RSS, OPML and the XML platform.
The RSS Blog
Fri, 01 Dec 2006 03:52:06 GMT
iPod Getting Podcasts Menu
Apple has filed a new patent application for a method of browsing podcasts. It ’s patent 20060265637, Utilization Of Podcasts on Portable Media Devices.

read more | digg story
Fri, 01 Dec 2006 03:35:02 GMT
Microsoft RSS Copyright

Today, I notice that Microsoft has changed the licensing on the RSS search results. They use to be free to use in any manner you wanted, commercial or otherwise. Now the copyright has changed to...

Copyright © 2006 Microsoft. All rights reserved. These XML results may not be used, reproduced or transmitted in any manner or for any purpose other than rendering MSN Search results within an RSS aggregator for your personal, non-commercial use. Any other use of these results requires express written permission from Microsoft Corporation. By accessing this web page or using these results in any manner whatsoever, you agree to be bound by the foregoing restrictions.

It seems that everybody is violating these terms of use. For instance, Rmail forwards the results to your email client and the results are rendered by your email client, which is likely not an RSS aggregator. Every RSS to email client is violating these terms. Additionally, if you use Rmail to forward your MSN search result to Gmail, then I'm in big trouble, because Gmail has ads and is clearly a commercial product. Further, any commercial RSS aggregator is also violating these terms. Sorry NewsGator. Sorry Bloglines. Sorry Rojo. Sorry Google Reader. These are commercial applications. They require written permission from Microsoft to display those results. I guess I have to start blocking MSN search results. Stupid lawyers.

Thu, 30 Nov 2006 13:05:23 GMT
6,049 Subs
If you look in the right sidebar, the FeedBurner chicklet is telling me I broke 6,000 subs for the first time yesterday. Thank you, my readers, all 6,049 of you. Mind you, Google Reader is still not sharing subscription information with FeedBurner. How many of you are reading this with Google Reader? I don't know. Google, play fair! Share your data like everybody else.
Thu, 30 Nov 2006 04:08:35 GMT
MetaWeblogAPI client

I'm putting together a Web-based MetaWeblogAPI client for R-mail called R-Post. Expect bugs, but if you want to test the MetaWeblogAPI to your blog, then feel free.

Thu, 30 Nov 2006 03:27:10 GMT
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Feld Thoughts

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Thu, 30 Nov 2006 03:16:07 GMT

I got an email from Spokeo creator Harrison Tang. Some excerpts follow...

Spokeo is a multimedia RSS reader that aggregates blogs, photos, and videos on the Web.  Its backend works like Google News, and it only syndicates publicly available information.  This means that Spokeo does not currently support private profiles or Facebook.
Spokeo's main feature is "recommend".  When someone recommends a post, it will show up on his (her) friends' Spokeo pages.  This way, the post can spread through the network beyond the first-degree readership.  In addition, much like Digg, the most recommended stories will appear on the Featured User page.
Spokeo aims to introduce RSS technologies into the mainstream.  Most techies understand the power of RSS reader, how it empowers people to track numerous sources and digest more information.  The mainstream users' attentions, however, are still locked into one or two major portals. By bridging RSS with social networks, Spokeo facilitates information flows, decentralizes people's attention from portals to niche blogs, and benefits the blogosphere as a whole.

Thu, 30 Nov 2006 00:39:51 GMT
Niall Kennedy's Advice for Feed Publishers
Self-described "feed syndication geek" Niall Kennedy has written a set of feed publishing best practices for Atom and RSS publishers. He includes advice on software libraries and promotional efforts.
Link - Comments - Wed, 29 Nov 2006 10:00:27 -0500 - Feed (2 subs)
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Wed, 29 Nov 2006 21:40:59 GMT Recursion

72 people have bookmarked this bookmark about a bookmark [about a bookmark]*.

Wed, 29 Nov 2006 13:08:30 GMT
RSS Housekeeping Secrets

Majolein Hoekstra's 9 RSS reader housekeeping secrets.

Mon, 27 Nov 2006 23:33:25 GMT
Vote: RSS Autodiscovery Specification Published
The proposal to create and publish an RSS Autodiscovery specification has passed the RSS Advisory Board with members Matthew Bookspan, Rogers Cadenhead, Jason Douglas, James Holderness, Eric Lunt, Randy Charles Morin, Paul Querna and Jake...
Link - Comments - Mon, 27 Nov 2006 17:18:09 -0500 - Feed (2 subs)
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Mon, 27 Nov 2006 21:14:16 GMT
Final RSS Autodiscovery Spec

Rogers Cadenhead has put the final touches on the RSS Feed Discovery spec. The spec already has enough votes from the RSS Advisory Board and will likely be approved in the next few days.

Mon, 27 Nov 2006 18:36:20 GMT
I <3 FeedBurner

November 2006 113 November 2006 120

I reserve my laptop sticker space for only the greatest of RSS products. And now that I'm unemployed, the free shirt is much appreciated ;-)

Mon, 27 Nov 2006 03:40:43 GMT
LibWorm feed search engine searches 1400+ biblioblogs (launched Nov 25th)
Specialized search engine that lets you find posts from librarianship feeds and podcasts by topic, category or keyword. Subscribe to search results with your own RSS aggregator or the one built in into the service. Search results can also be emailed. Social features to be added in the next incarnation. Created by David Rothman and Frankie Dolan.

read more | digg story
Sat, 25 Nov 2006 01:49:41 GMT
Who's Using What for RSS?
A good rundown of the available RSS readers out there.

read more | digg story
Fri, 24 Nov 2006 19:33:44 GMT
Google Integrating Blogs into Search Results
Andy Boyd is reporting that Google is integrating blog search results into their primary search results.
Thu, 23 Nov 2006 22:31:57 GMT
Enterprise RSS

Craig Barnes is evangelising Enterprise RSS. Personally, I wonder if corporations really understand the advantage of adopting RSS (and blogs) as a marketing tool. Ya, they pretend, but show me the money. I don't see it. On the other hand, those that get it, will get many times more in return.

Thu, 23 Nov 2006 19:15:46 GMT
Please DO Feed the Sites

Please DO Feed the Sites is a blog series by Tim Dungan about introducing RSS to public TV stations.

Thu, 23 Nov 2006 15:35:47 GMT
Bloglines Smashed Atom 1.0 Feeds

Rogers Cadenhead: Something has gone wrong with my Atom 1.0 feed in Bloglines.

Randy: Reposted. Hopefully somebody at Bloglines will pick this up. And, just to re-iterate; RSS 2.0 works. Why? Because the vast majority of feeds are RSS 2.0. So, if RSS 2.0 didn't work in Bloglines, then it wouldn't make it thru QA. When Atom 1.0 is broken, it takes an uber-geek like Rogers to point it out.

Thu, 23 Nov 2006 15:29:51 GMT
Taking RSS from Harvard

For those that don't know, Harvard Law School owns the RSS standard. But, there's actually nobody at Harvard that is actively maintaining the website that hosts the RSS specification or the spec for that matter. As such, it's out-dated and does not include the recent updates made by the RSS Advisory Board. Further, the website is more often than not non-responsive or really slow to respond. This makes it very hard on developers looking for help on RSS. As such, I'm asking my readers to update their RSS links to point to the latest RSS spec on the RSS Advisory Board website. This website is actively maintained by community giant Rogers Cadenhead and the website is very responsive. If you update your links and use the new link in your new posts, then maybe we change the Google juice and help developers get real help. Here's the link to the recent RSS spec.

Wed, 22 Nov 2006 05:18:15 GMT
Redirect your Wordpress RSS

Two weeks ago, I described in very generic terms how to redirect your RSS feed. Funny enough, this week, Nathan Weinberg of Inside Google is struggling with just this problem. He asks...

I moved my site to a new host, which screwed up the way Wordpress handles URIs.  While it didn’t break any of my post links, it moved my RSS feeds URI from site/index.php/feed/ to site/feed/, and a lot of readers aren’t getting the feeds anymore.  What can I do to redirect them to the new feeds, without having access to the URIs of the old feeds?

This problem requires a little bit of Apache knowledge.  I can think of three ways to fix this problem.

  1. Install mod_rewrite (I like this module, but understand that it might be a little complicated for the mundane blogger)
  2. 301/302 redirect
  3. .htaccess redirects

Any other ideas for Nathan?

Update from Nathan...

Here’s what worked for me:  I added a permanent redirect in the .htaccess of my blog root pointing the relative URL of my old RSS feeds to the absolute URL of the new feeds.  For example, one line reads:
Redirect permanent /index.php/feed/ 
In my extreme case, I had to find every variation on my RSS URL (since WordPress uses virtual addresses for the feed), and redirect each one separately to the new one.
 Thanks a ton for the help, Randy!
Mon, 20 Nov 2006 18:24:30 GMT
Autodiscovery Spec

The RSS Advisory Board is currently discussing a formal RSS Feed Autodiscovery spec. Leave additional feedback in the comments here (only board members can post to the mailing list).

Sun, 19 Nov 2006 20:18:11 GMT
Are you an A-lister?

Terry Ng of Kineda created a widget that tells you if you are an a-lister or not. Turns out, I'm a b-lister. Cool! Thanks Terry.

B-List Blogger

Fri, 17 Nov 2006 12:56:08 GMT
Jason Leaves AOL

Jason Calacanis has left AOL, in response to AOL replacing his boss and mentor, John Miller. I'm sure Jason will do well in whatever he does, this is mostly a big loss for AOL. I'm betting $5 on the imminent decline of Netscape and the Weblogsinc network.

What a weird week. I was laid off. AMD/ATI let some go. Another great blogger is joining Microsoft. Startups being bought by MySpace. Firing and new hires all over the place.

Hat tip to Ken for the news tip and the mentoring.

Tue, 14 Nov 2006 22:53:32 GMT
OPath Moving Forward

Tom Morris has introduced new features to his OPath protocol that allows you to locate an <outline> within an OPML document by its created date attribute. I wish he'd consider a solution that isn't dependent on one domain, one that respect the current IRI standard and that works for any OPML <outline> attributes.

Tue, 14 Nov 2006 00:13:58 GMT
Tim Bray on Atom

Tim Bray on RSS, Atom and the Atom publishing protocol.

And of course, he brings up how do you encode angled brackets in RSS titles as a problem. This has long been solved, but Atomites continue to raise this issue. That's kinda deceptive on Tim's part. Not impressed.

Mon, 13 Nov 2006 19:18:04 GMT
More on Moving your RSS Feeds

David Rothman asks...

I'm facing a challenge with my blog's feed that I'm hoping you can advise me on.  When I first started my blog, I used the native Wordpress feed ( ), but I have recently switched to a FeedBurner feed because I love the FeedFlare features that add links to let subscribers do things like quickly and conveniently bookmark a post in  I'd like to make the transition to the FeedBurner feed complete, but I don't want to inconvenience or annoy my blog's subscribers.  Also, I can't exactly turn off the native Wordpress feed because it actually provides the information that FeedBurner uses. Is there any advice you can offer?

I had the same problem. My feed was rss.xml and was sub'ed directly and in my feedburner config. I created a new feed index.xml and changed my FeedBurner settings to point to index.xml instead. Then I redirected rss.xml to feedburner. Everything worked.

More links...

Sun, 12 Nov 2006 04:18:38 GMT
Yahoo Plans to Overhaul Yahoo 360

Bloggers Blog: Yahoo 360, the blogging and social networking service from Yahoo, may be undergoing an overhaul.

Randy: I hope so, because right now it sucks.

Sat, 11 Nov 2006 23:39:41 GMT

Tom Morris wants to create the ability to locate a node within an OPML document. He suggests the following notation; States/New England. This notation has a few things I don't like. Dependency on a domain, what to do with spaces in the path, won't work in IE or Firefox. Not all nodes can be accessed. I think a better option would use the following format; If you got ideas? Tell Tom.

Fri, 10 Nov 2006 18:21:11 GMT
Moving and Retiring RSS Feeds
OK, now for some really boring and really important stuff. What do you do with your old feed when you change blogs? Or what do you do with your old feed when you don't need it anymore. You don't want people polling those feeds till the end of time. Somehow, we have to tell RSS clients that you don't exist anymore. In RSS-ville, there's countless ways of doing this and most of them don't work anyway. As such, I'm writing yet another tutorial that RSS developers will likely ignore. I hate them :-( I hate them all ;-) But in case you actually care, here's how to move and retire an RSS feed. This is not new content and is also covered in the HowTo RSS Feed State article.

I'm gonna break this tutorial into two parts. The first part is when you want to move an RSS feed to another place, domain, blog, or whatever. The second part is when you don't care anymore and you want your readers to simply go away and free up some bandwidth.

Moving an RSS Feed

In doing my own testing, I put together a very dynamic RSS feed [] where all these various move operations will be moving to.  The first and most proper way of moving an RSS feed is to respond to the HTTP request with a 301 Permanent Redirect. I've prepared a small ASPX file [] that simulates exactly this type of response. The code for ASP.NET is shown.

<%@ page language="C#" %>
Response.Status = "301 Moved Permanently";

If you re-use this code, simply change the URL in the AddHeader call to the target URL where your RSS feed is moving to.

For the really geeky nerds out there, this is what a 301 redirect looks like at the wire level. The first two lines are the client request and the last four are the server response. I removed a couple headers that were irrelevant to the discussion.

GET /rss/test/http-301.aspx HTTP/1.1

HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 17:55:11 GMT
Content-Length: 0

Of course, not everybody has HTTP level access to their website or the skill required to generate such a response. In those cases, you may want to consider an XML-level redirect. Here's a sample XML-level redirect []. The content of the file is shown below.

<?xml version="1.0" ?>

To use this technique simply download the xml-redirect.xml file. Then change the URL of the target RSS feed to the URL where your RSS Feed is moving to. You may have to escape some characters in your target URL. Change > to &gt; < to &lt; and & to &amp;. If you struggle with such escaping, then drop me an email []. Finally, rename the file to the same filename as your RSS feed and copy the file to your web server, replacing your old RSS file.

Again for the geekoids, here's what the XML-redirect looks like on the wire.

GET /rss/test/xml-redirect.xml HTTP/1.1

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Length: 121
Content-Type: text/xml
Last-Modified: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 16:21:37 GMT
Accept-Ranges: bytes
ETag: "2268c84be44c71:d84"
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 17:57:19 GMT

<?xml version="1.0"?>

Assuming options A and B are not possible, the next best way is a 302 Temporary Redirect. But this method is really wasteful because the client software will continue to use the original URL and be redirected every-time to the new URL. Wasteful indeed. Here's sample temporary redirect []. If all of A, B and C are not possible, then a last option is to put a blog entry that specifically asks your readers to re-sub using the new URL.

Retiring an RSS Feed

Great, we know how to move an RSS feed, but just how do we go about killing one that is no longer required. The best way to tell a client that a feed is no longer used is to response with a HTTP 410 Gone response. Here's a sample 410 gone response [].

The ASP.NET code for a 410 gone response.

<%@ Page Language="C#" %>
Response.Status = "410 Gone";

And here's what it looks like on the wire.

GET /rss/test/http-410.aspx HTTP/1.1

HTTP/1.1 410 Gone
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 18:02:32 GMT
Content-Length: 0

Some RSS clients will prompt the user to remove the feed when this response is encountered. Others will simply stop polling the feed or even unsubscribe the user without requiring any confirmation.

If you can't figure out how to do a 410 Gone response, then you can also use an XML-level redirect to accomplishes the same. Here's a sample XML-level redirect that tells the RSS client that the feed should be unsub'ed []. Note this XML-level redirect is similar to previous, except that no new RSS feed is provided.

<?xml version="1.0"?>

And finally, here's what a XML-level unsub looks like on the wire.

GET /rss/test/xml-gone.xml HTTP/1.1

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Length: 64
Content-Type: text/xml
Last-Modified: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 16:21:37 GMT
Accept-Ranges: bytes
ETag: "de1aba4be44c71:d84"
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 18:10:18 GMT

<?xml version="1.0"?>

Notes: If anybody has PHP code or other similar to the ASP.NET code above, then feel free to post them in the comments. If you post them in the next few days, then I'll likely add them to the content of the original article. And a big thanks in advance.

Fri, 10 Nov 2006 03:42:17 GMT
Disclosure Scrubbed at TechCrunch

Michael Arrington proves once again that he's not concerned with integrity. This time, he's caught removing a conflict of interest statement from his blog to help a colleague and is black balling his colleague's competitors. Hey guys, why don't you link to him again, maybe he'll link back to you ;-)

Thu, 09 Nov 2006 05:09:20 GMT
Atom and Pie

James Snell has published two new articles on how to use the Atom publishing protocol.

And two new sections of Dave Johnson's book RSS and Atom in Action are availble online.

Wed, 08 Nov 2006 22:18:35 GMT
More Firefox 2.0 RSS Handlers

Mozilla Links has a bunch of one-click subscription handlers for various RSS clients. Simply click the following links to install the subscription handler for your favorite RSS reader.

Tue, 07 Nov 2006 22:49:43 GMT
The Top 10 Lies of Web 2.0

Matt Mullenweg points us to The Top 10 Lies of Web 2.0.

  1. We learned our lesson last time.
  2. This is not a bubble.
  3. It's all about community and sharing.
  4. Online advertising will pay for everything.
  5. These sites are so easy, my mother could use them.
  6. The analysts are trustworthy now.
  7. There's no glut of social networks -- young people are always up for trying something new.
  8. Our site is still in Beta.
  9. We're different from all those other sites.
  10. We look forward to working with our new partners at Google.

Tue, 07 Nov 2006 22:43:42 GMT
Really Simple Primer

Steve Rubel says AP has put together the best explanation on RSS I have seen to date.

Tue, 07 Nov 2006 22:41:13 GMT
Election Results in RSS

Mark Woodman blog us a bunch of election result RSS feeds.

Tue, 07 Nov 2006 19:15:38 GMT
State of the Blogosphere, October, 2006

David Sifry's latest State of the Blogosphere.


Tue, 07 Nov 2006 18:41:35 GMT
Automated Web Surfing for Lawyers

David Rothman points to a great article on RSS for lawyers.

Tue, 07 Nov 2006 18:19:48 GMT
Why RSS 2.0? It just works!
People often ask me why do I preach use of RSS 2.0 and not the other flavors of RSS. Today, I ran across another great example. uses RSS 1.0 and for months Google Reader users have not been able to subscribe to feeds. Why? It's pretty simple, because RSS 2.0 makes up the vast majority of feeds today, RSS 2.0 is simply better supported and more reliably implemented (by Google Reader and almost every RSS client out there). That is, you know RSS 2.0 just works. You can't say that for RSS 1.0. 
Tue, 07 Nov 2006 17:38:18 GMT
Add a Blog to your Technorati Favs

Here's a pretty cool technique I discovered from the 456 Berea Street blog. You can create links to allow your readers to quickly add your blog to the Technorati favorites and boost your Technorati rankings. For instance, click the following link to add The RSS Blog your Technorati faves.

Mon, 06 Nov 2006 07:01:32 GMT
RSS for nonprofits

The RSS Resource Center on NetSquared provides stories, examples, discussion forums and links to great content to help nonprofit groups make strategic use of publishing and aggregating RSS feeds.

Mon, 06 Nov 2006 06:57:35 GMT
Chicklet Creator

Fedali has a nice simple Chicklet Creator.

Mon, 06 Nov 2006 06:48:34 GMT Relaunches via RSS

The socially inept YouTube-loving junior college dropout's MySpace page,, is relaunching via RSS. Subscribe to their new RSS feed and you'll be one of the first to find out when they re-launch.

Sub via Rmail:

Sat, 04 Nov 2006 16:56:48 GMT
How to add a feed handler in Firefox 2.0

Simone Carletti wrote an excellent and very comprehansive article on creating an RSS feed handler for Firefox 2.0. Thanks Simone!

Sat, 04 Nov 2006 16:47:16 GMT
Tutorial Français de RSS

Bull de RSS Xpress a préparé des instructions français pour l'usage de son programme de RSS.

Bull of RSS Xpress put together some french tutorials for using his RSS reader. A great starting point for those that speak the superior language. Excuse my lacking french above.

Thu, 02 Nov 2006 18:17:30 GMT
Take an RSS 'Lessonette'
Keith Martin has written an RSS "lessonette", a short tutorial that brings newbies up to speed with syndication. "Newer revisions of the RSS standards are both more capable and more complex, but this is a good way to get a feel for how things...
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Wed, 01 Nov 2006 19:12:07 GMT

Spectrum: Parakey is intended to be a platform for tools that can manipulate just about anything on your hard drive—e-mail, photos, videos, recipes, calendars. In fact, it looks like a fairly ordinary Web site, which you can edit. You can go online, click through your files and view the contents, even tweak them. You can also check off the stuff you want the rest of the world to be able to see. Others can do so by visiting your Parakey site, just as they would surf anywhere else on the Web. Best of all, the part of Parakey that’s online communicates with the part of Parakey running on your home computer, synchronizing the contents of your Parakey pages with their latest versions on your computer. That means you can do the work of updating your site off-line, too. Friends and relatives—and hackers—do not have direct access to your computer; they’re just visiting a site that reflects only the portion of your stuff that you want them to be able to see.

Randy: Parakey is the latest software from Blake Ross, creator of Firefox.

Wed, 01 Nov 2006 17:55:54 GMT
CITA Subscription Utility

Andy Henderson has created a new version of the CITA subscription utility that intercept Firefox 2.0 subscription requests and passes them to your preferred RSS client.

Wed, 01 Nov 2006 17:07:20 GMT
Firefox 2.0 Sub Hand-off

Firefox 2.0 has an new feature that allows it to hand-off RSS subscription requests to other RSS clients. It's very simple to create your own. Here is the code I wrote that installs Rmail as an RSS subscription handler.

<script type="text/javascript">
function SubWithRmail()
'', 'Rmail');
input type="button" onclick="SubWithRmail()" value="Make Rmail your Firefox RSS handler" />

Wed, 01 Nov 2006 16:01:14 GMT
$6M/yr Wikipedia Search Box Solution

Jason Calacanis: Add a "search the web" box on the top right of the Wikipedia pages or next to the Wikipedia Search box on the left. [cut] If Wikipedia is getting 2B pages a month that would be 20-40M searches. Even at a $10 RPM that would be $300-800k a month.

Randy: Although Jason obviously failed math class, this sounds like a very reasonable approach that Wikipedia should be considering. It wouldn't hurt to try it for a month and judge the revenues against the communist onslaught. I can never figure out why people hate ads so much.

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