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The FuzzyBlog!

 Monday, April 14, 2003

Michael Fagan's Absolutely Fantastic, Really Cool, Just Plain Excellent RSS Resource

Wow. Michael Fagan just emailed me about his new RSS resources page and asked me for comments.  I don't even know where to start -- and that's not because its bad -- its just plain excellent.  I'm sure in time I can come up with comments but for now run, don't walk over to his site.  Recommended.

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Now Available on Feedster : Sorting By Blogrank!!!

I just added a cool new feature to Feedster -- sorting by Blogrank.  Blogrank is an interesting concept created by BlogStreet and one I implemented with their help.  Blogstreet is a service similar to Technorati and they calculate the rank of a blog like this:

BlogRank indicates the overall popularity of a blog measured by the permanet blogroll links to that blog over time.

This sounds complicated but what it means is that a blog that is linked to from a blog's blogroll from many people's blogroll is more popular than a blog that is linked to from few blogrolls.  So something like has a very high blogrank of 1 while my FuzzyBlog  has a much lower blogrank of 184.

Here are three sample searches for "Blogstreet" using each of the different rankings:

My thanks to the folks at Blogstreet and Veer Bothra for their help in getting this into Feedster.  Let me know how you like it.

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So Hanan Gives Us "Are RSS Readers Such a Good Idea?"

Hanan over in Israel is starting to experiment with RSS readers and he's no longer certain that they are such a good idea.  I know that I'm quoting too much from this article but I don't really see a way to shorten it and his points are good:

RSS newsreaders bridge the gap between the web and Email. They enables web content to be pushed to the desktop of its subscribers.

Unlike Email, people who use RSS newsreaders choose what RSS feeds to subscribe to. But once they have chosen to read a feed, or to be aware of new items in a feed, they have to make the choice of reading the item or to ignore it. They cannot ignore the fact that a new item has been published, unless they unsubscribe from the feed completely.

Do we need more Email? 


The fact that a technology is possible doesn't mean it's a good idea to use it. I don't want do be more distracted than I already am.


I can see Hanan's point but I don't really agree.  Still I have to (shamefully) admit that I'm still not a regular user of a NewsReader -- although I'm starting to come close.  And enough people I really, really respect use NewsReaders that I know I'm missing something and probably being a technical reactionary who's just used to the way he's done something so long that he doesn't want to change.  Like a lot of tech folk, I'm actually pretty conservative since I know how rarely new things actually work.

One thing that I think Hanan is missing is that while RSS can make "more distraction" is that actually any different from the mental overhead of following links to a site when you want to read it ?  For example, take a look at the blogroll on the right of this blog which I just redid using blogrolling.   There are over 100 blogs there that I regularly follow.  Just walking the link list is getting to be difficult.  The idea of content coming to me is really starting to become attractive.  I do agree that the user interface of many aggregators isn't all that good and its hard to slice and dice down to content from a particular blog but that's condemning a concept just because of bad implementations.  The first mail clients sucked too (anyone remember MS Mail?) but we didn't toss out mail.

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Gnomedex Here I Come !!!

That's right.  I'm going to Gnomedex.  I really can't believe that someone and someone else convinced me to travel to Iowa in the summer to talk about computers.  Wow.  First time for everything I guess.  And how can you not attend a conference which tells you up front something like this (see italics):

On July 25th and 26th, we're doing it again - Gnomedex 3.0: Fellowship of the Geeks! Once again in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, Gnomedex 3.0 will bring together geeks and non-geeks (as well as the entire Lockergnome crew) for a two-day conference with one geek to rule them all! Saturday, July 26th is Chris's birthday - so don't plan on going home until Sunday. ;)

I wonder if I'll ever get a date again if I publicly admitted that this would be my "vacation" this summer.  Oops I guess I just did. 

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