribed to his blog?
Chris Nolan has some good advice for using the <image> element in RSS.
If youâre going to use a channel image and you want it to be consistently displayed put in those optional fields with your imageâs true dimensions.
And he points out that Rmail enforces the default image height and width causing some images to be distorted including that of The RSS Blog. Note also that Rmail also enforces the maximum image height and width values.
Mark Woodman is concerned about the etiquette of redirecting feeds. He asks "Is it okay if a feed follows an author to a new site? Is redirecting a feed to a strongly-related site a reasonable thing to do? Is it a nice convenience, or does it feel like a bait-and-switch? When is it not okay? Is announcing intent enough, or should something else be done? What do you think?"
If I redirect The RSS Blog feed to a site I know my users won't appreciate, then that is not good ethic. As a subscriber, you've placed a bit of trust in me that I won't be sending you crap anytime soon. If I break that trust, then you will never sub me again. It's not really a question of etiquette, but rather trust. In the meanwhile, while you trust me, I'm sending you to FeedBurner (so is Mark), because I trust them.
Please post comments on Mark's blog, unless they pertain to me or my opinion. Thanks!
Eric Giguere is frustrated with Technorati and has renamed it Technocrapi. His blog hasn't been updated in 124 days. I've had this problem too! Just over a year ago, I complained that all of my blog were sporadically updated in Technorati. Dave Sifry jumped in, did something and since then, all my blogs are updated regularly. But what did Dave really do? I think he added me to the same list as Fred Wilson, that is, privileged blogs that get indexed because we don't want them complaining about Technorati. Yet, more than a year later, Technorati remains broken for many bloggers like Eric. Very frustrating. I'm lucky that Google Blog Search picked up Eric's post or you wouldn't even be reading this.
Last May, I told the world in my State of the Blogosphere Ping address that blogosphere pings were broken. Bob Wyman denied it all. Here we are, one year later and Bob Wyman's PubSub has completely disappeared and Technorati is still not working. I'm sure I'll hear that I'm wrong, but how many years till this actually works? Infinity!
Now don't get me wrong, I'm pinging everybody I can. Why? Because I know I'll be better indexed that way. But I'm a techno-geek. Not everybody blogger knows how to do this. They are at the mercy of dogmatic ping pushers. Their stuff won't work. It doesn't matter if The RSS Blog is indexed in Technorati. It matters if all the Eric Gigueres are well indexed. Pinging is OK. Solely relying on pings equates to brokenness. Start polling once in awhile, that's how RSS works!