The RSS Blog
RSS, OPML and the XML platform.
Copyright 2003-5 Randy Charles Morin
The RSS Blog
Mon, 31 Oct 2005 15:02:22 GMT
OPML Validation

Sam Ruby has introduced OPML validation into his FeedValidator. As usually, he's created a set of contrived samples to show the difference between the three validators; Dave's OPML Validator, my Really Simple Validator and the FeedValidator. The varying results concern me. The Really Simple Validator validates against the spec, as written. The other two validators validate part against the spec, part against Dave's guidelines and part against something unknown to me. The concern? The guidelines seem to introduce new constraints to the grammar and validating against an unknown seems wrong. Is this OPML 1.1 or 1.2 and where's the spec?

Mon, 31 Oct 2005 02:06:45 GMT
Scoble needs a mirror!

Scoble's been pissing all over RSS usability and Wordpress' RSS feed. If you read Scoble's rant and know something about RSS, then it's pretty easy to realize that Scoble is simply confused.

First, he complains about Molly Holzschalg's blog not having an obvious mechanism for subscription. Looking at Molly blog, she has autodiscovery. That's all you need. Any RSS tool should be able to figure out her RSS feed from any page on her blog. If the tool can't, then the tool is broken (ex. IE). I'd prefer that she provide a Subscribe chicklet or even a RSS chicklet or even an array of chicklets and surely she should also have a (What is this?) link. But, she's got a Subscribe link and a simple search of her Webpage would (for subscribe or RSS) reveals it (Ctrl+F in both IE and Firefox). By the way, try search for RSS or subscribe on Scoble's blog. NADA! And What is this? NADA! MHO, it's easier to subscribe to Molly's blog than Scoble's. Scoble needs a mirror!

Second, he complains that his Wordpress RSS feed is funky. I'm not sure he understands what this funky stuff is about. Funky means you are using a non-RSS element, in place of an equivalent RSS element.  Scoble seems to think that using a CDATA is somehow confusing and funky. Using a CDATA is one of two ways to XML encode your HTML within the content of an element. His old feed would escape the HTML, which is no better than CDATA. Those are two methods of accomplishing the same goal. In fact, CDATA is slightly superior because it makes the feed easier to read (by humans).

Next, Scoble makes a leap and says Matt is favoring Atom over RSS. I'm not the greatest fan of Atom, but on this point, he's simply wrong. I think he's spent too much time listening to Dave Winer.

Sun, 30 Oct 2005 19:28:06 GMT
What Is Atom?

Ben Hammersley: On August 23, 2005 the Atom Syndication Format became a proposed standard at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), after it was submitted by the AtomPub Working Group.

Sun, 30 Oct 2005 15:49:17 GMT
Sphere: Intriguing But No Wow Factor

Mark Evans: My first impression is it has a long way to go before it can seriously go after the established players.

Randy: I had a similar impression, Sphere didn't seem to be producing nearly the same quality of results as IceRocket and others.

Sun, 30 Oct 2005 15:04:10 GMT
Space not available

Have you noticed that a lot of MSN Spaces bloggers are blogging the same thing? ;-)

Space not available
This space is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Sun, 30 Oct 2005 01:19:20 GMT
Google Reader Reading Style and Subscription Chicklet

James Huff: My main complaint with Google Reader is that it prefers to organize new posts by date or “relevance” and not by feed.

Randy: To read by feed, click on Your Subscriptions, then click on the feed and it’ll show you all the items for that feed. Click Show read items visible to see items you’ve already read. It seems a little buggy, but it works for your style of reading.

James Huff: Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an easy subscription button for Google Reader that matched the style of the rest of my easy subscription buttons, so I whipped this one up a few nights ago. Feel free to use it on your blog too.

Randy: Chris Nolan created some chicklets, which I’m using for the chicklet generator. Thanks Chris!

Sat, 29 Oct 2005 00:30:22 GMT
GreatNews Beta build 342

GreatNews blog: A new version of GreatNews is out with a long list of updates!

Fri, 28 Oct 2005 22:39:22 GMT
OPML Validator Beta

Dave just released his OPML validator.

Fri, 28 Oct 2005 20:36:16 GMT
Video Podcast about Video Podcasting

The Washington Post has a video podcast about video podcasting.

Fri, 28 Oct 2005 15:48:22 GMT
A new Google Reader release

Google Reader Blog: Earlier this week we pushed out a new release of Reader. Most of the changes are under the hood and should make for a faster, smoother experience. However, there were a few user interface tweaks too. My favorite is support for the space keyboard shortcut.

Randy: What? My favorite Web-based RSS reader is even better? Love the spacebar shortcut. Bye-bye j.

Update: After a few moments of use, I realize I like the j keyboard shortcut better than the spacebar.

Fri, 28 Oct 2005 14:34:24 GMT didn't scale either :-(
It would seem that has joined Technorati, Feedster, BlogPulse, etc. in the Web 2.0 applications that don't scale very well. Posting new links to seems to fail for me more times than it succeeds.
Fri, 28 Oct 2005 14:26:55 GMT
Another GreatNews Fan!

One thing I don't mention enough is how awesome the appropriately named GreatNews RSS reader is. They have a new fan today.

Mark Berthelemy: I've found the best of both worlds; an offline RSS reader that sychronizes with Bloglines. It's called "GreatNews". It's a tiny download, fires up immediately, and has all the features of RSS Bandit that I used, but more (for example, instead of fixed "flags" to put against items, I can create user-defined "labels" to pull things together into groups that I want to come back to. And an item can have more than one label. Ideal for bringing stuff together for a research project.

Thu, 27 Oct 2005 22:20:43 GMT
Icerocket is experimenting with ads in their feeds

Chris Nolan: I checked with Blake Rhodes and he says they are just running some tests. [cut] For me, I don't like them of course.

Randy: I like them! I hate free services. I like to know people are making some money. If they don't make money, then you can count on the free-bee ending eventually.

Thu, 27 Oct 2005 14:29:13 GMT
The Ups & Downs of a Successful Service

Ben Trott: This has been a bad month for TypePad's performance and general availability, and I'd like to talk about a number of the issues we've faced, how frustrated they make us, and what we're doing about them.

Randy: One of the TypePad folk also dropped by The RSS Blog to tell us that you can always get an update on the TypePad status here.

Wed, 26 Oct 2005 19:37:58 GMT
Don't Blame Typepad
As many may have notice, Typepad is experiencing some bad days. Many Typepad bloggers are getting frustrated and some are getting angry at Six Apart. Truth is, it's not their fault. You see Blogger had the same problem last year. At first, I didn't see the commonality, but today I finally put it all together. You see, for years Mark Pincus blogged on Performance got worse and worse with every month. Then, Mark got frustrated with Blogger and jumped over to Typepad. Since then, Blogger has been getting better and Typepad has been getting worse. You see, it's not Six Apart's fault. It's Mark's fault.
Wed, 26 Oct 2005 11:54:14 GMT
My Yahoo circulation dropped to 1

FeedBurner: If your overall feed circulation has dropped considerably in the past three days, it is likely that a big part of the drop is due to an interruption of subscriber reporting from My Yahoo. [cut] Please note that FeedBurner feeds are still completely accessible and viewable in My Yahoo. [cut] Our understanding is that this is just a bug on the Yahoo side and it will be fixed in the next couple of weeks.

Tue, 25 Oct 2005 20:39:04 GMT

Chris Nolan: Eh List collects rankings and statistics about your blog from around the web and gives you daily updates. [cut] You can then subscribe to the feed and have the information in your feedreader/inbox daily.

Tue, 25 Oct 2005 18:37:25 GMT
Typepad Struggling

The Newest Industry: The TypePad application is currently experiencing performance degradation.

Tue, 25 Oct 2005 18:29:46 GMT
Wordpress OPML

Cori Schlegel has written a Wordpress template that outputs your latest blog entires into categorized OPML. You can view it with the OPML Surfer.

Tue, 25 Oct 2005 17:49:13 GMT Changes Search

Fred Wilson: Delicious released some new features last night and one of them was a more prominent "search" field throughout the service.

Randy: This was actually very confusing for me. I expected to get results filtered with the tag I entered and was surprised to find the search was filtering on the title and description text. I guess would be limiting itself if it remained solely a folksonomy company, but this change makes less appealing. I guess I could type tag:rss instead of just rss, but do I really want to?

Mon, 24 Oct 2005 15:02:20 GMT
Automatic OPML feed

Steve Lacey cooked up an index template for Movable Type that organizes your blog entries by their categories. Sample OPML.

James Corbett used a similar template for Typepad to expose his blog entries via OPML. Sample OPML.

Both OPML work with the OPML surfer.

Mon, 24 Oct 2005 11:20:30 GMT

It was inevitable.

Sat, 22 Oct 2005 21:38:43 GMT
Why Just GET and POST?

mnot: The trivial answer is that HTML only talks about GET and POST.

Randy: And that's the only answer. One day, a committee made a decision. Don't speculate otherwise. Simply lookup the members who made that decision and ask them why?

Sat, 22 Oct 2005 17:17:20 GMT
Google Reader Screencast

If you haven't used Google Reader and want a quick introduction, then Andy Wibbels has create a great introductory screencast for Google Reader.

Sat, 22 Oct 2005 15:19:46 GMT
Final Thoughts on Google Reader!

My final thought on Google Reader is pretty straight forward; I'm uninstalling Juice, my personal news reader and I'm making Google Reader my primary reader.


Sat, 22 Oct 2005 13:40:08 GMT
Any Feed to RSS with Google Reader

Google Reader can be used to convert any feed to Atom 1.0. Check out The RSS Blog in Atom 1.0.

Phil Wilson: Just use followed by the URL of your own feed.

Fri, 21 Oct 2005 21:35:43 GMT
Google Reader is Awesome!

OK, I'm giving Google Reader a second chance and I'm loving it! They've fixed my previous issues with sorting of items and it's now very pleasing to use.


Update: It broke again, it's now giving me the items out of sequence again. If this thing sorted by date, then I might abandon all other news reader. Maybe not all of them :-) 

Fri, 21 Oct 2005 21:22:27 GMT
The Official Google Reader Blog

I had almost forgotten about Google Reader, when I found a referrer link from The Official Google Reader Blog. Very cool! The blog features The RSS Blog in their blogroll. I'll have to take another look to see if Google Reader has improved. It was quite buggy on my first experience, but I could see the potential.

Fri, 21 Oct 2005 16:48:16 GMT
Chris Nolan Review Flock

Chris Nolan: The Flock developer preview is out. You don't need the secret password to download it, just go check it out. Have they replaced Firefox with this preview? I'm not convinced yet. [Click here to read the rest of the review]

Thu, 20 Oct 2005 21:20:16 GMT
Typepad 410 Gone

Typepad and all associated blogs seem to have disappeared from the Web. I assume it was recently purchased by Bell Canada. Typepad is usually 100% reliable. Thanks Aimee!

Update: It was back before I completed the blog entry.

Thu, 20 Oct 2005 15:59:41 GMT
Web Blog Search Grid

Wouldn't it be fun to just create a grid of search features and search engines and rank the engines either good, bad or none (not present) on each feature?

Category Google MSN Yahoo IceRocket Technorati Ask Jeeves Feedster
Web search good good good good none good none
Web search RSS none good good good none none none
Blog search good none good good good bad good
Blog search RSS good none good good good none good
Tag search none none good good good none none
Tag search RSS none none good good good none none
Link search good bad good good good good bad
Link search RSS good bad good good good none bad
News search good good good good none good none
News search RSS good good good good none none none
Image search good good good bad none good none
Image search RSS none none good none none none none
Score 16 12 24 21 12 9 6

If you think I'm wrong on any point, then feel free to comment. Am I missing anybody? I didn't include BlogPulse, PubSub, Blogdigger because all three seem to be experiencing brokenness these days.

Notes: I included Bloglines as part of AskJeeves. Bad usually means, it's there, but it doesn't really work. Yahoo! actually had multiple offerings in many areas like (Flickr and Yahoo! search both having image and tag searching).

Thu, 20 Oct 2005 14:52:53 GMT
Novel use of RSS

Who'd a thunk it. You can now read entire novels over RSS, thanks to Charles of Surfarama. Simply subscribe to this feed and you'll be delivered Cory's new book "Someone comes to Town, Someone leaves Town", one chapter at a time for the next few weeks.

Wed, 19 Oct 2005 18:42:17 GMT
SplogSpot API

I integrated KBCafe profiles with SplogSpots API and now report splogs accordingly.

Wed, 19 Oct 2005 15:50:02 GMT
7 reasons 2006 will be big for OPML

Alex Barnett: So why do I think 2006 is going to be a big year for OPML? Seven reasons I can think of:

  1. OPML will ride the RSS slipstream
  2. Developers familiar with RSS will 'get' OPML in a snap.
  3. RSS is getting to the point of ubiquity.
  4. It looks like 2006 will be a healthy environment for start-up and internal project funding.
  5. There are two sides to the OPML coin: consumption and publishing.
  6. There are some really useful scenarios that could be enabled by OPML.
  7. OPML is cool, is simple and it works :-)

Randy: I think this will all depend on momentum. Back in 2003-4, people kept finding new ways of using RSS; weather, news, search results. Will the sample happen to OPML? It already is, maintains it's list of RSS feeds in an OPML hierarchy. enables subscription to its aggregated services thru an OPML file. More and more aggregators are announcing import and export of RSS reading lists in OPML format.

Wed, 19 Oct 2005 09:00:49 GMT
Recently updated splogs

Splogspot has added a recently submitted splogs page and has RSS support. Now you can read all the splog from the safety of your RSS reader and no longer have to subject yourself to blogosphere search engines to get your splog fix. You can submit splog here.

Wed, 19 Oct 2005 08:15:01 GMT
You'll note that I have a new sponsor (see the ad below the title banner). Actually, I gave away the space for a nominal amount ($1/wk) to help them out. I was getting tired of the space sitting empty. Don't worry, I'm not paid per click, so don't be afraid to go visit them. It's a new forum for webloggers.
Tue, 18 Oct 2005 20:05:57 GMT
Blogger Responds to the Splogosphere

Jason Goldman: Just as a first step, we're publishing a list of deleted subdomains that were created this weekend during the spamalanche.

Randy: The published lists of deleted subdomains is a great idea. If this were ongoing and there was participation from all the major blog hosts, then search engines could quickly clean up their databases when new splogs are detected. Maybe we need a like for sharing new uncovered splogs.

Tue, 18 Oct 2005 18:08:17 GMT

SingleSub is an set of services for HTML coders to provide new ways for blog readers to subscribe to blogs and other RSS-enabled content. They have an amazing OPML listing of many of the more popular URL-based subscription services. They also have a chicklet generator. The project is open source.

Tue, 18 Oct 2005 16:54:26 GMT
Weblog Usability: Ten Design Mistakes

Jakob Nielsen: Test your weblog against the following usability problems.

  1. No Author Biographies
  2. No Author Photo
  3. Nondescript Posting Titles
  4. Links Don't Say Where They Go
  5. Classic Hits are Buried
  6. The Calendar is the Only Navigation
  7. Irregular Publishing Frequency
  8. Mixing Topics
  9. Forgetting That You Write for Your Future Boss
  10. Having a Domain Name Owned by a Weblog Service

Randy: These are actually much better than the usual top ten mistakes made by bloggers. I'm gonna work on #1, 2 and 5.

Tue, 18 Oct 2005 16:22:12 GMT
State of the Splogosphere

The topic of the day, is Blogspot splogs. I gotta admit, my own RSS reader is giving me more SPAM than anything these days. Many in the blogosphere have pointed the finger at Google and want Blogspot taken down until they can fix the splog program. This is very short-sighted. You see, if Blogspot wasn't hosting these splogs, then somebody else would be. The reason sploggers have chosen Blogspot, is that it's a very popular blogging platform that supports an API. If not Blogspot, then sploggers would host on 21publish or Blogspirit or Blogware or Wordpress. Turning off Blogspot, might quell the splogs in the short-term, but the long-term plan has to involve the blogosphere search engines figuring out what is worth indexing and what is not. When the blogosphere search engines point their fingers at Blogspot, then they are simply playing a blame game. How hard would it be for the search engines to detect these splogs. Not very. It could be automated quite easily. If every blog entry contains the exact sample content pattern "(<b>(any*)</b><br/>(any*)<br/>)*, then you can be 99% sure it's blog SPAM.

At this point, I'm getting pretty tired of the lame blogosphere search engines. I really wish somebody would create one that actually worked. Beyond the constant easily detected SPAM that escapes them and the finger pointing that follows, none of the blogosphere search engines are all that good at capturing the blogosphere conversation and an HTTP 500 error isn't exactly out of the ordinary. Enough complaining, here's my report on the state of the blogosphere.

Blogging Software

This stuff generally works.

Blogosphere Search Engines

This stuff generally doesn't work.


Bloglines is the best blogosophere search engine at capturing link data, but is absolutely horrible at capturing entries via keyword search and is down a good fraction of the time. The positive is that it's the only blogosphere search engine that report more than 50% of my inbound links. The negative is that the most common response from Bloglines is "There is a problem with the database. Please try again later" and the keyword search is simply broken. Try this, do a keyword search on Bloglines and make certain to sort by date. Now, scroll thru the entrie with attention on the dates. Note, they are not sorted by date. Further, the blog matches on common keywords overwhelm the results, making it a chore to page thru to the entry matches. Where's the RSS?


Technorati works for brief periods of time, but is broken more often than not. I don't know how many bugs I've filed with them and most remain unfixed. Recently, I noticed all my blogs stopped showing up in Technorati altogether. When I checked my profile, all the records of my blogs had been corrupted and I had to reclaim them all. Not the first time. When Technorati tag or keyword search are working, they are clearly the best, but unfortunately they work infrequently.


Feedster's keyword search is the best, but their link search is useless and their UI is broken. In my keyword testing, Feedster found 80% of entries, where no other engine found more than 20%. On the downside, their link search is broken and generally fails to find any new links. The worst part of Feedster is their horrible broken UI. For instance, I just did a keyword search on 'kbcafe' and they report 153 results, Page 1 of 11, but no results actually appear on the first page. You have to page to the second page to get the first three results (not even 10). As I page thru the results, each page contains a random amount of entries between 0 and 7. Not to mention, the javascript errors are really annoying.


IceRocket is the pleasant surprise in the bunch. IceRocket is one of two search engines that almost always responds in less than one second (the other is Google). In fact, all the other search engines often respond in ten second or more. I find myself using IceRocket more and more, simply because I know I won't be frustrated and they consistantly report good results. That said, they are tracking much less than 50% of the blogosphere, which means you still have to compliment it with other search engines to find the majority of the results you are looking for. I think IceRocket's biggest problem is that not enough blog hosts are setup to ping IceRocket by default.

Google Blog Search

Google is the little brother that could grow up and become that blogosphere search engine that I always wanted. I can see the promise, but it's still not there yet. Like IceRocket, it responds fast, but tracks much less than 50% of the blogosphere.

Blogpulse, Blogdigger, PubSub

These blog search engines generally don't work. They fail to capture 80% of the data and report more bad data than good.

Mon, 17 Oct 2005 11:51:14 GMT
State of the Blogosphere

David Sifry: It is that time of the year again, and I've got some new information on the continued growth of the blogosphere. I made this presentation as part of my 10 minute talk at Web 2.0 on October 6, 2005.

Randy: I think the state of the blogosphere can be summarized as "Technorati is now tracking 19.6 Million weblogs" and Blogspot has 18 blogs alone. Two causes. Blogosphere search engines like Technorati are tracking less than 50% of the conversation (excluding blog SPAM). The blogosphere (in particular Blogspot) is full of splogs.

Sun, 16 Oct 2005 20:53:31 GMT
Fight Splog!

A new Website to fight splog. They have a blog. Subscribed.


Sun, 16 Oct 2005 15:41:33 GMT
Google: Kill Blogspot Already!!!

Chris Pirillo: In the past few days, I've been inundated with an enormous amount of subscribed search spam for designated keywords. 99% of the crap coming in is directly from a single domain:

Randy: Confirmed! I get much of the same. At one point, it looked like Google was shutting down the Blogspot SPAM and even shutting down Adsense on splogs. This seems to have stopped. I don't think Google needs to shutdown, but surely they need to devise a strategy to stop the splogs.


Sun, 16 Oct 2005 14:42:31 GMT
How Weblogs Inc Games The System

Nathan Weinberg: You know those posts Weblogs Inc feeds us about once a week, the ones that tell us “The Best Of Weblogs Inc”? They’re all gaming Technorati. [cut] Since these posts are replicated across all of Weblogs properties, getting seven links in the post can translate to well over a hundred links in just one day. This is something all the blog search engines need to work around, or that Weblogs needs to stop doing until they do.

Philipp Lenssen: By the way, both the Weblogs inc Luxist Estates blog, the Autoblog, the TV Squad, HD Beat, as well as the Card Squad blog, have managed to sneak into the Blogpulse top blog posts list (sometimes, with multiple posts) for today:

Randy: I wouldn't consider this gaming the system at all. You see, Weblogsinc has a legitmate reason for posting these self referential links. Rather, I'd blame the search engines for simply reporting bad data. It's not like nobody reads Weblogsinc blogs. It's not like Weblogsinc blogs are splogs (SPAM blogs). They are simply good at self promotion. That self promotion is a reason I gave for unsubbing from some of their blogs and I'm sure others have done the same.

Sun, 16 Oct 2005 13:57:01 GMT
How to Create those link posts

Tech.Life.Blogged: I created an RSS feed on a server. There isn't anything in it so it doesn't change. [cut] Next, I created a Feedburner feed for that RSS file and used their Link Splicer tool to include a daily summary of my account. Then I used R|Mail to subscribe to the feed and have it sent to my GMail account where I have a filter to send it to Bloggers mail in tool.

Randy: This might be too difficult for the mundane user. What we need is for FeedBurner to directly post the links onto your blog using MetaWeblogApi and later Atom.

Sat, 15 Oct 2005 02:53:42 GMT
Intelliseek, AOL in Blog Content Deal

Steve Rubel: AOL and Intelliseek on Monday plan to unveil a blog content deal. Sue MacDonald at Intelliseek confirmed that the deal - set to be announced Monday at 7:30 a.m. - will give AOL access to rich blog data that they will deliver to consumers.

Randy: The Web 2.0 bubble continues to heat up. I'm still holding out for $1B.

Fri, 14 Oct 2005 23:51:12 GMT
Chris Nolan is having PubSub Issues too!

Chris Nolan: I've noticed that PubSub hasn't been crawling me in a while for some reason.

Randy: I'm experiencing the same problem, but not as bad as Chris. I haven't been index in one week, Chris hasn't in two weeks. I use FeedBurner's PingShot with all my feeds and I have a few of them that get regular posts. Maybe PubSub is trying to help me with my bandwidth problems ;-) Further, I now get a litter of PHP warnings whenever I access any page on PubSub :-( 

Fri, 14 Oct 2005 16:57:55 GMT
FeedBurner does Yahoo! Podcast

Jon Hughes: The recent announcement of Yahoo! Podcasts has led to a number of podcasters asking us how we help them get listed in the Yahoo! podcasts directory and whether we're going to support one-click subscriptions. The answers are yes and yes, in no particular order.  [cut] FeedBurner now supports the "pcast" one-click subscribe method for iTunes and Yahoo! Music Engine. Just ensure that your podcast uses the "Browser-Friendly" service with the "podcast" theme, and you'll be all set.

Randy: FeedBurner makes podcasting simple for the mundane users. They are driving us techies to the employment center.

Fri, 14 Oct 2005 15:10:58 GMT
PubSub LinkRank?

Today, my domain's PubSub LinkRank is 55. On Monday, it was 24,058. My InLinks have increased a bit, but not substantially. Makes me wonder how they calculate this thing. Is there a random number generator in there? The jump placed me on their top 100 sites and 10th biggest rank gain on the day. I imagine on Tuesday, I must have been one of the top 2-3 gainers, but I didn't check. I also notice that RTGconsultants is ranked #88 with exactly 1 inbound link. Yep, it's a random number generator. Yellow Rat is #91 with exactly 1 inbound link. ipressroom is #19 with 3 inbound links. AlCantHang is #5 with 16 inbound links. Sounds like LinkRanks is broken again!

Fri, 14 Oct 2005 04:30:47 GMT
Good RSS
Dave tells us that both Apple and Yahoo have movie trailer RSS feeds. But, as he points out, Apple's <item/link> points to the homepage, not the trailer and Yahoo's feed isn't even well-formed XML. Further, neither feed supports <enclosure>s, in fact, Apple's uses RSS version 0.91. Yuck! Not subscribed. Not subscribed. It's amazing how the little guys are doing it right and the big guys can't.
Thu, 13 Oct 2005 21:29:47 GMT
Adsense Earnings in RSS

Ozh: This is such a simple idea that it must have been done before, but I just couldn’t find any PHP script doing this : create an RSS feed from your daily Adsense earnings, so that you can easily track them in your regular feed reader. So well, here is mine : Adsense Earnings RSS Feed.


Thu, 13 Oct 2005 20:35:41 GMT
Automatic Unsubscribe

Nick Bradbury: This setting - which is available on the "Advanced" tab of each feed's properties (Edit|Feed Properties) - enables automatically removing a feed if it hasn't had any new posts within a specific number of days.

Randy: Very cool! Nick's always pushing the RSS aggregators to the next level. Everybody else will have this feature in a year or two.

Thu, 13 Oct 2005 18:40:26 GMT
Experimenting with Ads
I'm doing a little experimenting with ads on The RSS Blog. Hope yall don't mind. I get a lot of on-topic traffic on The RSS Blog and that made it a perfect test bed for Adbrite.
Thu, 13 Oct 2005 17:35:51 GMT
Dave Winer on NerdTV

I'm currently downloading it for later viewing pleasure.

Update: Weird, Media Player won't play it. Why would you produce an MPx that doesn't work out-of-box in Media Player? I guess not many people will be watching this one.

Thu, 13 Oct 2005 16:31:04 GMT
Memeorandum is Changing the Web

TechCrunch: Memeorandum finds blog posts, newspaper articles and press releases that are being heavily linked to in near real time and puts them up on the site. The position and size of the headline is indicative of its importance (determined by number of links and other factors, such as how much people are writing about the linked content). The higher up and bigger the headline, the more important it is. And linking sites, the conversation, are clustered underneath the headline. This means you can find out in near real time what is important in technology (or politics), how important it is, and who’s talking about it. If you then post on the subject, you will be linked into the discussion as well.

Randy: There's one big downfall to Memeorandum. We all seem to be discussing the same subjects now. We find them on Memeorandum and blog them. This is shortening the long-tail.

Thu, 13 Oct 2005 15:57:02 GMT
Bloglines Adds a Small Tweak

Steve Rubel: Bloglines has added some nice keyboard shortcuts that streamline RSS reading.

Thu, 13 Oct 2005 02:06:05 GMT
Atom 1.0 XSD (first draft)

I just finished a first draft of my Atom 1.0 XSD. This is a strict version. I'm also working on a lax version.

Wed, 12 Oct 2005 23:47:09 GMT
Atom Protocol Draft 05

A new draft version of the Atom Publishing Protocol. I'd almost forgotten about Atom. I haven't seen many Atom 1.0 feeds. Dave Walker's is the only one I've stumbled across. I've got to find some time to work on a Atom 1.0 XSD.

Wed, 12 Oct 2005 16:33:19 GMT
Dropping MSN Alerts

About a year ago, I added MessageCast chicklets to the right sidebar of The RSS Blog and iBLOGthere4iM. Since, then MessageCast was purchased by Microsoft. In the six months since, I've had to twice change the code on my pages at Microsoft's request. The emails I receive from Microsoft are no less than cryptic. I couldn't image a mundane user being able to handle their instructions. Why they can't simply redirect the existing clicks to their new pages can only be explained as stupidity? Further, when they send the alerts via email, they stick my email address in the From field. This results in about one email per week from someone trying to unsubscribe or a friendly "I'm on vacation message". Very annoying. Next time I update my blog template, MSN alerts will be gone. Sorry! :-( 

Tue, 11 Oct 2005 21:10:08 GMT
FeedDemon 1.6 RC 1

Nick Bradbury: FeedDemon 1.6 RC1 is out, and it contains a lot of additions, changes and fixes.

Randy: Great to see Nick pumping out great stuff again!

Tue, 11 Oct 2005 20:08:41 GMT
NewsGator Joins with FeedBurner

PR: The partnership with FeedBurner enhances NewsGator’s Private Label solution with new capabilities that provide online publishers and media companies the ability to closely measure performance, and monetize content delivered through NewsGator’s Private Label solution.

Randy: This kinda sounds like NewsGator has integrated the FeedBurner APIs into their private label offering.

Tue, 11 Oct 2005 15:38:58 GMT
Google does Tagging

Nathan Weinberg: Google has silently added a Bookmarks feature to My Search History, enabling you to quickly tag and comment any web page you’ve visited.

Tue, 11 Oct 2005 06:53:00 GMT
Bookmarklets Every Blogger Should Have

Steve Rubel: Here's a bunch of bookmarklets that I use every day in Firefox.

Tue, 11 Oct 2005 06:51:18 GMT
Attensa for Firefox

PR: The newest version of the Attensa RSS reader for Outlook includes a Firefox toolbar that makes it easy to find, preview and subscribe to RSS newsfeeds from any Web page or blog offering RSS feeds.

Tue, 11 Oct 2005 06:42:49 GMT
Wordpress Blog

Three day ago, I got my Golden Ticket. Here's my blog. I have one invite. Anybody?

Tue, 11 Oct 2005 06:29:05 GMT
Yahoo Blog This Toolbar

Yahoo! 360 Team: One other new feature that you might find interesting is the Blog This and Blast This buttons on the Yahoo! Toolbar. With one click, you can blog about the web page you're at or add that link to your blast. ’Download the Y! toolbar, if you don’t already have it.. Once you have it, go to Add/Edit Buttons  and select the Yahoo! 360° button in the Connect with Others section.

Tue, 11 Oct 2005 03:56:29 GMT
Yahoo! Blog Search

Yahoo blog search Yahoo! Search blog: Today we've begun the integration of blogs in Yahoo! News Search. Now when you search on Yahoo! News you will see blog results as well.

click the photo thumbnail to enlarge

Randy: Yahoo! displays the blog search results in the right sidebar of the News search results. If you click on More Blog results, you'll get the blog search results full screen. At the bottom of the right sidebar, you'll find an RSS feed that is currently inaccessible.

There's no blog search form, but you can use mine below.

Mon, 10 Oct 2005 11:02:30 GMT
VeriSign to acquire Moreover

Tom Foremski: VeriSign is about to announce it acquired Moreover Technologies, the San Francisco based news aggregator. The acquisition price is around $25m according to SVW sources.

Randy: The acquisition of is starting to make more sense. They can now use the data from to turn Moreover into an Internet version of Reuters.

Mon, 10 Oct 2005 10:35:45 GMT
Yahoo! Podcast

Yahoo! just released a podcast search engine. It looks very similar to Odeo.

Sun, 09 Oct 2005 17:38:30 GMT
Google in the Chicklet Generator

RSS Blog reader: Why you didn't have google reader and feedster links in the chicklet generator?

Randy: The Google Reader is not there because it was recently released and I haven't taken the time to update the chicklet generator. I removed My Feedster awhile back because it was too rarely clicked and I wanted to limit the size of the widget. There's also a half dozen other chicklets that I've added and removed over the years to limit the size of the widget.

Sun, 09 Oct 2005 14:40:40 GMT
Blog Count? 100M

Om Malik: Blogs are big. There are 19 million blogs.

Randy: No there isn't. There's over 100 million. It's bigger than you think.

Sun, 09 Oct 2005 03:22:26 GMT Sold, Ping Outlook Bleak

Photo Matt: The state of the ping community is fairly bleak What do we need to keep a BigCo from exploiting this space? A free, open, non-profit, and stable alternative supported by a consortium of organizations who understand that value should be built on top of pings, not in front of them.

Randy: Matt is just plain wrong. Sometimes, you have to realize that a small or not-for-profit company does not have the resources to make stuff like this happen and a BigCo becomes a necessity. This is a perfect case in point. has been a great blogosphere resource and without it the blogosphere wouldn't exist. But, it's no longer moving forward because it needs financing. Thanks Verisign and thank you Dave for the first 10 years.

Sat, 08 Oct 2005 20:13:47 GMT
The orange icon...

MSFT Team RSS Blog: The choice of what icon to use is challenging because it should be universally symbolic, but today there is no single icon for that represents feed.  Instead there’s a variety of mostly orange rectangles with the words “XML”, “RSS”, “ATOM”, “FEED”, or “Subscribe.”

Randy: Microsoft is looking for help to determine what icon they should use in IE7 to represent a feed (RSS or Atom). The icons they are considering are all images. I'm partial to something readable, like Subscribe.

Sat, 08 Oct 2005 14:40:26 GMT
Instructions for enabling Blogger Trackbacks

Amit Agarwal: Here's a short tutorial on how to enable trackbacks in Blogger.

Sat, 08 Oct 2005 05:49:10 GMT
Google gives us Scripting in Atom
Fly pig fly!
Sat, 08 Oct 2005 01:35:07 GMT
Backlinks for Blogger

Blogger Buzz: By turning on Backlinks, we include a "Links to this post" section on your post pages. This section is populated by links to that post that have been made from other blogs across the web.

Randy: I'm wondering how they'll handle blacklink SPAM?

Sat, 08 Oct 2005 01:22:49 GMT
Pirillo Re-enabled Anonymous Comments

Chris Pirillo disabled anonymous comments in early July. At some point, he re-enabled them. I guess I'll be visiting his blog more. When I posted about this, I mentioned that I'd be turning trackback back on to see if any got thru. I think a couple did, but not enough and I turned it back off.

Around the same time Scoble was talking about a new killer app that would replace comments. That turned out to be Memeorandum. Memeorandum has had a changing affect on the blogosphere, but it doesn't replace comments. Mostly Memerandum has ensured that everybody is blogging about the same 3-4 subjects everyday.

Fri, 07 Oct 2005 21:04:37 GMT

About: With FeedDigest, mix, filter and republish or syndicate feeds to HTML, JavaScript, WAP or PHP, or to a new feed.

Fri, 07 Oct 2005 18:14:08 GMT
Google Reader

Google has officially joined the Web based RSS aggregator business. It's called Google Reader. The UI is very pleasing.

Experience: I started by search for my iBLOGthere4iM blog. I found a lot of blogs referring to it, but couldn't immediately find my blog. I then tried to import a small OPML file. It hung reporting "Your subscriptions are being imported..." After awhile, I got bored as it was completely non-functional. I exited the browser, got back in and upload the big OPML file. Same results. I can't seem to get past first base. Definately BETA.

Read the announcement on the Official Google Blog.

More Experience: Once it stableized, I found Google Reader amazing. The UI is very cool! The problem is it just doesn't work. Constantly hangs up and it's showing me crap from 1932. It'll take Google a month or two to get rid of these usability bugs (remember Gmail?) and then Bloglines is in big trouble.

Problem: OK, here's the biggest problem. I set it to sort by date and the top item is from April? I start scanning thru and the items are definately not ordered by date, it's all over the place. If they fixed this, then this would be usable.

Fri, 07 Oct 2005 18:09:46 GMT
It's about Finding New Links, Part VII

This week, I was testing blog keyword searching on Technorati, IceRocket, Google, BlogPulse, Blogdigger and Feedster. This is part of a series of blog entries about finding new links using the various blog search tools.

Here's the final standings, based on 5 valid results for a search on the keyword "KBCafe".

  1. Feedster (4 found of 5)
  2. IceRocket (2)
  3. Technorati (2)
  4. Google (1)
  5. BlogPulse (0)
  6. Blogdigger (0)
Fri, 07 Oct 2005 16:31:10 GMT
Publisher's Guide to RSS

Yahoo: This Publisher's Guide will show you how to easily distribute your content on Yahoo!

Randy: Very comprehensive guide to RSS and Yahoo! Information on submitting, promoting, tracking, monetizing and more. And check out the stats in this White Paper.

Fri, 07 Oct 2005 02:03:16 GMT
AdsOnBlogs - Blog Search 500

AdsOnBlogs: We have now analysed aggregrated September search data from Wordtracker and Overture/Yahoo for the entire Feedster 500.

Fri, 07 Oct 2005 01:56:11 GMT Sale Official

Heard on the Chris Pirillo Show that Verisign confirmed the rumour. Memeorandum.

Michael Graves: Word is out, and it’s true: VeriSign has acquired the assets of Dave Winer’s Memeorandum.

Dave Winer confirms.

Thu, 06 Oct 2005 18:54:39 GMT sold to Verisign?

Jason Kottke: The latest report is that Dave Winer has sold to Verisign (~$5 million is the figure being bandied about).

Randy: Is this acquisition week? If true, congrats to Dave. I assume he's doing this to get some help building out Oh, and the money doesn't hurt. I'm still accepting bids for I'll come down from my original asking price of $1B. How about $999M? ... Anybody? ... Hello? ... Is this on?

Thu, 06 Oct 2005 18:39:09 GMT
Yes, it’s true.

Aimee informs us that Jason has confirmed.

Jason Calacanis: I’m in a conference room at AOL right now running down a list of 15-20 press calls with Jim Bankoff…  exciting news.

Randy: This is really exciting. A blog authoring company can be sold for $25 million. That's a valuation measuring stick that can now be used to value other blog authoring companies.

Thu, 06 Oct 2005 14:36:04 GMT
Darren Confirms Weblogsinc Sale to AOL

Darren Rowse: I’ve just been forwarded an email which was sent from Weblogs Inc Co-Founder Brian Alvey to Weblogs Inc’s bloggers. It was sent to me by WIN blogger who wants to remain nameless.

Reuters: America Online Inc. has agreed to buy Weblogs Inc., a network of Internet sites focused on niche topics ranging from food to gadgets, for around $25 million.

Follow the story at Memeorandum.

Thu, 06 Oct 2005 14:19:09 GMT
More Blog Search Comparisons

This is a clever way of comparing blog search engines. He didn't like the results from IceRocket because he didn't get any recent entries from them. A small correction shows that IceRocket does show recent entries linking to him, but it would seem there something is wrong with his test case (either the test or at IceRocket).

Thu, 06 Oct 2005 01:52:52 GMT
Jason Strikes Gold

The Web 2.0 acquisitions continue, Jason Calacanis's has been sold to AOL.

Randy: Big congrats to Jason and team. Is the Web 2.0 bubble inflating or what? Are we gonna have acquisitions daily till NASDAQ hits 5000? I'm still waiting for Google to buy KBCafe for $1B.

More from Search Engine Journal, Darren Rowse, Userplane.

Wed, 05 Oct 2005 01:13:57 GMT
Technorati Top 100 Toubles

Dave Winer: Never got a response from Technorati on why Scripting News isn't in the Top 100. Took another look today, and it seems we should be in the Top 10 now, just before Kottke.

Randy: I don't understand why Technorati, PubSub and Feedster have so much trouble compiling their top blogs lists. It's pretty easy. Even I have one and I doubt I'm missing a top 10 blog from my top 100.

Tue, 04 Oct 2005 20:39:55 GMT
BlogBridge named BlogOn Innovator

BlogBridge blog: BlogBridge was named BlogOn 2005 Innovator. As you may know, BlogOn 2005 is a conference organized by Chris Shipley.

Randy: Congrats to the entire BlogBridge team!

Tue, 04 Oct 2005 13:38:10 GMT
Adding KBCafe Search to your Blog

A reader asked how they could put a KBCafe search widget on their blog. Like this.

It's really simple. Here's the code.

<form action="" method="get" >
<input type="text" id="q" name="q" value=""/>
<input type="submit" value="Search the Web" />

Next week, I want to start an affiliate program with this code and allow select users to embed their Adsense client ID inside the results. If you wanna Beta test this, then drop me an email and your Adsense client ID.

Tue, 04 Oct 2005 11:55:57 GMT
Newsgator buying who? NetNewsWire?

Om Malik: Ranchero Software, the company behind Mac-a-licious RSS reader NetNewsWire. Sources in Silicon Valley tell me that this deal is pretty much done, and expect the deal to be announced sometime on Wednesday at Web 2.0. Greg Reinacker refused to comment.

Randy: More consolidation. NewsGator is definitely looking like the one stop shop for RSS readers. They now have NewsGator Online (Web aggregator), NewsGator Outlook (Outlook aggregator), FeedDemon (Windows aggregator) and NetNewsWire (Mac aggregator). That's four of the top 13 RSS readers of The RSS Blog according to FeedBurner readership stats.

Update: Rumours confirmed.

Tue, 04 Oct 2005 04:00:05 GMT
My Yahoo! RSS Adds Podcasting Support

Steve Rubel: Yahoo! has added MP3 enclosure support to the My Yahoo! feed reader.

Mon, 03 Oct 2005 21:51:53 GMT
Guide to OPML <outline> attributes
The OPML spec isn't entirely clear as to what attributes of the <outline> element are available and what they mean. This was intentional to allow the format to grow at the <outline> level. This document is an attempt to describe how people have been using the attributes in OPML applications. Let's begin by enumerating the spec'ed common attributes and where-how they are used.


type is a string, it says how the other attributes of the <outline> are interpreted.

Type and text are the two most common attributes. The type is used to describe the type of current <outline>. For instance, if the <outline> is a container of other outlines, the type attribute is most often missing. Whereas, when the OPML editor identifies a link to another Web document, the <outline> type is often set to "link". RSS readers that import and export blogrolls and reading list, often set the type to "rss". The capitalization of type attribute is not standard and is often written "RSS". I suggest OPML readers treat the type attribute as case insensitive and publishers avoid confusion by using lower-case "link" and "rss". On a rare occasion, I've seen the type set to 'atom' when the <outline> points to an external atom feed, but the convention has been to set the type to 'rss', even when the <outline> is an external atom feed.


text is the string of characters that's displayed when the outline is being browsed or edited. There is no specific limit on the length of the text attribute.

As I'll explain later, some authors have chosen to use title in place of text.  The definition of text from the spec, I believe is obvious and doesn't warrant further explanation.


isBreakpoint is a string, either "true" or "false", indicating whether a breakpoint is set on this outline. This attribute is mainly necessary for outlines used to edit scripts that execute. If it's not present, the value is false.


isComment is a string, either "true" or "false", indicating whether the outline is commented or not. By convention if an outline is commented, all subordinate outlines are considered to be commented as well. If it's not present, the value is false.

The isComment and isBreakpoint attributes are IMHO very rare and I can't add any detail beyond the spec.

Following are the <outline> attributes, not described in the OPML spec, but often found in the wilderness of the Web.


A very common mistake in OPML is to use the title attribute instead of text attribute when giving the outline a title. This mistake was made by the implementers of the first RSS readers that imported and exported OPML. The error has propagated as most OPML programmers simply copied these initial implementations, without reading the specification. The mistake is confusing OPML authors. I suggest OPML readers should check for both text and title and publishers should avoid title entirely, or publish both title and text identically.


The OPML editor and many RSS readers use the url to indicate the external location of the <outline>. In the OPML editor, this may be a simple Webpage, Weblog, PDF or any document addressable on the Web. RSS readers usually use the url attribute to indicate the homepage of the blog or RSSified resource.


Although many RSS readers use url to indicate the blog or RSSified resources, others use htmlUrl to indicate the same. I would treat them as the same and suggest OPML readers check for both.


The xmlUrl is usually set to an RSS, Atom or OPML file. For instance, RSS readers will often set the type to "rss", the url to the Webpage and the xmlUrl to the RSS feed URL.


The OPML editor uses the created attribute in an RFC 822 date format to indicate when the <outline> node was created (I guess that was obvious).

Mon, 03 Oct 2005 18:00:21 GMT
It's about Finding New Links, Part VI

This week, I'm gonna switch things up and do the same test using keyword search that I usually do with link search. That is, instead of looking for new links to, I'm gonna search for the kbcafe keyword. The contestants and contesting URLs are...

I've done this primarily because Bloglines usually wins my blogsearch competitions, but lacks a competitive blog keyword search feature and secondarily because Feedster sucks at link search and is supposedly much better at keyword search. If you want to help, remember, you can't just link to this post or my domain, you have to put the term kbcafe in your post. Thanks!



Only results that were posted on Tuesday (Sept 4th) or later will be considered.

Mon, 03 Oct 2005 14:47:18 GMT
Google's Blog SPAM
Last month, Google made an effort to conquer blog SPAM with a Blogspot flag day and by cancelling Adsense accounts where the ads are displayed on splogs. The last couple weeks, I've noticed a new uptake in splogs with Adsense on them. So, I compiled a list of all the splogs I've reported to Adsense in the last few weeks. Most of them are still running Adsense. Has Google stopped helping in the fight against splogs?
Mon, 03 Oct 2005 14:05:54 GMT
What's Wrong with OPML

The Fishbowl: To allow the format to be flexible and extensible, OPML producers can add arbitrary attributes to outline elements. While types and attributes are arbitrary, the specification does not provide implementors a mechanism for finding out the meaning of either.

Randy: Definately a major failing of OPML. Further, it's amazing to me that these authors continue to miss pointing out that there is no specification for the current version of OPML (1.1) and continue to point to the old spec.

Mon, 03 Oct 2005 13:46:44 GMT

Tim Bray: SPARQL is an answer to the question “What if I want to do SQL-like querying when I know perfectly well that everybody will be using their own incompatible database schema?” I’ve been a SemWeb skeptic [cut]. Hey, isn’t Guha’s Alpiri project more or less that back-end? And isn’t Guha working at Google now?

Randy: Every time I see a SemWeb blog entry, I become more and more convinced that RDF is not worth the effort. Not because the ideas aren't great, but because the implementations are always half-baked. SPARQL is a great idea. The problem SPARQL has been a working draft for a year. I'm simply tired of these persistent half-baked working draft projects. Take a look at FOAF, it's been a working draft for 5 years. The RDF people don't seem to understand that half-baked specs end up on the cutting floor.

Mon, 03 Oct 2005 04:15:05 GMT
Beattie Beats Down Bloglines

Russell Beattie: Has anyone noticed that Bloglines is really suffering since it got bought by Ask Jeeves?

Randy: I'm a big Bloglines fan. Let's see if I can back them up.

Russell: Bug #1: If you go to this page, you’ll see that because my old Java system insisted on adding in a ;jessionid to the end of my feed url, it looks like I had hundreds and hundreds of feeds.

Randy: Russell, sounds more like a bug in your software. Mind you, in my own travels, I've stopped using the URL of feed that was given me and used auto-discover on the channel/link inside the feed to rediscover the actual feed, a.k.a. reflexive auto-discovery. This eliminates Russell's problem and many others.

Russell: Bug #2: If you try to use the Blog Citations feature, most of the time it’ll come back with a database problem.

Randy: Agreed, but when it does work, it kicks everybody's ass.

Russell: Lack of Innovation #1: Where’s the updates to the UI!?!?

Randy: Agreed, the UI has always sucked. I guess, overall, I agree with Russell on each point, but disagree on the aggregate, Bloglines is still #1.

Mon, 03 Oct 2005 03:32:32 GMT
Feedster to Release New RSS Ad Product

MediaPost: Blog and RSS search engine and advertising network Feedster will within the next two weeks release a product that will allow small publishers to more easily place ads in their RSS feeds.


Sat, 01 Oct 2005 15:26:26 GMT
Yahoo to announce blog search

Stephen Baker: Look for Yahoo! to unveil a response to Google's blog search early next week. This from Bradley Horowitz, director of tech development in the company's search group.

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