Archive for August, 2005

Eric Hayes has a great post on RSS ranking:

But that’s only part of the story. What’s missing from the discussion are the specifics of how focusing on Attention can help individuals alleviate some of the enormous demands on our attention by cutting through information overload. And RSS isn’t helping with the problem. In fact it’s only increasing the flow. But the end goal of RSS technology shouldn’t be based on more is good. It needs to be tightly wrapped around the promise that less is more. We need to offer our RSS consumers a drinking fountain of information, not a Fire Hose!

I agree that the drinking fountain is more powerful than the full fire hose I just disagree that attention is the best approach. The attention data is amazingly sensitive (do you really want to share your click stream?) and I just think the privacy implications are too onerous.

There’s a lot you can accomplish with public data. I’ve ran simulations on theoretical systems and the private data just doesn’t seem to augment the public data by that much. Once you add the computational complexity you’re over the top and it’s just not worth the difficulty.

logo_pnWell this has worked before. If I need to get into a Beta program (like YPN) I just beg publicly on my blog. Hopefully someone at Yahoo will feel my pain and let me in.

I’m an awesome beta tester and promise great feedback!

This is pretty sweet. There’s a new podcast in the hood called the Web 2.0 show. I do have to admit that I was thinking of creating a similar podcast.

Looks like for the first podcast they’ve interviewed Matt Mullenweg.


Direct link here (.mp3)

Note. FeedBurner supports automatically creating podcast enclosure entries if you link to an mp3 file. I find this meta-podcasting pretty cool. You can just subscribe to my blog and get all the cool podcasts I’m recommending.

I guess this is what linking is all about really.

This is interesting. More meta-ping servers are coming at a fast pace.

Looks like we now have Feed Shark King Ping and Blogomatic

googleGoogle Blogoscoped did a random sampling of Blogger and found that a significant percentage (60%) were spam blogs:

Marty Kay made an interesting comment in regard to Splots (spam blogs) on Google’s
“Funniest thing I saw was a bunch of comments on one spam/link site, that was totally irrelevant but pointed to ANOTHER spam site. The spammers are spamming each other.”

Read the post though. Very shocking to see the numbers.

Also. Sorry about the lack of posts recently. I’ve been super busy working on related projects and personal time.

Abstract feeds are feeds that don’t include full-text. These are horrible to deal with and just plain annoying. There are some smart people out there that I want to pay attention to but won’t because they don’t use full-text.

I was thinking about the problem with MSM not linking to Kottke and other blogs. If bloggers are smart enough they won’t include links to MSM outlets anymore (or at least use nofollow).

This could be one solution for abstract feeds. If you provide an abstract feed and you’re an otherwise smart person I’ll still read your blog, and I might link to you from time to time, but you’re not going in my blogroll.

I wish Google Adsense would get their act together WRT adsense for feeds. This would make it easier for people to include full-text.

A small comment started me thinking:

That, my friend, is what everyone wants right now. Web 2.0 needs Data 2.0! A for files.

Looks like Sam and Bitworking found this interesting as well…

I’ve been thinking about this from time to time recently. I hate filesystem hierarchy (especially on *NIX). Instead of organizing files into hierarchy why not just create arbitrary tags for them. If we’re smart we’ll add a remote way for someone else to tag your files when you email them. Either way I can never seem to find the files I want.

Desktop search seems to help a bit but not much. Back in my P2P days I talked with Sam Joseph about NeuroGrid and I think he’s more passionate about hierarchies being evil than I am.

I have a note taking system which I wrote for Emacs that I use all the time. I can keep track of my notes with tags (wrote it 4 years ago). Every day I create about a dozen little notes and tag them. I can then iterate over them by tag (TODO, today, linux, research, reading, etc).

I find that this system is a lot more productive than anything I’ve ever used.

Writing a backend for a local file tagger API wouldn’t be too hard. Transparent integration within your applications would be difficult though.

rojologoNice! Looks like Rojo has launched their scriptlets support.

So you want to add some Rojo features to your blog or web site? Well, you have come to the right place. Here you will learn how to add some simple scripts to your blog template or web page page that will make some of your Rojo experience available to readers on your site!

The official Rojo blog has more:

We are very happy to announce Rojo Scriptlets! Rojo scriptlets are one line scripts that bloggers and other publishers can use to re-post content from Rojo onto their blog. Rojo users can choose to show the most recent headlines from the feeds they subscribe to in Rojo.

I’m personally excited to see this released because I wrote a prototype of this functionality a while back. Of course 90% of the work is never the initial feature but supporting it and making sure it works in production so hats off to the Rojo gang for making this happen!

There’s more functionality here that Rojo has yet to release so I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag. Needless to say it’s pretty cool.

If you’re reading from RSS make sure to load this blog post in your browser and you’ll see that my blog is not hosting Rojo tags in the right sidebar.

This is pretty cool. There’s a nice screencast (.mov) of DTV which is basically Internet TV for your Mac:

A 10 minute screencast demoing the new Beta 2 release of DTV – Internet TV on your Mac

A brilliant app that uses RSS feeds with enclosures to assemble Video Channels that you can subscribe to and download to your mac. Sorry the app is mac only at present but a Windows version is planned. At least you can watch this screencast to see what you are missing and what you can look forward to!

For all you podcasting fans you can subscribe to my RSS feed within iTunes which will then provide you with the media files I link to as one concise feed.

Pretty cool meta-aggregation if I do say so. I even use it as a cool way to listen to media I’m blogging about when on the go.

Looks like Kottke is upset about a recent CNET story: ruminates about Google building a collection of tools that serve as a replacement OS. Where have we heard that recently? You’re welcome for the story idea and thanks for the non-link, guys…tech journalism at its finest. I hereby institute a policy of not linking to you for a year.

This is certainly pushing the envelope a little bit. I can’t claim to say where the story came from or where CNET found it’s motivation bit I’m willing to bet Kottke’s original post had something to do with it.

Even if it didn’t if CNET did even a small amount of research they would have realized that he blogged about it 24 hours earlier and should have at least linked to him.

Calacanis has more on this meme:

I’ve been giving CNET a hard time for stealing our stories without credit for a while now. It’s not just WIN either, bloggers like John Battelle, Rafat Ali, and Om Malik have caught CNET poaching red handed.

Luckily my blog isn’t good enough to worth poaching! :)

This is a bigger problem than just CNET. They obviously have a policy of never providing links which is just low. A lot of other MSM publishers seem to have the same policy including CNN, The New York Times, LA Times, etc.

What gives? It would be nice to have a way to protest. Maybe everyone could start using nofollow links to anyone who carries Blogosphere memes without contributing back.

Actually I kind of like that idea!

googleUg. I just got an email from Google Adsense that they won’t let me in:

Unfortunately, we’re unable to accept your application for the program at this time. Because AdSense for feeds is currently in beta, we’re unable to accept all applicants into the program.

I really want to play with this. Specifically I want to play with general CTR through feeds and to see what type of response I get with feed overviews vs full-text feeds with ads.

If I can get hard data that providing full-text feeds with ads yields higher revenue then full-text it would be an easier sell to publishers.

If anyone at Google is listening please let me in! I promise to give great feedback!

technoratiLooks like Technorati has partnered with Newsweek:

I’m proud to announce that Technorati and Newsweek are working together, including a deep integration of posts and links from bloggers (here’s an example) into Newsweek’s site. This includes the Newsweek Blog Roundup
and summary widget on every Newsweek page (shown here on the right).
This acts just like a “most viewed articles” or “most emailed articles”
widget – only the determinations are made by watching the number of
bloggers that are linking to Newsweek articles. It shows the top 10
Newsweek stories generating the most discussion on weblogs within the
past 7 days. You can see it on the Newsweek homepage and on each of the article pages, simply scroll down a bit and look on the right hand side.

Congrats guys! The cool thing about this is that it really shouldn’t hurt their current server performance. Newsweek won’t provide that many additional URLs and they should just be able to cache the results for 5 minutes or so. This would give a significant bang for the buck to thousands of eager Newsweek readers.

I’ve come across a few single podcasts that I want to listen to. For example there’s this podcast (link to mp3) talking about Microformats which I really want on my iPod.

The problem is that I can’t add single track to my iPod but have it still show up as being a podcast. The main problem is that the iPod has this cool ‘bookmarking’ (or podmarking if you will) feature where you can stop listening to a podcast, listen to music, then go back to the same podcast later and start where you left off.

This is a killer feature and for me makes all the difference. The problem is that if I drag and drop just the single MP3 into the iPod it won’t work.

I guess I could create a manual RSS file and then import it myself but that seems ugly and really the iPod should have support for doing this itself.

Thoughts? Come on lazyweb! You should have a solution!


Assaf had a good idea. I can just link to the .mp3 in my blog post. Feedburner should be smart enough to add an enclosure for the .mp3 file and then I can subscribe to my feed within iTunes.

This is pretty sweet. Looks like Skype now has an open API:

Funny that the very day Google launched their Jabber/XMPP-based Instant Messenger (the now famous Google Talk), Skype retaliated by releasing their own IM APIs, allowing web site developers to incorporate presence data, and 3rd party to develop their own Skype client. It is worth nothing though that these APIs only cover the (otherwise excellent) IM part of Skype, not the most popular service – voice calls.

CNET has more on this meme as does Skype Journal.

I can’t help but wondering if this would make for a nice addition to an aggregator or integrated with Blogging software. This would really help to increase the conversation. That and adding speach to text software would allow for Google indexing. I need to play with Blinkx as they apparently do just that.

Mark your calendars. I’ll be on a panel on web architecture along with some other really smart individual at SDForum’s Web Architecture Event (Sept 14):

Software architecture is getting a lot of attention and architecture for the Web is on the march again. New technologies and approaches are providing new solutions — and new challenges. Traditional enterprise vendors are driving some of this change, but leading web based companies are playing a critical and equal role in defining the landscape.

Keynotes from:
* Grady Booch
* Adam Denning
* Pat Helland

Panelists include:

* Alok Bhanot, Director of Architecture, eBay
* Kevin Burton, Co-Founder and Lead Engineer, Rojo
* Colin Johnson, CEO, Eyetools
* Niall Kennedy, Community Manager, Technorati
* Kieran Lal, Director of Development, Civicspace
* Joe Nuxoll, Senior Software Architect, Sun Microsystems
* Benoit Schillings, CTO Office, Openwave
* Jacob Taylor, CTO, SugarCRM
* David Temkin, CTO, Laszlo
* James Ward, Flex Product Evangelist, Macromedia

I’m really digging these BlogPulse highlights:

See what happens when politics and religion get a little too chummy? You’ve got a Christian televangelist advocating assassination of a democratically elected world leader as a cheaper alternative than another $2 billion war. Then Venezuela accuses televangelist Pat Robertson of advocating terrorism, and the administration officials currently engaged in one $2 billion war can’t back away from Robertson fast enough.

 Images Trend Robertson

Now check out the cute little spike at the end. Talk about sticking your foot in your mouth!

BlogPulse is a pretty sweet service. I need to spend some time digging through their features. I wish they provided a javascript service so that I could include BlogPulse graphs in my blog. That would be killer.

I’m still waiting for my javascript include support for PubSub LinkRank graphs Bob! :)

Data Mining notes that Google has a new geotagging patent:

Yet another aspect of the invention is directed to a method for extracting addresses from a document. The method includes identifying possible address terms based on predetermined rules, verifying that the identified possible address terms are address terms by comparing the address terms to a table containing known addresses, and examining a relative position of the verified possible address terms in the document to determine whether the verified possible address terms form a valid address.

In other words, the interesting part is not looking up location names, but the bit that guesses the location of a house by interpolating between known positions (at least that is my interpretation of this snippet) and using known addresses to verify the form of the address. I haven’t yet read the entire patent, but will do and review later.

I might have prior art here. I’ll have to review the patent and verify.

Business week recently ran a post with Hu Zhiguang (who runs a large Chinese blog host). The Blogware blog is also talking about this:

Q: But, as you say, the political environment in China means there’s a lot that people can’t express in their blogs.
A: Sometimes there are people who write about Taiwanese independence and the Falun Gong.

Q: And what happens when they try to do that?
A: We set up keywords for our programs, like “Falun Gong,” and when you type in those keywords, you cannot post them. It just shows up as stars. Everybody has that.

Well that’s frightening. I’ve been a bit nervous about the US political scene but we’re no where near this bad.

This is really annoying. Ever want to see what the google sandbox looks like:

I thought people might find this pretty interesting. it’s from a relatively small mini-site (few dozen pages at most). we did a 301 on the entire domain to a subdomain on an existing domain that wasn’t sandboxed

 Ender Sandbox-Graph

This is a big problem. I could move my blog over to using or something of the sort or I could just wait it out for 6-12 months for the sandbox on my domain to expire. The main question becomes whether or not this is a good strategy. Would my pagerank be harmed by the domain since I could rise above the rest of the blogs on the site? I’m honestly not sure.

I the end it’s a bit maddening since Google won’t talk about this. I guess this is why SEO is so important.

Feedbuzzard has more on this topic…

Update: I probably don’t want to do this as it would tie me to using Typepad for the rest of my life.

Apparently Zawodny thinks trackback is dead:

I’m convinced now more than ever. But I’ll spare you all long
rant about why it’s dead, since others have already written this for me:

I’ve always felt that the case for trackback was a difficult one to make. One problem is that trackbacks are essentially automated comments.

Why not just provide a web comment API? No one has been working on this really and it’s a bit shocking that it’s 2005 and we still don’t have a way to syndicate comments (granted WordPress has a strong implementation of wfw:comments but that’s only one provider). Given a permalink why can’t I get a list of comments? Why can’t I post a comment through NetNewsWire or Ecto? I can send a trackback via Ecto but only with reduced metadata (the extract, not the full text).

I still don’t feel that Pubsub, Technorati, IceRocket, or Feedster are the answer. This just adds a brittle centralized man in the middle which can break when you least expect it.

Neither of these will be fixed anytime soon though. Link tracking services will still be fragile and comment APIs won’t take off (I’m obviously jaded).


The RSS Weblog has some thoughts:

Personally, I think TrackBacks foster self-promotion more than dialogue. Spam aside, linking offsite to follow the conversation is just too disruptive.