RSS, OPML and the XML platform.
Copyright 2003-5 Randy Charles Morin
With the coming of the 3rd birthday of FeedBurner, a company I consider one of the cornerstones of RSS' success, I'm asking the readers to tell me what companies they consider the cornerstones of RSS success.
Today I signed up and downloaded talkshoe. At first glance, this looked too good to be true. You get paid $5 for each of your first 10 episodes, plus $4 for each 100 listeners. This sounds like an easy $50 and if you are really desparate for the money, then you might want do it. I had two big problems with the website.
I suspect these problems are creating major barriers to entry for their users. That said, this does appear to be one of the best solutions for combined broadcasting and podcasting of audio shows.
FeedBurner blog networks are a way of banding together a bunch of blogs in order to get more exposure with FeedBurner advertisers. I created a KBCafe network on Feedburner and have been selling about 10% of additional inventory across all my blogs because of it. I'm looking to build up the network. If you are interested in joining, then send me an email [email@example.com].
Business 2.0 has listed their Next Net 25. A list of 25 startups they predict are going to break-out. I'm rather disappointed in their list. They start with a 6 year old startup; StumbleUpon. A 6-yr-old company is a startup? In that case, my startup prediction for 2007 success is Google. It sounds like they went to the biggest tech VCs and asked which companies they should be pushing.
Rick Klau of FeedBurner blogged us some amazing stats that reflect the new tracking of Google RSS users. Some highlights follow...
Evan Williams (evhead) is putting Odeo on the selling block. Like Blogger (another Evan invention) pioneered blogger, Odeo pioneered podcasting. But also like Blogger, Odeo is struggling to make a go of it. It wasn't until Google bought Blogger from evhead that it really took off. A similar move by Odeo could do the same.
There are lots of people trying to make a dent in this market and it will eventually make some people rich. Podcasting and videocasting will be very big over the next 5 years. You can put your money on that. But, what people want and what geeks are delivering are not one and the same. People want to be the next Internet superstar, or at least pretend they are. They want broastcasting, chat, videocasting, podcast and vidcast management, etc.
I almost saw this at blogTV.ca. It was pretty close, except that you have to register to view the broadcast and they geo-block everybody outside of Canada.
Digg bashing is likely one of the most popular hobbies in the blogosphere. There are elements of the Digg userbase which behave improperly. That's to be expected of any social group. But its the response from bloggers that is most interesting to watch. 1.2 million hits for digg sucks. I'm subscribing to digg sucks on Google blog search to follow this phenomena. Talk about knocking things off a pedestal.
Note: One thing that bugs me about Digg lately is that the MetaWeblogAPI support seems to be broken. It use to work for me, but doesn't anymore.
A small survey (two questions) to find out just how accurate the FeedBurner stats are. Please feel free to link or embed this survey on your own blog.
Please link to this survey so that we can get the greatest response. You can link to it in several ways.
Where did SharpReader, Attensa, Flock, Onfolio, RssReader, FeedReader, NewsGator, NetNewswire and FeedDemon go? Have users graduated to a second generation of RSS readers? I think it's time for a new Review of RSS Readers entry.
This short film and music video defines MySpace better than anything you could tell your parents. If they ask, then simply send them this link ;-)
You can expect a jump in your FeedBurner subscriber counts in the next few days. Google has started reporting subscription numbers for its GoogleReader web-based RSS reader.
Josh Hallett made an unusual discovery at Atlanta's airport: Running an RSS reader looks like hacking to the airport's pay wifi service. If you are using the paid wifi in the terminal and you open up a desktop-based RSS reader like...
Things have changed drastically since the last time I wrote about blogosphere search. For the better? Not really. For the worse? A bit. The biggest change is that Technorati and Google Blog Search now enjoy pretty much co-dominance in this domain. Other players like PubSub have disappeared with Bob Wyman denying problems all the way to his company's grave. I'd point you to a blog entry, but even Bob's blog has disappeared. Bloglines search has dissolved since purchased by Ask.com. Feedster lost both of their founders and all their users. BlogPulse, Blogdigger, Sphere and IceRocket have all had similar problems and are rarely heard from these days. Yahoo! blog search never really got out of the garage and has been replaced by Technorati provided results (I smell another Yahoo! acquisition). That's a lot of bad news.
But worse, I don't really like the results being returned by anybody these days. I'll stick with the top three; Google, Technorati and Bloglines. These are the only three that received minimal good results in my recent survey of blogosphere search engines. The most common searches I perform are vanity searches for my domain (www.kbcafe.com) and my name (randy morin). Let's examine the results returned by each.
A vanity search for my domain on Google blog search returns quite a bit of easily identified splogs. In fact, a blog called Flaccid Penis seems to be permanently in my results. This guy is a big gay porn splogger who happens to use the kbcafe.com tagspace. Unfortunately, Google indexes these links even though they are clearly marked as tags. Not that anybody else does any better. Further, any internal links in my blogs are reported in their results. I hate that.
A vanity search for my name on Google blog search is actually pretty good stuff, both the name and link search in Google blog search miss a lot of post and that forces me to rely on a secondary blogosphere search engine; Technorati and Bloglines. On the good side, both searches are fast and respond in sub-second all-the-time.
Technorati continues to fall behind Google and I use them today only to supplement the Google results, which aren't anywhere near perfect. Technorati is very slow with searches taking several seconds and as many as several dozens of seconds. Let's examine the search for my domain on Technorati. Technorati, like Google, continues to index tags and since I use my own tagspace, my blog entries are reflected in this search. But worse, Technorati doesn't really index RSS or blogs, but rather web pages. Some blogs that have me in their blogroll fall into these search results with every one of their blog posts. Add these problems to splog results and you end up with more bogus results than anything else.
Moving onto my name vanity search on Technorati and ... waiting .... waiting ... this is simply too slow. Doh! The Technorati Monster escaped again. Yawn. Technorati seems to be down again. There we go. Finally! It seems my biggest promoter is none other than uber-splogger Elliot Back. This guy has been the #1 splogger for months now and his domains are still getting indexed by Technorati. Do they even have a splog team?
Bloglines, like Technorati is slow and often down for the count. Why am I even bothering. 100% of the kbcafe domain search results in Bloglines are reflections of my own blogging. Either blog entries on my blogs or legitimate automated syndication or bookmarks. Onto the name search results in Bloglines. This is so slow I'm about to give up. Hello? Anybody at Ask working on this? Once the Bloglines SERPs return, they aren't that bad.
I'm using Google blog search as my primary blogosphere search engine. Mostly because it returns results immediately and is integrating directly into my favorite web search engine. One click and I switch between blogosphere and Web SERPs. Technorati and Bloglines are the only two other engines that can claim to be working. They are extremely slow and don't provide better results. They do supplement my Google results, but that's not saying much. It looks like Google wins, but this time it's not because they are great, it's because everybody else sucks.
Last month, I surveyed my readers, asking what blogosphere search engines have they used, do they use regularly and which are their favorites. The results are in and Google Blog Search is the clear winner. Of the 18 respondents, half said that Google was their favorite. Technorati was the only other contender with 4 favorite votes. A spreasheet of the results are in Google Docs and pasted below.
about: Pipes is an interactive feed aggregator and manipulator. Using Pipes, you can create feeds that are more powerful, useful and relevant.
Most are reporting that the service is overloaded and currently unavailable.
A couple interesting comments I found this morning in my comments. The first.
I have a job, I don't suffer from OCD and I edit wikipedia... free of charge. I'm an admin too.
Your entire post is an insult to the 5000 or so active editors who dedicate their hard work to building a FREE encyclopedia so mouth-breathers like you can look up big words.
I'm not a brilliant author. I'm barely a competent one... but I believe in the goal of the project... so I work on the administrative side. I help keep 12 year olds from replacing article with random curse words. On the more serious side I try to help clear up copyright violations... like, you know, when some shitbag tries to copy and paste some website on to wikipedia to claim it's his own work.
The admins on wikipedia aren't some elite class of editors on wikipedia. Administrators get no more say in how the project works then any random editor. The requirements to become an admin is basically a firm grasp of the rules, the ability to get along with people you m ight not like in a civil manner and a few months experience editing. Cliques do exist... but cliques exist in every organization and in every nation, city, school, or church on the planet and are vital to the functioning of any larger culture.
Who can take the site seriously? It has been cited in over 40 court cases and used as a source in several hundred newspaper articles. The site gets literally millions of hits a day and 300 edits a minute. The shear number of man-hours being spent on improving and maintaining wikipedia is comparable to a billion dollar corporation. It was once estimated that if wikipedia wasn't a non-profit it would be worth in excess of 300 million dollars.
You think taking pride in your hobby and wanting to see it improve is a OCD, then I somehow doubt you have even bothered to read the article on it.
If someone is sick... truly sick with addiction to the internet then that's a terrible thing, but it's not the fault of wikipedia. It's ridiculous to imply that somehow wikipedia is responsible for someones physiological problems.
Let me ask you a retorical question and I hope you spend some time reflecting on it: Why do you get off on tearing things down?
...and the reply...
>I have a job, I don't suffer from OCD
They never want to admit it, do they?
>The admins on wikipedia aren't some elite class of editors on wikipedia.
Then why do they try to micromanage non-admin's? And shouldn't Wikipedia be capitalized?
>Administrators get no more say in how the project works then any random editor.
What? Just one example: They get to lock pages so random editors can't edit them.
>Cliques do exist... but cliques exist in every organization and in every nation, city, school, or church on the planet and are vital to the functioning of any larger culture.
And how are they vital, etc...?
>Who can take the site seriously? It has been cited in over 40 court cases and used as a source in several hundred newspaper articles. The site gets literally millions of hits a day and 300 edits a minute.
Yeah, the same thing could probably be said for National Enquirer's site. Perhaps this is one reason so many newspapers are losing readers and credibility.
>It was once estimated that if wikipedia wasn't a non-profit it would be worth in excess of 300 million dollars.
>Why do you get off on tearing things down?
Why do you have trouble accepting criticism?
Great comments all-around that needed to be preserved.
Scott Kingery is reporting that the New Blogger breaks Qumana's MetaWeblogAPI support.
Last month, I ran a small social website survey to try and figure out what were the most popular social websites and maybe find some diamonds in the ruff. I got 47 respondents, which is about what I expected. That isn't a lot, but enough to derive some meaningful information.
One thing I did was use awareness as a baseline. This way I could judge the other questions against whether the person was even aware of the social website. You can think of awareness as first base for a social website. It's the most important base, but doesn't really say much about the experience. Second, third and home base I set as whether you actually bothered to setup a profile, use the website regularly and whether it's your favorite. I then computed the percentage of time that any user moved from one base to a higher base. I figured these scores would tell me less about the marketing of the website and more about the actual experience of using it. I further deduced that by summing the scores, then maybe I'd get an interesting ranking. Check the spreadsheet details.
Let's focus on the top 5 websites from the survey.
Some surprising numbers came from the middleweights; Orkut, Friendster and MSN Space. Nobody responded that they used the site regularly or called it their favorite. Heavyweight LinkedIn posted surprisingly average numbers. I will check-out Facebox and Bebo, which I've never visited before and did very well.
This week, I was invited to a preview of BlogTV.ca. This is a new video blogging service. They gave me free beer and appetizers in hope that I'd blog about them and maybe start using their product. At first glance, the product is amazing. You can manage vlogs better than anything I've seen before. You can broadcast your shows live, invite co-hosts, your viewers can chat with you and between themselves. You can save your shows and post them on your blog. This is the software that you need to become the next Amanda Congdon. Screeeeech! There are just two problems.
Those two problems make BlogTV a bad choice for anybody trying to do professional Vlogging or who have an audience outside of Canada. But if they could fix these two problems, this could be the next YouTube.
A couple other minor problems.