Monday, March 22, 2004

12:11:09 PM    Trackback []

  Sunday, March 21, 2004

Michael Fioritto's Weblog Has Moved

This weblog has been moved to

You can subscribe at

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  Wednesday, March 10, 2004

More on the RSS Tipping Point

Chad Dickerson at Infoworld says

Over the past several weeks, requests for InfoWorld's Top News RSS feed have regularly exceeded the requests for our home page. This has been going on long enough now that we're certain that it's permanent. I think it's a big deal.

During the business day, we track hour-to-hour performance (using a combination of shell scripts and Analog) and in any given hour, about 8 of our top 10 most requested files are RSS files. The actual numbers are proprietary, of course, but I can say that we have seen significant growth in overall RSS requests just in the past several weeks.

Feels like a tipping point to me.

Me too. It isn't just RSS that's getting huge. It's that more people are getting their Web services without the complicating container we call a browser. It's that there's another Web, alongside the static one we browse like the aises in a store, or the stacks in a library, looking for finished goods to read or buy. This other Web isn't framed in the same terms as the one we've been browsing for the last eight years. Its frame might be a news aggregator, or a blog, or a message on a phone, or a search through an engine that only looks for fresh goods. I first heard the best name for this other Web a year ago, from my son Allen, who called it the World Live Web. I was talking to Phil Windley about it yesterday. Here's what he wrote:

Why is RSS important? Because it says "here's what's changed on the Web." When I started building Web sites in 1993, it was very clear then that people visit sites that get updated frequently. That's still true. Now, however, we have a new tool, RSS, that tells us what's changed. I no longer have to limit my reading to sites I know get updated frequently. Instead, I get pinged whenever sites I'm interested in change. That's a fundamental shift in what the Web is. In fact, its something brand new.

The publishing frame (the metaphorical system by which we "author," "write" and "post" things called "journals" and "pages") still applies. The difference is currency. The Wide Web is archival. the Live Web is current. That it's also archival doesn't make it any less current, either.

By the way, I think Dave's offer to merge RSS and Atom is a magnanimous one. Now that RSS appears to be hitting a tipping point, it might be worth bringing up a problem I haven't seen anybody talk about: branding. RSS isn't just highly branded at this point; it also means something: Really Simple Syndication. I don't know what Atom means. And I haven't heard anybody give us a useful (i.e. brandable) name (other than RSS or a derivative) to the category to which both RSS and Atom belong.

[The Doc Searls Weblog]

1:23:09 PM    Trackback [] Launches

 I have been test-driving, the new news aggregation site, and I have to say, I am impressed, at least on the functionalities side. For me, the RSS feeds on niche topics is a killer...
The site is similar to news aggregators like Google's, MSN's or Yahoo!'s, but it takes the concept to the local level...local news on my alma mater town Bloomington..better still, an RSS feed on it...Hoosier heaven...'s executive management team includes three of the founders of the Open Directory Project, currently the source for the Google directory, including Rich Skrenta, CEO of


10:05:18 AM    Trackback []

“Tribe Networks, a company pioneering a new approach to the online classifieds business through its popular Web site, today announced its support for RSS.” (from PR Newswire)
[Lockergnome’s RSS Resource]

9:57:07 AM    Trackback []

RSS at tipping point, InfoWorld's CTO says

InfoWorld's Chad Dickerson says InfoWorld is now getting more requests for its RSS feed than for its home page. He thinks that's significant. I do too. 

8:05:53 AM    Trackback []

  Friday, March 05, 2004

Disruptive incremental innovation

The March 2004 issue of MIT's Technology Review magazine contains a fascinating article by Michael Schrage entitled Disruptive Incrementalism. It explains how incremental changes in products and services can sometimes lead to major successes. 

12:50:47 PM    Trackback []

The New Content Syndication

InformationToday reports, “RSS is an XML-based technology that revisits the publishing question, “Just what is the value of a new headline or the title of a magazine article?” In some ways this is, of course, an old question, because table-of-contents services have been available for decades. But the new spin is how these small, tasty morsels of information are going to be served up to customers. Or more importantly, how do customers want them, if they want them at all?”

10:25:59 AM    Trackback []

Jyte Follow Up

Jyte was mentioned before but there was no information about it. Now there is.

“You don’t have to slog through dozens, or hundreds, of feeds to find what articles interest you today. You don’t have to build complex search filters into your reader to find the news you want. The news you want, about anything, appears neatly categorized by search. No going to google. No refining your search terminology only to forget it the next time. It’s all right there and you can read it in the Jyte window.”

10:24:39 AM    Trackback []

  Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Craigslist publishes RSS feeds

This is close - but not quite there yet. I want the title, link to the post, summary, etc. - not just a link. Give me the ability to apply right from my aggregator or explore for more information if necessary.

More job sites like Craigslist need to offer RSS feeds. Instead of going to the site to check on my stored queries, I would like to receive the them as RSS feeds.

I have always thought this would be a natural fit for other classified products as well. For example, deliver listings for cars that match my query via RSS. In the long run it would make the site more useful, more personalized. I don't visit many sites that often anymore; especially if they don't offer high value/high need content. More than likely I would forget that I had a saved query in the first place.

Email does offer similar functionality, but it tends to get lost in the clutter and with corporate spam filters on the rise much of this might get filtered out.

On Saturday night at the Geek Dinner. Someone told me that publishes RSS feeds. I got my NEC job on Craigslist. This is great for people trying to sell things and find jobs.

5:31:22 PM    Trackback []

"Death March" project advice from Mike  |  Comments

Mike Gunderloy passes along Ed Yourdon's advice for surviving "death march" projects.

5:12:31 PM    Trackback []

  Monday, March 01, 2004

Building a system of innovation

New in Joyce Wycoff's Heads Up! on Organizational Innovation Weblog is an interesting article authored by Andrew Papageorge on Building a System of Innovation.

1:53:28 PM    Trackback []

HBR's 2004 Breakthrough Idea #9: The MFA is the New MBA. An arts degree is now...  |  Comments

HBR's 2004 Breakthrough Idea #9: The MFA is the New MBA. An arts degree is now perhaps the hottest credential in the world of business. Corporate recruiters have begun visiting the top arts grad schools in search of talent. And this broadened approach has often come at the expense of more traditional business graduates. For instance, in 1993, 61% of McKinsey’s hires had MBA degrees. Less than a decade later, it was down to 43%, because McKinsey says other disciplines are just as valuable in helping new hires perform well at the firm. With applications climbing and ever more arts grads occupying key corporate positions, the master of fine arts is becoming the new business degree.

The reason:  creativity is now seen as a bigger determinant of success than business logic.

9:55:22 AM    Trackback []

Inherent value testing

Jared M. Spool has written an article on the using a technique he calls inherent value testing. To quote:

Inherent Value Testing showed us what was valuable about the site and its underlying services. It gives us a concise, easy way to learn how well the site communicates value and where it falls short.

With the results of this technique, design teams can easily prioritize changes. Subsequent testing can demonstrate that changes have improved the design. Inherent Value Testing is one more technique in our user experience toolbox that gives teams the information they need to create successful designs.

(A follow-up article describes in greater detail how to actually conduct inherent value tests.)

9:35:13 AM    Trackback []

  Friday, February 27, 2004

Usability: drawing outside the lines

Molly Holzschlag writes about the tension between usability heuristics and real-world needs. To quote:

Although one-size-fits-all usability concepts provide a good foundation for designers interested in creating usable sites, a great user experience has far more to do with what you know about your users than what the books tell you. Molly Holzschlag shows you how to draw outside the usability lines and create sites that address the true needs of your site visitors.

[Thanks to InfoDesign.] [Column Two]

9:58:50 AM    Trackback []

User centered information retrieval

Marcel van Mackelenbergh has created a fascinating site on user centered information retrieval. This answers a range of common questions, such as "How to test information retrieval" and "How to improve metadata?". A good site, well worth visiting.[Column Two]

9:57:52 AM    Trackback []

Building better teams

MITSloan Management Review has published the results of research into knowledge sharing in teams. To quote:

There were two major findings. First, teams that shared knowledge, both intragroup and externally, tended to perform better. This result confirmed much earlier research. Second, as the diversity of teams increased so did the correlation between external knowledge sharing and performance. That is, structurally diverse teams did not necessarily perform better (or worse) than their homogeneous counterparts. But structurally diverse groups did appear to be better equipped to take advantage of knowledge shared with outsiders.

[Thanks to Thomas Collins.] [Column Two]

9:57:10 AM    Trackback []