Randy Charles Morin blogs about Really Simple Syndication, RDF, FOAF, The Semantic Web and Social Software.
The RSS Blog
Wed, 01 Jun 2005 02:31:32 GMT

spid.ero.us helps you discover the hot and fresh bookmarks from various SBM.

Randy: This looks pretty cool! Two negative comments. What's with all the javascript exceptions? RSS 0.92? WTF? Subscribed.

Tue, 31 May 2005 20:51:26 GMT
Search My Categories

I just setup this blog to link the <category>s to Blogdigger searches. Why blogdigger? Cause it responds very quickly and sorts results with most recent first. If I find Blogdigger slows down, then I'll switch the search on the backend to somewhere else. A little incentive for the search vendors to focus on sub-second responses. Basically, I'm redirecting all clicks on the <category> links to...


Where category is the actual category tag. Feel free to be a copycat. I could use the hits ;-) 

Tue, 31 May 2005 01:26:35 GMT
+Furl, BlogMarks, Feedfinder

I added Furl, BlogMarks and Feedfinder to the kbSearch engine.


Tue, 31 May 2005 00:44:12 GMT
Subscribers by User-Agent

It's time again for a list of top subscribers to my FeedBurner hosted RSS feed.

  1. Pluck
  2. Bloglines
  3. Firefox
  4. My Yahoo!
  5. RMail
  6. NewsGator Online
  7. NetNewsWire
  8. FeedReader
  9. NewsGator Outlook
  10. Sage

I haven't seen FeedReader and Sage up there in many months.

Mon, 30 May 2005 20:56:04 GMT

I just finished my Blogomatic utility. It's very simple. It polls a feed every hour on the 30 minutes and if the ETag changes, then it pings a bunch of ping servers (extended, basic or HTTP, whichever I determined works best with each ping target). I'm pinging Feedster, Moreover, Yahoo!, Blogdigger, NewsIsFree, Blo.gs, Syndic8, Blogrolling, Technorati, Weblogs and Pubsub. I'm pinging only those that I think are most important. Am I missing anybody important? Why did I do this? A few months back, I converted everything to ping-o-matic, but there's nothing automatic about it. You still have to ping ping-o-matic and it rarely, if ever, completes successfully (it's broken).


Mon, 30 May 2005 20:38:44 GMT
kbSearch (I like this!)

Mon, 30 May 2005 19:16:34 GMT
A Better Bookmark This

del.icio.us blog: You can link to http://del.icio.us/post with a GET argument of "url" containing the URL-encoded URL, and you can supply a title in the "title" field, similarly URL-encoded.

Randy: Subscribed.

Mon, 30 May 2005 17:11:10 GMT

Search4RSS: Directory of more than 1,25,000 feeds.


Randy: Gotta love PHP :-) 

Mon, 30 May 2005 16:49:49 GMT

Niall Kennedy: Technorati Japan just entered beta.


Mon, 30 May 2005 13:13:34 GMT
iPodder and the One-Click
Andrew Grumet's podcast about the iPodder response; includes something about one-click subscription. My podcast queue is getting longer by the day. Which is a good thing and a bad thing. I'm finding more content out there then I have time to listen to.
Mon, 30 May 2005 11:27:47 GMT

Dave Winer: I've been playing around with Blogger on and and off, and was surprised to find out after all this time that they don't have an easy way to edit a blogroll.

Randy: It's amazing how little Blogger has progressed and how much it has regressed in the last year.

Mon, 30 May 2005 03:16:01 GMT

Another del.icio.us knockoff.


Mon, 30 May 2005 03:07:04 GMT
Gmail Label Feeds

Google: If you'd like to have a label view in your aggregator, just add the label name to the end of the feed URL. So, to view your 'work' label as a feed, it's https://gmail.google.com/gmail/feed/atom/work/.

Randy: Now you can apply a filter to incoming mail, have it automatically labelled and appear in your RSS client without have to subscribe to your entire Gmail inbox.

Mon, 30 May 2005 02:03:27 GMT
Introducing kbSearch

I wrote a search engine last night. It indexes exactly 9 Web pages, fortunately all 9 are URLs into RSS search engines. You can search the entire Web in many different ways, one-click subscribe to the results and even get real-time email alerts on the results. I call it kbSearch. It's like A9 meets RSS.

Sun, 29 May 2005 19:59:53 GMT
Developing Feeds with RSS and Atom
by Ben Hammersley.
Sun, 29 May 2005 17:54:50 GMT

FEEDcombine is a script to combine multiple RSS feeds into one. Unlike other similar services, you can use FEEDcombine as an API and create new adhoc feeds. Unfortunately, it seems extremely slow, which suggests that it's polling each feed, everytime, one-at-a-time.


Sun, 29 May 2005 17:37:17 GMT

One Page Quick Introduction to RSS.


Sun, 29 May 2005 17:19:17 GMT
Ourmedia's Support of Media RSS

Marc Canter: Today we're announcing our support for Media RSS output.


Sun, 29 May 2005 13:37:21 GMT
RSS Search

Today, I'm making massive changes to the sources for RSS search performed by Juice. I use to support five sources; Feedster, Yahoo! News, MSN, Flickr and del.icio.us. I decided that I could support upto a dozen sources.

I'm going to add news services like MSN News, Blogpulse, Blogdigger, IceRocket. In order to qualify for this list, you have to provide search results in RSS format (not just any XML). If your a vendor and think you should be included, then please do ping me.

Update: I quickly discovered that IceRocket, similar to Technorati, does not allow for ad-hoc queries. You have to go to their Website and build the query URL there. This makes it impossible to integrate these with Juice.

Sat, 28 May 2005 02:13:25 GMT
Subscribe to Feedster
Today, I found instructions on subscribing to My Feedster. And I've added this to the chicklet generator. Eight chicklets and growing. By the way, the RSS chicklet generator is lucky.
Fri, 27 May 2005 20:07:42 GMT
Ping is Broken
I've noticed in the last few weeks that Web service pinging is basically broken. It starts with ping-o-matic, but that's not the only problem. Most ping services fail for one reason or another; non well-formed response XML, bad HTTP protocol, even no response. I've decided, I need to write my own ping service to compensate for all these disastrous implementations.
Fri, 27 May 2005 15:43:20 GMT
Questions for Non-Geeks

Dave Walker is looking for non-geeks to provide him some feedback reguarding news aggregators and syndication.


Fri, 27 May 2005 13:49:22 GMT
Friends of Pluck

Pluck maintains a friends of Pluck list. Of which, this blog is a member. Anybody can join.


Fri, 27 May 2005 12:18:01 GMT
56 Pings

Massive list of RSS and Weblog ping services.


Fri, 27 May 2005 11:39:22 GMT

This morning I decided to check out Rojo as a Web-based RSS reader. First things first, I subscribed to the Rojo blog and added the Rojo chicklet to the chicklet generator. Next, I imported a bunch of feeds. Problem! I don't see them. Seems Rojo pre-subscribed me to a bunch of stuff that gets priority when reading. I click around, delete some feeds and the following Web page becomes quite repetitive :-( 

An error has occurred

We apologize for the inconvenience.


Fri, 27 May 2005 10:20:07 GMT

Robert Scoble: Whoa, hundreds of RSS feeds for Microsoft's knowledge base.

Randy: I think I just doubled my reading list :-( 

Fri, 27 May 2005 09:59:18 GMT
FeedBurner Plants a Bug
Rogers Cadenhead: FeedBurner has begun adding web bugs to syndicated feeds that enable the service to track use of individual items. [cut]

<description>Priscilla Owen's confirmation is the bitter fruit of the unprincipled "compromise" on judical nominations.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheNationWeblogs?g=92"/> </description>

The img tag at the end of this description loads the web bug, a transparent one-by-one pixel graphic. Nial l Kennedy wrote earlier this month that they're part of a paid statistics package.

Fri, 27 May 2005 00:15:20 GMT
Aggressive Agents

Every few days, I'll report all those User-Agents that are reporting more than 24 polls per subscriber. Today's list.

Update: I just wanted to point out that FeedJumbler (uses FeedLib) Newsburst, Rojo and Waggr are Web-based RSS aggregators. That means they may be polling on behalf of many users, but simply not reporting those stats to FeedBurner. That really only leaves the Universal Feed Parser as the bad agent.

Thu, 26 May 2005 21:58:29 GMT
del.icio.us me
I removed the trackback link on each blog entry. I rarely get trackbacks these days. I replaced it with a convenient little chicklet that allows you to post my RSS ramblings in your del.icio.us bookmarks. Hope you like. An interesting follow up to the previous blog entry, don't ya think ;-)
Thu, 26 May 2005 20:50:56 GMT
Spamming del.icio.us
brianstorms: Recently I noticed a whole bunch of links to a company called Airset when searching for del.icio.us bookmarks with the "evdb" tag.
Thu, 26 May 2005 18:27:44 GMT
Juice Beta 1.4
I uploaded a new version of Juice.
Wed, 25 May 2005 17:51:51 GMT
Nick on the River of News
Nick Brabury: Dave Winer recommends that RSS aggregators adopt a River of News approach to displaying information, and I have to admit that it is a nice - and fast - way to scan items from many feeds. In fact, it's similar to how I use FeedDemon.
Wed, 25 May 2005 17:48:55 GMT
Google Adsense Burner

Dick Costolo: If you have been approved for the Google AdSense for feeds public beta, you can now use FeedBurner to run the program without editing your publishing templates at all.

Randy: I guess you can do this only with feeds with 100 subscribers. That would exclude most blogs. Maybe I'll try it with The RSS Blog. An experiment, which I would provide an alternate feed (without the ads) and would turn off after the brief experiment. Should I?

Wed, 25 May 2005 14:57:05 GMT
Pluck Works!

Pluck is not my RSS reader of choice. I roll my own thanks! But, my readers have clearly signaled that Pluck Outlook Edition is being downloaded a lot and being used a lot. Most of the new subscribers to this blog are via Pluck. The question is why? The answer is, because it works. I installed it a few times this month to play around with it and this is the RSS reader for the non-techies. The install was easy. I imported my OPML without a problem. It started picking up the feeds. It gave me notifications. It gave me the River of News. It runs inside IE. Easy to subscribe to new feeds. Ya, I have a few gripes, it hangs up the browser momentarily from time to time, especially when I navigate to an XML file, but that's not something my dad or wife would do very often. Pluck works!

Wed, 25 May 2005 14:12:11 GMT
Increase your Subscribers

How to Save the World has 17 Rmail subscribers in less than 2 months. How? They added the Rmail <script> to the right sidebar. I've done the same with the benefit of 9 new Rmail subscribers in two weeks. And thanks again to Miel, who has really helped Rmail succeed, by reporting bugs, creating logos and just being a great user.

Wed, 25 May 2005 12:25:51 GMT
Say no to XML buttons

Anne van Kesteren: By the way, do you know why RSS 2.0 has not been updated to RSS 2.1 to make it interoperable and safe from data loss? The sole reason is that Dave Winer wanted everyone to leave his format alone. That, and only that, is the reason I support Atom these days.

Randy: I feel a storm coming. Syndication Wars, Episode III, Revenge of the Atom. I guess RDF v. RSS was Episode I and Atom 0.3 v. RSS was Episode II. Question is? Is Dave Winer going to turn into Darth RSSius.

Wed, 25 May 2005 11:58:50 GMT
Qumana Software Launch

Qumana is counting down the seconds till they launch their next generation software. They claim to have the easiest, fastest and most fun way to post to your blog. Stay tuned!


Wed, 25 May 2005 03:37:39 GMT
Atom has a Branding Problem

User: Could you please add RSS feeds for your news postings?

Marc Hedlund: Why, sure, I respond. No problem. In fact, they're already there -- every one of those feeds is already on the site. The thing is, see, we used an icon that reads "Atom Feed" to mark them, and apparently lots of O'Reilly-site-reading Java-programming feedback-sending feed-requesters don't know what an Atom feed is. And who can blame them? [cut] Let me tell you what we should have done, and what we're going to do real quick now:

  1. We're going to use the ubiquitous, little, orange "RSS" icon everywhere we want to show people that we offer a feed.
  2. We will not be indicating whether said feed is Atom, RSS, 0.91, or 8.0. The user should not have to care -- the format of the data is the feedreaders' problem. The user's problem is to find the feed, and to make that easier, we're going to use the closest thing to a standard indicator.
  3. We're going to provide a "What's this?" help link right next to every RSS icon. Plenty of people don't know what an RSS feed is, and we're going to do our part to help them find out about RSS.
  4. We're going to use feed auto-discovery wherever it makes sense to do so.

Randy: Great advice! And I don't have to change a thing to be in compliance.


Wed, 25 May 2005 03:20:24 GMT
User-Agent #s

User-Agent rankings for the last 24 hours.

  1. Pluck
  2. Bloglines
  3. Firefox
  4. My Yahoo!
  5. NetNewsWire
  6. NewGator Online
  7. FeedDemon
  8. Onfolio
  9. Opera
  10. Tristana
  11. NewsGator Outlook Edition
  12. Sage
  13. Thunderbird

Only reported User-Agents with minimum 3 unique visitors. I left out Rmail, which would have ranked 4th and Juice, 14th as their numbers are artificially high since I'm the author of the tools.

Tue, 24 May 2005 21:57:02 GMT
Bloglines v. Pluck Web Edition

Today, I looked at a couple online RSS aggregators, Bloglines and Pluck Web Edition. Not my first look at either, but I wanted to know if there was any progress in the general usability of online aggregators. I have to say I was disappointed. Both still have performance problems that make them very painful to use. Bloglines is impossible to use, unless you have the special power to read the Mark Fletcher's mind. Sorry Mark, hire an usability expert quickly!  :-(  As for Pluck, I simply couldn't get my blogroll imported. When I imported the items, it would respond "The item already exists in that folder" but when I clicked on the folder, it reports "There are no items in this folder." I also got a phantom subscription, which was weird. It definately felt like a data integrity issue :-( 

Update: I think I figured out the Pluck OPML import bug. It's one of those bugs that has been passed down thru the ages. Dare and the original users of OPML used the title attribute instead of the text attribute in exporting their blogrolls. Most aggregators now look for both to compensate for the earlier bump in the OPML highway.

Now that I've worked around the OPML import bug, I find one thing lacking from Pluck, I don't like the Inbox paradigm, rather I'd prefer a River of News.

Tue, 24 May 2005 21:40:18 GMT
Plucky Quote
My friends over at Pluck have honoured me with a quote in their sidebar :-)
Tue, 24 May 2005 21:23:50 GMT
Tribal ads
It looks like Tribe has decided that right sidebar ads are the revenue model of choice. Quite sad! I proposed an original solution to Mark Pincus and crew. They seemed originally interested, but never pursued.
Tue, 24 May 2005 20:42:49 GMT
Got Chicklets?

On a bit of a chicklet spree this month, today I created the Chicklet generator. You see those chicklets from Pluck down to NewsBurst in the sidebar. You can easily put them all on your blog with this small little script. Check it out!


Tue, 24 May 2005 14:17:27 GMT
PSWG considers USM

The Podcasting Specification Working Group is considering USM as a means of one-click subscription.


Tue, 24 May 2005 13:44:53 GMT
Open Letter to the Podcasting Community

Tim Jaw: The following open letter was released by the Podcasting Specification Working Group (PodSpecWG) on MAY 11, 2005.


Tue, 24 May 2005 02:38:49 GMT
iTunes Podder
Technology Owl: Steve Jobs announced today that the next version of iTunes, v4.9, will bundle a podcasting directory with one-click subscription, jumping on the bandwagon and presenting a substantial threat to iPodder.
Tue, 24 May 2005 01:29:34 GMT
MyBlogSite troubles

This weekend, I got quite a few emails and comments that MyBlogSite was down. At the moment, I can login, see my site, but I can't see their homepage.

ERROR:  You have accessed this program via an invalid url: www.myblogsite.com
Tue, 24 May 2005 00:41:43 GMT

Frank-ly: Het zou mooi zijn als in RSS 2.0 een extra attribuut aanwezig is waarin de uitgever aangeeft dat een feed niet meer actief is en dus uit de reader verwijderd kan worden. Het lijkt er op dat de HTTP-code 410 een oplossing kan bieden.

Translation: It would be beautiful if in RSS 2.0 an extra attribute is present in which the editor indicates that feed are no longer active and therefore from the reader can be removed. It seems there on that Http-code 410 the solution can offer.

Randy: Spread the knowledge in every language.

Tue, 24 May 2005 00:30:52 GMT
Jeff Nolan on Rmail
Jeff Nolan: I'm getting my gmail as an RSS feed (okay, it's actually an Atom feed), and have started to play around with Rmail as well. So far, email via RSS is working okay for me.
Tue, 24 May 2005 00:28:10 GMT

Marc Abramowitz has been doing some interesting XSLTing of RSS. He's hacked disable-output-escaping into Firefox. This is has been the one bug in Firefox that has really pissed me off.


Fri, 20 May 2005 19:46:58 GMT
RSS is NOT Email

Steve Makofsky: RSS is NOT email. Email is stuff that I (usually) need to address right away, where as with RSS I'm reading (and searching) content based on a topic.

Randy: I don't like the RSS Inbox either. Mind you, I hate Outlook and my Gmail inbox is cleared several times per hour. But, to each his own. What I don't understand are people who install RSS ad-ins for Outlook. Why not just use an RSS to SMTP gateway like Rmail?

Fri, 20 May 2005 19:38:46 GMT
Best Practices for RSS Advertising

Bill Flitter: These Best Practices boil down to a few simple rules, which are:

  1. Ads must fit the environment
  2. Ads must be relevant and informative
  3. Watch the content to ad ratio and unsubscribe rates
  4. Tell, don’t sell: RSS ads are about creating relationships with readers
  5. Be patient: Unlike e-mail, RSS feeds don't demand to be read.

Randy: I bolded relevant. I bolded relevant. I bolded relevant.

Fri, 20 May 2005 12:24:35 GMT
Hello? Anybody out there?

Feedburner is reporting 0 readers today. My ego hurts :-(

Update: Fixed!

Thu, 19 May 2005 22:09:38 GMT
Bloglines CEO promises top blog search by summer

Stephen Baker: The CEO of Bloglines (now a division of AskJeeves) says that his company will release a blog search engine this summer which will surpass the likes of Technorati, Feedster, and PubSub.

Randy: Doesn't sound that difficult. Technorati and PubSub simply don't work and Feedster has polluted their feeds. BlogPulse responds slowly, but faster than Technorati and Pubsub. Now, beat BlogPulse and you'll have yourself a customer.

Thu, 19 May 2005 17:45:00 GMT
Why do they Persist in Breaking the Web

Earlier this month we blogged considerably about how Google's Web Accelerator was breaking the Web, or showing which Web applications were already broken. That's because we didn't follow the guidelines for doing a POST when the request has the potential to change the state of the resource. Do you think we learned our lesson? Of course not. In fact, I bet most of you haven't even read the Architecture of the Web.  Still hacking. Repeating the same mistakes. Rael has decided that feed:// is the new http://. Web? How many ways may we break thee?


Thu, 19 May 2005 17:44:57 GMT
Why do they Persist in Breaking the Web

Earlier this month we blogged considerably about how Google's Web Accelerator was breaking the Web, or showing which Web applications were already broken. That's because we didn't follow the guidelines for doing a POST when

Thu, 19 May 2005 17:44:53 GMT
Why do they Persist in Breaking the Web

Earlier this month we blogged considerably about how Google's Web Accelerator was breaking the Web, or showing which Web applications were already broken. That's because we didn't follow the guidelines for doing a POST when

Thu, 19 May 2005 17:44:48 GMT
Why do they Persist in Breaking the Web

Earlier this month we blogged considerably about how Google's Web Accelerator was breaking the Web, or showing which Web applications were already broken. That's because we didn't follow the guidelines for doing a POST when

Thu, 19 May 2005 17:44:44 GMT
Why do they Persist in Breaking the Web

Earlier this month we blogged considerably about how Google's Web Accelerator was breaking the Web, or showing which Web applications were already broken. That's because we didn't follow the guidelines for doing a POST when

Thu, 19 May 2005 17:44:40 GMT
Why do they Persist in Breaking the Web

Earlier this month we blogged considerably about how Google's Web Accelerator was breaking the Web, or showing which Web applications were already broken. That's because we didn't follow the guidelines for doing a POST when

Thu, 19 May 2005 16:24:42 GMT
River of News

Dave Winer: Instead of having to hunt for new stories by clicking on the titles of feeds, you just view the page of new stuff and scroll through it. It's like sitting on the bank of a river, watching the boats go by. If you miss one, no big deal. You can even make the river flow backward by moving the scollbar up.


Thu, 19 May 2005 15:24:12 GMT
500 FeedBurner Subscribers

FeedBurner is reporting  500 subscribers to my FeedBurner feed this morning. Very cool! Thanks to all my readers, especially the plucky ones. I'm honoured to have such a large audience. d.w., selling out to the bigCos really paid off. ;-)

Wed, 18 May 2005 22:01:47 GMT

daBlogs is another free blog hosting platform. Very similar to JournalHome. Lacks remote posting (MetaWeblogAPI, BloggerAPI, AtomAPI, post-by-email). Templates are nice and you can customize the HTML. My new rankings for top free blog hosting platforms.

  1. 21publish
  2. MyBlogSite
  3. BlogSpirit
  4. daBlogs
Wed, 18 May 2005 19:20:03 GMT
Dave Winer: 1, NYT: 0

Matthew Haughey: I can't believe how dumb the NYT is being about this.

Randy: I forsee a decline in the inbound links. When they purchases about.com, I thought they didn't get it (Blogosphere). Now, I know.

Wed, 18 May 2005 00:43:47 GMT
Rmail Attack

When writing Rmail, I considered that it might be used by SPAMmers. So, you can't be subscribed to a feed unless you click a link I send you in the message body of an email. This didn't stop the SPAMmers from trying. Somebody has been sending random requests in what looks like an attempt to subscribe users automagically. Since it doesn't work that way, the attempt was in vein, but I shutdown the mailing agent until I figured out what was up. If you didn't get your Rmail today, then you now know why. Unfortunately for the SPAMmers and fortunate for the rest of us, you can't use Rmail as a SPAM agent. Sorry! :-(

Tue, 17 May 2005 21:27:36 GMT
Adsense for RSS

Google Blog: Enter AdSense for feeds, launching today in beta. [cut] Publishers who want to participate in the public beta can apply here.

Randy: I'm a little busy on other projects right now, but if you send me reviews, then I'll link to them.

Tue, 17 May 2005 18:27:13 GMT
Just Code

//item[link/text()='{0}'] first they took the simple out of RSS //rss:item[rss:link/text()='{0}'] then they put the complex into RSS //atom:entry[atom:link/@href='{0}' and atom:link/@rel='alternate']

Tue, 17 May 2005 17:09:29 GMT
Advertising by conference speakers

Robert Scoble: A note to Dave Winer. I'm not sure why the Syndicate Conference didn't want you to do an advertisement as part of your session (Dave pulled out of the conference after the conference organizers insisted that he not do an advertisement as part of his session). I'm sitting in a session right now and the whole thing is an advertisement for the speaker's employer.

Tue, 17 May 2005 15:47:01 GMT

This morning, I took some time to play around with FeedTagger. FeedTagger is a lot like del.icio.us except that instead of tagging URLs, you tag feeds. I had previously tried FeedTagger and found it had too many javascript exceptions and popup windows (not ads). As I return today, I find there are no more javascript exceptions and less popup windows. Hurray! I imported a bunch of feeds via OPML. Nice! The next step was tagging all these feeds. I might tag a few, but this seems like a lot of work for little benefit, but others might like this feature (those who read less than 500 feeds). One big problem, I found with the site, is that it implements AJAX even where AJAX is unnecessary. This makes the site entirely unlinkable, which is kinda weird for a Web RSS aggregator. Overall, this is very impressive for a Beta. Move over Bloglines.


Tue, 17 May 2005 14:48:41 GMT
NetNewsWire 2.0

NetNewsWire 2.0 Released!


Tue, 17 May 2005 03:01:37 GMT
Googl.icio.us tags

Rael: Continuing it's tradition of throwing in a link to more juicy data or metadata whenever the opportunity presents itself, Google has added del.icio.us tags and straps one of those ubiquitous orange [XML] RSS bugs to every result sporting an RSS feed.

Randy: Subscribed.

Tue, 17 May 2005 02:56:48 GMT

NewsGator buys FeedDemon? Truth? Fiction? Ya never know with Chris. Dave confirms. Nick deals the truth. All of FeedDemon, NewsGator Outlook Edition, NewsGator Web Edition are among the more popular RSS aggregators. According to my subscription counts, the most popular RSS clients are...

  1. Pluck
  2. Bloglines
  3. Firefox
  4. FeedDemon
  5. NetNewsWire
  6. MyYahoo
  7. NewsGator Online
  8. NewsGator Outlook

Some are suggesting that this consolidation may eventually include NetNewsWire, the best RSS reader for the Apple.

Mon, 16 May 2005 23:28:21 GMT
Interview with Bill French

Bill French has specialized in business systems integration since the 1980’s and is co-founder of MyST Technology Partners; focused on building new products in the business blogging and enterprise syndication services arena


Mon, 16 May 2005 16:58:24 GMT

KYOU: It's open source radio fresh from your local farmer's market.

Randy: More specifically, it's a place where you can upload your podcasts to gain exposure and a place where you can listen to podcasts.


Mon, 16 May 2005 15:36:02 GMT
Eric on Rmail

Eric Lunt: It should be fine, but I don't know what's going on internally with Bloglet. I don't think that's a very active effort. [cut] Have you given RMail a try? I think that has much better support for a variety of feed formats.

Randy: Thanks Eric! :-)

Mon, 16 May 2005 13:54:24 GMT
Podcasting Book

Podcasting is the complete do it yourself guide that will have readers not only finding, downloading and listening to podcasts, but creating and broadcasting their own.

Mon, 16 May 2005 04:00:44 GMT
:-( Today, I want to talk about vTuner.com. Does anybody know what this service does? They've been pounding me all month with 10k RSS requests per day. I asked them several times what's up and only after I started threatening did they answer telling me they would remove all references to my site. This turned out to be a lie and they continued pounding my Website. I have now sent them a bill for $100 USD for bandwidth (monthly).
Sun, 15 May 2005 13:41:14 GMT
Think of the User

Today, I'm returning to chicklet heaven. That is, I'm putting all the subscribe to buttons back on my page. I'm doing this because I've been asked by most of the five big chicklet providers. The fifth, which, by the way, didn't ask, is My MSN. My MSN is clearly losing the chicklet race and I'll tell you why. Pretend you are a naive blogger and you want to place such a chicklet on your page. How do you do it? Here's the steps...

You can't. Because it's actually an image, not escaped HTML. Second, the HTML is invalid. Third, the image src is likely 404. It took me five seconds to realize this and make the appropriate mods to make it work. This isn't true of 95% of the blogosphere :-(

Sat, 14 May 2005 19:56:24 GMT
No Adsense on JournalHome
Just got an email update to their terms of service from JournalHome indicating they no longer allow contextual advertising on free accounts. This means no Adsense  :-(
Fri, 13 May 2005 19:42:34 GMT
Dick Costolo: people are paying much closer attention to the relevance of this particular ad to this specific post.
Fri, 13 May 2005 18:52:00 GMT

RSS feeds on the results :-).

Fri, 13 May 2005 16:49:06 GMT
Things that make you go...
I wonder how Google's Adsense handles pages made up almost entirely of Javascript.
Fri, 13 May 2005 16:04:50 GMT
I want relevant SPAM

 :-( Everybody hates SPAM. But not me. I like SPAM. Let me tell you the ways. You see, SPAM is good. We get TV SPAMmed all day. We call them commercials. And while I watch Hockey Night in Canada (NOT), they SPAM me with beautiful frames of hot girls drinking beer. I drink a lot of beer. Yes, I really do love SPAM. Now ask yourself how many tampon commercials run during Hockey Night in Canada. Do you get it? Do you understand what I'm saying? If you don't, then please read on.

It's about relevancy. The reason we hate email SPAM, is because they blast us with irrelevant crap. I don't need Viagra, or at least my wife isn't complaining YET! So, when I get Viagra SPAM filling up my inbox, I get a little frustrated. Now, on the other hand, when I get an email telling me I won a trip to Orlando Florida... I stop... and read it. Because my kids love Disneyworld. This SPAM was relevant to me. It doesn't matter that they SPAMmed ten million other people with this crap. I like big black ears. This is why we hate email SPAM. Because it's irrelevant. This is also why we love Google, because Google adwords are relevant. Are you getting the picture yet?

Fast forward! RSS. I don't mind if you put ads in your RSS. They better be relevant. If you try to sell me tampons, then I'm gonna switch the channel. I'm never gonna buy tampons. OK, I did once or twice for my wife. But, I didn't really have an influence on the brand. She told me the brand. So, the ads really didn't affect the purchase decision and they most likely never will.

By the way, if you don't work for Feedster, then this blog entry is irrelevant. (hint: click the last link) (yes, the irrelevant one).

Fri, 13 May 2005 15:25:14 GMT
Empowering creativity

Bookmarked for later USBing to iPod.


Fri, 13 May 2005 13:42:04 GMT
Rmail Down!

Just a note. Rmail is down. Stupid me! Yesterday, my father-in-law and I were working on the wiring outside and in the basement. I recycled the power and forgot to restart the computer that Rmail is running on :-(.

Note: That's the new chicklet for NOT k00l :-).

Note: That's the new chicklet for HOT. Unfortunately, it doesn't render the same inside the feed.

Thu, 12 May 2005 22:10:18 GMT
Feedster Ads :-(
Today, I started noticing those Feedster Ads. Let's just say, I won't be using Feedster anymore. This is a horrible implementation. Instead of appending the ads to the bottom of an item, like everybody else is doing, Feedster has decided to drop items which are entirely ads, and irrelevant ads, into the stream. This looks really dumb! Not to mention, it would be trivial to simply remove any items with the term doubleclick in it. I can't believe they partnered with doubleclick.
Thu, 12 May 2005 19:53:13 GMT
MessageCast has been acquired by Microsoft

MSN: The MessageCast LiveMessage service has been acquired by Microsoft Corporation.

Randy: This is the service, which I provide in the right sidebar (see Alert Me chicklet), that allows you to subscribe to an RSS feed and have the items delivered via MSN Messenger.

Thu, 12 May 2005 16:37:40 GMT
WordPress Yikes!

WordPress 1.5.1 was released Monday. If you already have WordPress, then consider an immediate upgrade, as it includes a very important security fix.


Thu, 12 May 2005 15:20:12 GMT
Web Services Glee!


Someday, I'll write a Web services with a circular loop and shutdown the Web.

Update: I'm finished loading all the data. Now, you can find out the latest about every team in the league, by simply bookmarking the page. They load slow, sometimes and fast others. That's because, none of the data is held locally and I'm querying Feedster and Flickr, filtering it thru FeedJumbler and tada! I wanted to use BlogPulse, but it responds very slowly.

Wed, 11 May 2005 21:53:59 GMT
Of late, I've be reviewing a hell of a lot of RSS k001 shit and crap. I've been thinking that what I need is two icons for products that I think are HOT (k001 shit) or NOT (crap). They need to be RSS flavoured, so the HOT would likely be an orange flamy type of thing. Also, they should be emoticon sized. Anybody that can provide these gets a free link. Thanks in advance!
Wed, 11 May 2005 21:06:18 GMT
It's the Content
Sam Ruby: At that time, there was one visionary who saw things differently.  His name was Dave Winer.  He saw RSS not as a vehicle for delivering metadata, but for delivering content.
Wed, 11 May 2005 16:20:03 GMT
The Atom Publishing Protocol

A new version of the Atom publishing protocol. It's changed. Alot :(


Wed, 11 May 2005 14:14:20 GMT

FeedTagger: If you have any suggestions/comments etc please reply to this post!

Randy: FeedTagger is looking for feedback. Give it a try and tell them what you think.


Review: FeedTagger is too buggy too use at the moment. Hopefully, it'll get better.

Tue, 10 May 2005 21:14:59 GMT
Friendster Blogs 404

Has anybody else found that Friendster Blogs is full of 404s? What's up with that?

Tue, 10 May 2005 16:07:02 GMT

So you have your own blog, maybe two. Well, that's not enough. I want my own blogging platform with blogs from all my friends, cow-orkers and classmates. Introducing 21publish. You can have upto 100 blogs in your community (for free and more with $). Here's my personal blogging community for ultra geeks. It took me about 2 minutes to create the community.


Tue, 10 May 2005 15:45:05 GMT
RSS Feed State

Do you write code for an RSS aggregator? Have you read this? Today, I had to warn a couple more RSS services about their excessive polling. One service has pulled over 150k RSS files thru my Website this month already. I decided that from now on I would report any User-Agent that pulls aggressively. Here's the list for today.

These are malbehaved RSS clients. If you have one installed, then uninstalled it. If you visit one of these sites, then stop going there.


Tue, 10 May 2005 14:19:39 GMT
Total Stats Pro

Dick Costolo: The people who bring you great free feed statistics (that would be us) today announce the launch of Total Stats Pro. [cut] Total Stats Pro gives feed publishers a more detailed analysis of feed statistics by going another level deeper beyond feed circulation. [cut] Pricing starts at $4.99/month for publishers that want to apply pro stats to 1-3 feeds. [cut] Are you going to say "$4.99 is less than the price of a latte and a bagel" or something like that? No. We don't drink lattes so we don't know how much they cost*.

Tue, 10 May 2005 01:07:53 GMT
Rmail User-Agent

I updated the Rmail User-Agent.

kb.Rmail (https://rssweblog.com/rss2smtp.aspx; x subscribers)

Mon, 09 May 2005 17:57:00 GMT

Another RSS to javascript application, but this one will also splices RSS feeds. This could be very useful. I'll test drive her tonight. Subscribed.


Review: Wow! This really is good. Extremely flexible and easy to use. A sample is shown floating right, which took a couple minutes to produce. You can see the entire configuration of the feed jumble at the link below. No login required. It loads slowly, which is a slight concern.


Update: FeedJumbler is considerably faster now.

Mon, 09 May 2005 17:18:07 GMT
Another RSS to Javascript Service
Mon, 09 May 2005 16:18:45 GMT
Reporting Subscribers to FeedBurner

With the launch and reasonable level of success of my Rmail service, I began wondering how to get that subscriber count reported by FeedBurner above 1. Since Rmail is a centralized Web based service, FeedBurner reports one subscriber regardless of the actual number of subscribers. But Bloglines, another similar centralized Web based RSS aggregator reports the actual number of subscribes by passing extra bits in the HTTP request. I spun off an email to Eric Lunt and he responded with the How-To's.

Bloglines overloads their User-Agent HTTP header and stuffs in the number of subscribers. Example shown.

Bloglines/2.0 (http://www.bloglines.com; 12 subscribers)

You then fork off an email to the FeedBurner team and they re-config their back-end to pick up the extra info. That's it! Very simple.

Update: MyYahoo! and LiveJournal also report subscribers.

Mon, 09 May 2005 15:48:16 GMT
Pluck Install

I just downloaded and re-installed Pluck, trying to figure out why I'm getting so many Pluck subscribers. After the install, I get a list of 5 highlighted feeds, of which, The RSS Blog, is one. Pluck includes the following extra comment about The RSS Blog "Got it? They speak RSS, so you're in good hands with The RSS Blog." Very cool! And mucho thanks to the Pluck team. What comes around, goes around, so I've added the Get Plucked chicklet to the right sidebar.

Mon, 09 May 2005 15:03:40 GMT
When 301 is really 302
Neville Hobson experienced some HTTP protocol horror with FeedDemon. Turns out the WiFi network was responding 301 (HTTP status code), when it should have been responding 302. Of course, a good RSS client like FeedDemon automagically updates your RSS URLs when it receives a 301. But sometimes, a 301 is a 302 in disguise.
Mon, 09 May 2005 12:06:15 GMT
Yet Another RSS Search Engine

Review: Plazoo is very solid. You can also subscribe to search results, similar to BlogPulse and Feedster. RSS validates. The clear differentiator is the advanced search, of which, Plazoo is far behind the other two. But still very useful.


Sun, 08 May 2005 17:32:04 GMT
100 Rmail Subscriptions

Today, we surpassed 100 Rmail subscriptions. Not bad for the first couple weeks. I decided to bring in a real programmer to help out. Take a look at the Rmail homepage to see what we are working on.


Sun, 08 May 2005 16:17:02 GMT
Folksonomy SPAM
Some people have taken to mistagging in order to get exposure in tag list that are often read. Others have created multiple accounts to tag the same blog entry over and over. Others tag the same content many times over with slightly differing URLs. I've been subscribed to the RSS tag via del.icio.us. There's still some interesting content, but mostly it's full of Yang's crap.
Sun, 08 May 2005 14:28:15 GMT
Amazon RSS

I seem to be stuck on the term interesting thought, so here's another interesting thought. Goto Amazon.com. Search for star wars. Cut the URL. Open another browser session. Navigate to the URL and you get "Browser Bug?" In fact, if you click the star wars link I provide, then you'll see what I mean. Who writes this stuff? Now return to the original search results page. View source. Search the source for the term RSS. Not found. But they do have RSS. And they could easily write an XSLT to RSS their XML. All the pieces are there. But there's no auto-discovery and there's no orange XML buttons. No stock analyst is required to explain this.

Sun, 08 May 2005 13:48:07 GMT

RSS Mix: Mix any number of RSS feeds into one unique new feed!

Randy: Interesting! I wonder how it handles conditional-GET and how we could hook it up to an OPML input. The limit of 4 is also a bummer. Here's a new feed for all four of my blogs. Hmmm! It's only showing results from one of the feeds. Sounds like this service is broken. Too bad, it was a good idea.

Sun, 08 May 2005 13:43:46 GMT
Really Sexy Sindication

Alex Halavais: Yeah, sure, Amazon and ebay were popular, but online porn was making money way before either were breaking even. [cut] What is the state of Porn RSS? A quick googling of “RSS porn” calls up some interesting musings that suggest I am not alone in seeing the connection here, but few actual feeds.

Randy: Let's just leave it at interesting thoughts.

Sun, 08 May 2005 13:43:43 GMT
Really Sexy Sindication

Alex Halavais: Yeah, sure, Amazon and ebay were popular, but online porn was making money way before either were breaking even. [cut] What is the state of Porn RSS? A quick googling of “RSS porn” calls up some interesting musings that suggest I am not alone in seeing the connection here, but few actual feeds.

Randy: Let's just leave it at interesting thoughts.

Sun, 08 May 2005 13:43:39 GMT
Really Sexy Sindication

Alex Halavais: Yeah, sure, Amazon and ebay were popular, but online porn was making money way before either were breaking even. [cut] What is the state of Porn RSS? A quick googling of “RSS porn” calls up some interesting musings that suggest I am not alone in seeing the connection here, but few actual feeds.

Randy: Let's just leave it at interesting thoughts.

Sun, 08 May 2005 13:34:35 GMT
New Major Release of SauceReader

Sauce Reader Weblog: Sauce Reader 2.0 is a complete rewrite and no longer requires the .NET framework.


Randy: It's been so long since Synop released a version of Sauce Reader it had dropped off my map. Now, where's the 1.0 for Sharpreader? I'm a little disappointed in  Sauce Reader's continued use of the Outlook/Inbox UI and the term Beta.

Sun, 08 May 2005 03:50:54 GMT
Who Let the Blogs Out?

This looks like an awesome book on how to make a little money via adsense with your blog. Only $11.

Sun, 08 May 2005 03:26:45 GMT
The RSS Bottleneck

I've always found this title to be funny. You see, Bloglines claims to remove the bottleneck in RSS, which is a distributed network, by centralizing all requests for RSS data. Think about it!

Sat, 07 May 2005 14:50:21 GMT
AIM Adds RSS Reader
Steve Rubel: Did you know that the browser in the new beta version of AOL Instant Messenger has a built-in RSS reader? [cut] AOL also added a new blogging capability as well called AIM Blogs.
Fri, 06 May 2005 20:26:33 GMT
RSS to Javascript

Global Syndication: Use this generator to display and format RSS feeds on your website -- no linkback required!


Fri, 06 May 2005 19:17:50 GMT
Google axes Syndic8

Google has removed Syndic8.com from their index. This is about the best reason to play nice. Google doesn't seem to be afraid of purging your records.

I've been watching Jeff Barr's blog. Nobody's mentionned anything there yet. Maybe I'll comment. I also noticed that Jeff and Bill Kearney are busy on the syndic8 message board. No mention there either. Bill's blog hasn't been updated in a long while.

Fri, 06 May 2005 16:44:59 GMT
All comers welcome

Brad Hill: We can expect much more experimentation, and we should rejoice in it.

Randy: Brad makes a great point about accepting character blogs.

Fri, 06 May 2005 00:49:16 GMT

Vortex offers blog hosting w/ Wordpress for only $25/yr. Wow!


Fri, 06 May 2005 00:44:11 GMT
Feed your E-Mail Inbox

Alexander: One peculiar way of subscribing to RSS feeds is via RMail. RMail is a service for subscribing to any RSS feed via E-Mail. This could become useful if your mobile device doesn't support RSS but offers E-Mail connectivity.


Thu, 05 May 2005 19:45:17 GMT
Review eBloggy

eBloggy is a very simple hosted blogging platform. It has both a simple and HTML level template editor. There's no remote posting via email or API. Both HTML and WYSIWYG editor. Comments. You can't upload files. You can have private blogs, public blogs, group blogs and you can have more than one blog. Here's mine (empty).


Update: Major gap in functionality. I can't find the RSS feed.

Thu, 05 May 2005 16:00:07 GMT
RSS has its own conference!
Amit Malhotra: The content syndication conference in NY this year on May 17/18 is all but dominated by RSS.
Thu, 05 May 2005 15:08:41 GMT
Perception and Reality
I use to think RSS aggregators like RSS Bandit, Sharpreader and My Yahoo! dominated the market. But I've been spending a lot of time examining the data provided by FeedBurner. Of the last 2000 hits on my FeedBurner feeds, I have 2 My Yahoo! subscribers, 1 Sharpreader subscriber, 0 RSS Bandit subscribers and nearly 150 Pluck subscribers. I wonder who's winning the RSS aggregator war?
Thu, 05 May 2005 14:59:43 GMT
Rmail Logo

Thanks to Miel, we now have a logo for Rmail. Subscribed.

Thu, 05 May 2005 14:51:01 GMT
Dave on $ at Syndicate

Dave Winer: I'm speaking at the Syndicate conference in New York on May 17. [cut] But mostly I expect to talk about how to make money on the Internet. [cut] Anyway, since one of the hot topics is advertising and sponsorship, and since the conference isn't paying me a fee, or even covering my expenses, I thought I'd offer sponsorship opportunities to people or companies who would like to be talked about, briefly, from my speaking space.


Wed, 04 May 2005 21:42:45 GMT
Tag for Rmail

I noticed a few people using the rmail tag. Very cool!


Tue, 03 May 2005 21:28:16 GMT
Holy Smokes!

Frank Barnako: Almost two out of three advertisers want to spend money on blogs! 

Randy: This is great news for the blogosphere. More revenue for Feedster, FeedBurner and 6apart. More revenues leads to better services, while maintain the low end-user costs.

Tue, 03 May 2005 14:07:57 GMT
RSS Ads done the wrong way!

Bob Wyman: If we are to have advertising in RSS and Atom feeds, advertisers must provide those ads in such a way that they don't break the existing blogging and syndication infrastructure. In particular, once an ad is inserted into a feed, it must not be changed unless the content in which it is embedded is also changed. Not following this rule will result in the duplicate detection code of numerous feed readers incorrectly presenting posts to users when those posts have only had their ads, not their content, updated.

Randy: This sounds like a software problem, not a problem with the ads. Using a simple hash of the <description> to determine uniqueness is pretty much a flawed algorithm. Sounds to me like ads are breaking PubSub.

Tue, 03 May 2005 03:53:10 GMT
Reader #s

I've been asked often today to produce a list of the top subscribers to the RSS blog. Remember, that these don't reflect the real distribution, but rather those who express an strong interest in RSS.

  1. Pluck
  2. Bloglines
  3. Firefox Live Bookmarks
  4. NetNewsWire
  5. Feed Demon
  6. Opera RSS reader
  7. News Gator Outlook Edition (add - 3 subs yeah!)
  8. News Gator Online (add - only 2, but for the record)

All other readers report 2 or less subscriptions today. These six readers almost always make up the top six RSS readers for all of the blogs I host or have statistics against.

Update: A reader and Yahoo! employee asked about My Yahoo! which doesn't show up on FeedBurner at all from what I see. I'm investigating. He also noted that Bloglines reports total subscribers, even dormant ones, whereas My Yahoo! reports active subscribers.

Resolution: Turns out I didn't have any My Yahoo! subscribers to the FeedBurner feed. This doesn't mean I didn't have any My Yahoo! subscribers, I had at least two subscribers to my old feed. Bloglines reports 51 additional subscribers to that old feed. I wish I had an easy way of 302ing all the old feed requests to FeedBurner. Suggestions welcomed (C# ASPX, no ISM).

Tue, 03 May 2005 01:36:09 GMT
RSS to Email wrapup
The Distant Librarian: The two best solutions seem to be RSSFwd and Rmail. [cut] With Rmail you'll get an email with the updated post within an hour.  [cut] I plan to implement an Rmail subscription link for this blog as soon as I get around to it :-)
Mon, 02 May 2005 15:50:31 GMT
Blogger.com 404
I can't login to Blogger.com today. It no longer recognizes my username. I noticed many others are abandoning Blogger.com. Is this the end?
Mon, 02 May 2005 15:11:52 GMT
100 Plucks
Today, I noticed that I surpased 100 pluck subscribers to my FeedBurner feed. Pulling all my stats together (from both feeds FeedBurner and direct), I have 110 pluck subscribers and 68 Bloglines subscribes. I believe this is the first week that Bloglines was not my top subscribing agent. Congrats to the Pluck team, who've obviously put on a big push this last week.
Mon, 02 May 2005 04:28:17 GMT

Today, I took a look at the blogSpirit hosted blogging platform. This one was also very good. The customization framework is extremely easy to use and flexible. Other than the lacking blogging API support, everything seems to be here. At first glance, blogSpirit is second only to MyBlogSite as a free hosted blogging platform.

My blogSpirit blog.

Sun, 01 May 2005 14:16:31 GMT
MacManus joins the RSS Ads Debate

Richard MacManus: Which is better: an excerpted RSS feed (where you have to click through to read the whole post), or a full-text RSS feed with some ads? Personally I'd prefer the latter.

Randy: Or a full-text RSS feed with no ads? Like mine. That said, I don't mind partial-text or ad supported RSS feeds. My world is open to all types of feeds (even Atom 0.3).

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