Tuesday, July 29, 2003
FeedDemon is not Tivo, yet. Part One.
Don't take this harshly. I love FeedDemon, but I love my Tivo more.
I love RSS readers because they help me manage the information glut. Much easier to have all the news in one spot rather than surf, surf, surf. But FeedDemon is not as good as my Tivo, yet.
Tivo manages channels and lots of information. I can watch programs when I want. It records shows I like or thinks I'll like. But what it does better than FeedDemon is helping me manage my channels. I just wish that FeedDemon was a little smarter.
Here's one example. I just clicked on a XML button to subscribe to a feed while browsing with FeedDemon. [BTW, this is one of the neat things about FeedDemon and very much like Tivo's thumb's up icon that rarely appears during cross-promotions.] But after a few steps FeedDemon gives me an error message: "A channel with this name already exists." And asks if I want to add the existing channel to this listing? It is at this point that FeedDemon frustrates me. Maybe I want to move the channel to this listing and delete it from the other listing. What other listing or listings have the channel. Does this effect performance or being a good RSS citizen. Will this just be an alias to the existing entry? What if I really want it in a new listing?
I have some other non-Tivo behavior, but let's start with this one.
Sunday, July 27, 2003
Servers at Home
The BigCos want to read the meters in your home over the internet. When they figure that out, then there is no reason not to turn all of those old computers into servers. Sounds like a good transaction to me. permalink ( Sunday, July 27, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Saturday, July 26, 2003
Save The Net
Why aren't there more servers? Nearly everyone has replaced a computer in their lifetime, so why aren't these computers sitting as servers on the web? All of these old computers make perfectly good web servers. They should be in homes running as servers.
Well, we ran out of IP numbers. The BigCo's (ie cable the tele) are using this to their advantage to make the net more and more like broadcast instead of end-to-end. Read Doc Searls' piece on saving the net. It is a bit technical, not too bad, and requires you to work. I agree with the conclusion, the net needs to be saved.
RSS and font tags
Interesting discussion of font tags in RSS feeds on Gadgettopia blog. I have previous seen a comment about what HTML code, like script, should not be allowed in feeds for security reasons. Again, a reason for a style guide for RSS.
permalink ( Saturday, July 26, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Thursday, July 24, 2003
Keep Media Debuts Monday
Washington Post story by Leslie Walker on Keep Media is a good look at this start-up by Louis Borders who founded Borders books (and sold out). A subscription based internet newsstand. It debuts Monday and it will be interesting to see how bloggers can link to articles.permalink ( Thursday, July 24, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Thanks John Robb
John Robb mentioned Bletter in his blog today and said very nice things:
Bletter. E-mail newsletter demo. Looks very easy to use. It also creates an RSS feed. They are looking for beta users. This may be useful as part of the Weblog Network. It would also be nice if all you needed to do is put in your RSS feed and it would put the posts into the form itself. That way all you would need to do is work on the global template options.
I'm working on the RSS import into Bletter.permalink ( Wednesday, July 23, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Weblog Network Hieracrchy
John Robb on his Weblog Network blog was looking for a top level hierarchy. I wrote him:
As for structure, this is a very difficult thing to do. I suggest you borrow someone else to start and modify as you go along. I sat in on hours of debate for the metadata controlled vocabulary for educational "lesson plans" and other materials (http://www.geminfo.org/Workbench/gem2.html). So look at Yahoo, Google, Feedster, About and make a choice.permalink ( Wednesday, July 23, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Monday, July 21, 2003
RSS Style Guilde Intro I'm going to set up the RSS Style Guide in my content management system software, HEMS. But until I do, I'm going to post some stuff here. So, below is the first draft of the intro.
Desktop RSS readers, web news aggregators (portals) and search/directory engines all use RSS feeds. When creating an RSS file either directly, by writing a blog or by writng an enewsletter, it is important to keep these applications in mind. The purpose of this style guide is to maximize your presentation in these applications.
The technical specification for RSS are not useful as a style guide. The specs are so flexible that almost anything goes. For example, while headline, link and description are essential parts of a RSS feed, only one of the three is required in the technical specs. While the guide will look at the specs for limitations, this is not a place to look for style advice.
This guide will address three widely used versions of RSS: 0.92, 1.0 and 2.0. It is not the purpose of this guide to rehash the history of the development of RSS. Because these version are widely used, the guide will discuss each.
This guide will also assume that you may have limited control over the creation of your RSS file. While some people may create their RSS files "by hand" using a text editor, most people will be using an appplication which automates the creation of the RSS file. Blogging software and enewsletter software does this. For the most popular of these tools, the guide will point out the limitations of these tools.
These words are meant as a guide and not as a set of rules. Please, go your own way to accomplish your RSS goals, if you feel it is necessary. But then, please add that style to the guide.
This is community work, so comments by email are welcomed. I'll add them to the appropriate page. However, this might be done better with a Wiki, but I just don't know enough.
Sunday, July 20, 2003
RSS Style Guide
I'm working on an RSS Stle Guide. I wrote the intro last night about 4:00 am. I hope to work on the structure over the next few Metro trips to/from work. Then I'll have something to post.
Ideally this should be a Wiki, but I don't have access or know people that do. So for now I'll publish it using HEMS. If it attracts attention, then maybe I can move it. Otherwise, I just use it.permalink ( Sunday, July 20, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Blogger Pro is where?
I'm getting frustrated waiting to upgrade to Blogger Pro!permalink ( Sunday, July 20, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Saturday, July 19, 2003
Lawns as Quilts
Just finished sweating and cutting the lawn. Does it have to be perfect or can it be more like a quilt?permalink ( Saturday, July 19, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Friday, July 18, 2003
Best Network Wins?
If he means that technologist win, I have to disagree. The Fairchild video game was better than Atari, yet no one remembers Fairchild. GEOWorks as better than Windows 3.x, but even with AOL using GEOS, no one remembers.
It is the networks that marketers build for the technologist that make a winner, IMHOpermalink ( Friday, July 18, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
New adults working it out
My daughter and female friend are having four boys/adults over for dinner on my deck. To be so young and lack experience at these things. Boys are bad mouthed for arriving very late. Boys arrive and everyone seems happy. Until dishes have to be done.permalink ( Friday, July 18, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
RSS 2.0 Transfer
Dave Winer has transferred the licence to RSS 2.0 to Harvard and set up an advisory panel. God I hope this calms people down so we can get on with making good RSS feeds. We need style guide about RSS, not more tech guides.permalink ( Friday, July 18, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Monday, July 14, 2003
AOL Journals: Golden Age Ending?
AOL will soon update its software to version 9 Optimized. Washington Post continues that there will be three ways to update: form, telephone and IM. Certainly the number of bloggers will expand quickly - just in time for the US Presidential primaries.
Some bloggers are speculating that it is the end of the Golden Age. So long as people are hitting AOL servers for RSS feeds, I don't think it is the end of the Golden Age. (If you haven't been involved with AOL servers, know that both the caching of web sites and email servers have been the subject of many technical articles over the years.) But if AOL finds that they need to change the RSS updating rules, then we have a different story.permalink ( Monday, July 14, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Sunday, July 13, 2003
AmericansForDeam has RSS Core
Americans For Dean is putting together a set of tools to help people use the internet for dean. This is down to the grassroots, local level. Fully Creative Commons. And all the tools work together with RSS. We'll see if they can use Bletter.permalink ( Sunday, July 13, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Friday, July 11, 2003
Friends of the W&OD Trail Time to get my mind off computer and my seat on a bile. I'm off to the W&OD Trail. permalink ( Friday, July 11, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Golden Age of RSS
I think we are in the Golder Age of RSS. I mean right now.
Can blogs/RSS be spammed? Some one asked me this question at the Blogfest. The technical answer is no.
However, the practical answers is that just as the Golden Age of eNewsletters has passed because of spam, so too is there a danger lurking beyond this RSS Golder Age. An RSS feed can be abused by too many requests. Too many requests and the publisher will be forced discontinue the feed or buy more in bandwidth. Abuse the system and the Gold Age is over.
How can this happen? As the number of users of desktop RSS readers increases, so does the requests to RSS files. In fact Dave Winer was complaining about this the over day where someone was pinging every 5 minutes. And there are several posts on the FeedDemon beta forum on it. So take a fast growing use of RSS readers used by newbies who don't know about bandwidth costs and they unknowingly make too many requests. Cost go up exponentially for RSS providers.
The only solution I see is to have an industry certification process for RSS Readers to make sure they are well written and warn users about abusing bandwidth.
PS. This also speaks to why all RSS feeds should be static. A dynamic feed just takes up too much server resources. A good web developer should spend a little extra time and have the dynamic feed write to a static file.permalink ( Friday, July 11, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Second Browser War
There have been a number of posts about the browser wars being over. No way. In fact I think we are entering the Second Browser Wars. I've been using Feed Demon, an RSS Reader. This type of software allows you to harvest and reed RSS files. In so doing, most also include a browser. So way have Internet Explorer open and my RSS reader? No reason to. So Microsoft is losing desktop time to my RSS Reader. (Never mind that Feed Demon uses IE components to make its browser.)
I'm looking foward to more browsers that incorporate RSS readers.permalink ( Friday, July 11, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post
Feed Demon will change your life
Feed Demon will change your life. I know this is high praise, so let me temper it a bit. As a Tivo owner about how it changed their television viewing habits. You may not be able to shut them up. Tivo is the best thing since an ATM machine.
So it is with a quality RSS reader. Use Feed Demon of a week instead of your brower and you might no go back. So people will go back, because we are early into the network effect curve for RSS. Feed Demon makes it easy to visit those sites that support RSS. I think you can visit 10 times as many sites with Feed Demon (or any other good RSS reader) as you can with a Internet Explorer.
Before I forget, I'm recommend trying FeedDemon. It is currently in beta, but it appears to be very stable.permalink ( Friday, July 11, 2003 ) Ray 0 comments links to this post