Sunday, May 29, 2005

Some ideas for news aggregators.

Feature request for RSS News Aggregators: I want to be able to "clean up" my feed subscription list. I want to remove any RSS feed that hasn't published in the past XX days (default to 30).

Or, someone could write me a service. I upload an OPML file and it checks to see if anything was published to each of the feeds included within in the past XX days. If not, it deletes the feed and lets me download the new, cleaned, OPML file.

While we're thinking about such things, how about this? I import an OPML file with a list of feeds, say 1000 feeds. Then it looks at my list of feeds and finds me the 100 most common links from those feeds. That probably would give me a list of new feeds I'd like to check out.

One other problem with RSS? If someone changes their URL of their feed, like Albert Tanutama just did, why can't our news aggregator notice that that feed hasn't updated, look at the last post and look for the words "move/moved" or "change/changed" or "updated" or "new feed" and offer to let you delete that feed and/or add a feed at the new URL?

Speaking of moving on, if I want to switch aggregators, OPML is definitely great. You export the OPML from one news aggregator and import it into your new news aggregator. One problem, your reading data doesn't move. For instance, in my aggregator sometimes I leave things as "unread" because I want to come back to them later. It'd be interesting to see if I could also export my readership details.

Do you have any ideas for how to make news aggregators better?

[Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger] comment [] 10:18:58 AM    

  Friday, May 13, 2005

ReadWriteWeb: "Is there a Web-based RSS aggregator out there that will be a Bloglines killer?" [Scripting News] comment [] 6:59:05 AM    

  Sunday, May 08, 2005

Microsoft missing an RSS strategy, Houston Chronicle says.

Dwight Silverman, in the Houston Chronicle, writes: Microsoft MIA on RSS.

Ouch, but, yes, it's frustrating how long it takes to get new features added to our products.

That said, let's meetup again at the PDC in September and see if you still think we're missing in action.

But, there's another way to look at it. We've built a platform that lets developers add value. There are a TON of RSS news aggregators on Windows. Look at Onfolio 2.0, for instance. That works with Firefox and IE and is an awesome aggregator. Or, look at FeedDemon. That's a standalone application, developed in Borland's Delphi, that rocks too. RSS Bandit was developed, on .NET, by a Microsoft employee during his nights and weekends and it has a huge community around it (it's free too and now is being run as an open source project, so it's getting lots of new features added very quickly). Then you look at NewsGator (and their competitors IntraVnews and YouSoftware). Those plug into Outlook (I use NewsGator as my primary RSS News Aggregator).

So, Microsoft's platforms get credit for these innovative -- and quite different from each other -- approaches to RSS.

We need to remember that anything Microsoft does will affect the livelihoods of the developers who built these products (and took the business risk back when RSS didn't look important). They validated Microsoft's investment in development tools and platforms and for that I'm very grateful.

[Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger] comment [] 6:48:53 AM    

  Friday, April 01, 2005

The evolution of RSS aggregators will be more important than the blog tools we use, I predict.

Talking about RSS aggregators -- which one do you like the best?.

Onfolio recently released its Onfolio 2.0 Release Candidate. For new news aggregator users, this is my second recommendation after Bloglines. Bloglines is easier, but Onfolio is much more powerful and, because it stores everything on your hard drive, opens up new scenarios (like you can read and search your feeds even when on a plane unconnected from the Internet).

If you are still looking for an RSS News Aggregator, this is certainly one you should try.

Real quick refresher course:

There are three basic types of RSS News Aggregators:

1) Server-based aggregators. Some, like Newsgator cross the lines since Newsgator has a server-side service too. Other server-side aggregators are, MyYahoo, Bloglines, and MyMSN.

2) Standalone client-side aggregators. RSS Bandit. FeedDemon. SharpReader. Radio UserLand. Among these, my favorites are RSS Bandit and FeedDemon. You'll need to download and install these. They don't depend on any other application being loaded, and are browser-independent too (for the most part). On the Mac, NetNewsWire is the one most of my friends like.

3) Built in the browser. OnFolio 2.0 adds onto IE or Firefox. Optimal Access adds onto IE. The Mozilla team offers Sage for Firefox users. Pluck adds onto any browser. My favorite here is OnFolio. Pluck is pretty good too.

4) Dependent on Outlook. NewsGator is my favorite here (it's still the aggregator I use most), but there's also IntraVnews.

Do you have an aggregator you like more than any of those listed? Which aggregator do you like the best? Let me know.

[Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]
comment [] 6:40:15 AM    

  Monday, March 21, 2005

Diego wants off of my link blog.

Diego doesn't want me to republish his blog posts. So far he's the third person to ask me to stop doing that on my linkblog. What do I do? Simply unsubscribe so that I don't see their posts anymore and am not tempted to link to them.

I used to do just headlines but, personally, that format is useless.

Why do I do my linkblog? For several reasons:

1) New readers need a way to find new blogs. I don't quote every post from someone's blog, just the most interesting ones to me. Out of 3,500 posts I usually put 100 on my link blog.

2) As a store for me to do my own searches later on. If I only had headlines in my RSS feed this would be useless. Instead, now, I have a way for me to find things that I found interesting months later.

3) As a way to get traffic and search engine juice to the people I find interesting. One link from this blog is worth quite a bit of Page Rank. Why? Because a lot of people link to it. Because of my publishing tool (Kunal Das wrote the tool, named OutlookMT).

4) It's pretty clear after reading my linkblog for a while that everything there came from someplace else and every item links back to its original owner.

5) I'm doing this for people who are overloaded with information and want to keep up to date on what the tech blogosphere is doing. It's a lot easier to read 100 items a day than 3,500.

How do I do this blog? I read all my feeds and anything I find interesting I drag over to a folder named "Blog This." That item is automatically placed on my link blog.

I also greatly appreciate Matt Mullenweg. He's donating the hosting and the back-end technology (it's running on WordPress).

I do find it interesting that Diego finds my linkblog interesting to read. It's interesting BECAUSE it has full-text reprints. If you want pure headline link blogs you can check those out on or bloglines. They simply aren't as useful.

[Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]
comment [] 5:08:52 AM    

  Sunday, February 13, 2005

Onfolio 2.0 (RSS aggregator) just gets more impressive with each release.

I'm still a NewsGator guy (I love the Outlook integration) but more and more I'm impressed with Onfolio 2.0. They are announcing it at Demo (I'll be at Demo, by the way, there's a TON of blogging/RSS stuff coming).

If you're looking for a great RSS aggregator, Onfolio is hard to beat. Plugs into IE or Firefox.

[Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger] comment [] 7:02:26 AM    

  Saturday, September 11, 2004

Bizjournals, which publishers the Atlanta Business Chronicle, now offers RSS feeds.

comment [] 8:03:17 AM