RSS Day

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Happy RSS Awareness Day! If you don’t know about RSS and “feeds”, then today is the day to educate yourself! Head over to RSSDay.info to learn more about the day and to find a few links to get you started. Otherwise if you are a sometimes RSS Reader or a heavy “feeder” then you really should check out the Toluu sharing and suggestion service to take your RSS game to the next level. Toluu is still in beta but I have invites, just leave a comment on my interview with the founder of Toluu, Caleb Elston, letting me know you’re interested.

Triggit WordPress Plugin

A tag cloud with terms related to Web 2.Image via Wikipedia

I first learned of Triggit due to their selection as a finalist in the 2008 Web 2.0 Launchpad event. I’m really impressed with the service, it’s like Zemanta for advertising! I’ll write more on it later but for know I wanted to announce that I threw together a quick plugin for self-hosted WordPress users who feel more comfortable adding a plugin then editing their theme files. This is also useful if you don’t want to have to re-add the code every time you change your theme.

-= Download the Triggit WordPress Plugin Here =-

To use this plugin download and unzip it and place the file into your WordPress plugin folder. Activate the plugin and go to the Settings Triggit screen and add your Triggit User ID.

This plugin requires your theme to have the wp-footer hook, if you it doesn’t seem to work that’s the most likely reason and you’d have to edit your theme’s footer file and add <?php wp_footer(); ?> before the /body tag (or just paste your Triggit code since you’re there anyway). If that wp-footer code is there and it’s still not working then leave me a comment and I’ll try to help.

I’ll pretty it up a touch later so check back for updates!

FriendFeed – Just A Baby Step

This post was crossposted on FPettit.com. I will be cross-posting all of my content on the KnightKnetwork and FPettit.com for a while.

FriendFeed is all the rage. I am trying it of course. I am not so interested in Lifestreaming as having many sites information all in one place. It is an aggregator. Aggregation is a time saver. Really that is what Google Reader is all about. A feed reader is just aggregating content. The inline commenting in FriendFeed is very cool. The new conversation aspect is cool. The post back to twitter is cool too.  FriendFeed is a cool site and must for now.  I like FriendFeed.

But everyday I read another article about how to deal with information glut. Today I read an article about the lack of new content. Scoble mentioned how blogging had changed since last year. The point is that new content is hard to find.

What’s next? I dunno but it will be called by some catch phrase buzz word. Not sure what it will be called and I know it does not matter. What’s next for feed reading and for information processing? Not sure who has the answer. One would think it would be Google. Not a bunch of former Googlers. In any case I am tired of the baby steps but such is life.

I am confident that 5 years from now progress will win out and we will read and disseminate what is important to us and leave the rest.

This directly has to do with what I call 10 minute time. I have a half written post about 10 minute time saved as a draft from 6 months ago. In a nutshell I want to spend 10 minutes and read what is important and interesting to me. I only want to spend 10 minutes. My life is not the web. The web is great and I hope the future will hold the answer to this information overload.

By the way this post is not new content either just an observation to be recorded on this day.


Goodbye Yahoo! Shortcuts, Hello Zemanta!

When it was released, the Yahoo! Shortcuts plugin seemed like it was going to be a HUGE help in making my posts more useful and more attractive, and while it helped, I finally got fed up with it and turned it off. There seemed to be very little development going on for it and some of the major bugs, like stacking the photo credits if you use the same picture for multiple posts and the fact it blew up and spewed code on my archive page led me to deactivate it. The Yahoo! search links were also not very helpful in adding other relevant content, and for some reason it didn’t like double spaces after a sentance. so blah! and bye bye.

Now, new on the scene is Zemanta, currently available as a Firefox plugin. I’ve installed it and am giving it it’s first run and I have to say I’m impressed. It’s still in heavy development but is very impressive, here are a few of things they are doing better than Yahoo! shortcuts:

  • Zemanta puts everything on the Write Post screen, With Yahoo! you had to jump to a new page, make your additions and then jump back and fix anything the plugin made a mess of.
  • Link suggestions are single click and go where you would naturally want. Right now you can generally pick between the site’s home page or a Wikipedia entry, more options are on the way.
  • Tag suggestions! Zemanta suggests tags for your post from your content and semantic search for related keywords you may not have written about.
  • Related Article Suggestions from around the web (see below). You may not like this if you hate the idea of sending a reader to another site, but it increases the benefit to your reader and that’s important for return visitors.

There are a few things that I would like to see added, or if they exist make it easier to find them:

  • A WordPress plugin. It’s not hard to install Zemanta, but if it were a WordPress plugin I could use it on any computer and any browser. Then it would have access to suggest from my existing categories and make use of other internal WordPress functionality.
  • Gallery Scroll for more pictures, everything I see now is Firefox and WordPress none of which I want to use so let me scroll for more than just the 9 available.
  • Internal links – give me a section of related links that are only from my site
  • OPTIONS! Give me options! What if I don’t want suggested articles with adult content and want all my inserted links to be no follow? Even changing the color scheme or the ability to turn off some of he features would be nice.

Overall, I’m impressed. I’m not real sure about the Zemified button down there, but I’ll certainly leave it up for this post!

Toluu Badge Widget

Toluu is a new RSS sharing and suggestion tool that is getting close to emerging from beta (let me know of you want an invite and I’ll see what I can do). I threw together a quick widget to allow WordPress users with widgetized sidebars to easily add and customize a Toluu badge.   More info later so check back to this post, but until then please give it a try and let me know how you like it.

-= Click Here to Download the Toluu Widget =-

*Install the widget and leave a comment here and you’ll get a free membership to WPDesigner.com’s Theme Club!

Install:

  • Download from the above link
  • Unzip it and drop the file in your WordPress plugin folder
  • Activate on the plugin menu
  • Goto Presentation -> Widgets
  • Drag the ‘Toluu Badge’ Widget from your available widgets to your sidebar
  • Click on the little note icon and customize
  • Press Enter or click the ‘X’ to save and you’re done!