RSS Belongs on Everything!

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Image by aqhong via Flickr

Since participating in RSS Awareness Day I have found myself much more aware of the lack of RSS! There are so many things that are pushed to me by e-mail that I would rather have the option of pulling by RSS reader. I know both technologies have a push and a pull aspect but the bevy of e-mail notification tools make e-mail the pushier option of the two. I’m not after a mass switch here but options, give me more options! Anything on the web that can change should have an RSS feed available.

Here are some advances I would like to see:

  • Social Networks – RSS is starting to show up more, but what these networks need are the options to filter by each item that can be updated and to create multiple feeds. For example if you are on Facebook you should be able to subscribe to an RSS feed(s) that you set up from your newsfeed. You might want one feed for everything and I might want everything in one feed except to peel off status updates to second feed.
  • A widely implemented SRSS (Secure RSS) – Feeds of from your bank, credit card companies, and investment firms are among a few useful places for Secure RSS feeds, there are any number of other uses including private corporate feeds. If there is one single item needed to push RSS more to the mainstream, this is it.
  • Advertisements – The ability to mass ignore posts in RSS also makes it the perfect vehicle for the spammy type e-mail services you may tolerate.  I like to see what Dell has for sale and the current prices on all the random computer gear at the new CompUSA.com, but I delete those e-mails unread for the most part, it would be much better to scan them and trash them in bulk in an RSS feed.
  • DRSS (Dynamic RSS) – I don’t know if this is a coined phase or not, but this is a feature that’s just starting to pop up and that I hope to see a lot more of, an RSS feed that builds itself from a site’s content and your interests.  I currently get an e-mail from Bankrate.com when they write about 529 college savings plans, make this an RSS feed for me instead! Call it filtering or call it search, either way you’re making the feed dynamic for my interests.  With RSS bloat and purges this type of focused RSS will keep me reading and less frustrated.

These are my major wishes for RSS, what are yours?

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Toluu Invite Code & RSS Day

RSS Awareness Day

We’re just a few weeks away from RSS Awareness Day (May 1st). Given the proximity to my own birthday and my love of made up tech holidays (Programmer Day) I couldn’t pass up the chance to mention it. To celebrate I suggest that you get some RSS Suggestions from Toluu.com and expand your RSS reading.   To get an invite to Toluu all you have to do is read our recent interview with Toluu Founder, Caleb Elston and leave a comment expressing your interest!

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As a side note I feel the need to confess that my domain name addiction has resurfaced. GoDaddy’s $0.99 .info domains have lured me in and I’ve purchased RSSDay.Info, at the time of this posting only the blog is up but check back next week and hopefully I’ll have made some progress.

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.


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!

Google Reader Future for Comments and Collaboration

feed-705596.pngScoble gave his feedback on the recent enhancements in Google reader. The reader team added social networking functionality as we have all seen. It really got me thinking. So here goes. What if I could correspond with friends within Google Reader. I know it is the “Inbox for the Web” but I want an extension of my Gmail inbox fully in Reader. For example, when you click the email button at the bottom of a post you can email to a friend. But, they receive that email in Gmail. How about a Inbox for Reader email within Reader? Send and receive emails related to Reader in Reader. Powered by Gmail it would label (tag) all mails sent and received from Reader with a Reader label. Many people use reader as a tool for blog research. Blog collaborators could then more easily exchange info.

Scoble does make a positive point with no. 14 on his list. “While I’m at it, I’d love to add a comment onto each item so I could tell you why I thought it was important.” This is one things that draws me to Fav.or.it. Inline commenting the way fav.or.it describes it is cool. But commentary or notations within Reader for your friends only would be great also. Commenting of both types would be the best. Google Reader comments in my view would allow you to post a comment in at least 4 ways. 1 as a simple private notation for the user. 2 as a collaborative comment for friends. 3 as a comment for the world on the shared items blog. 4 as a comment for the author of the post inline (as Fav.or.it describes) . Commenting functionality is a necessary next step to Google Reader.

The Google Reader enhancements of the last few days although raw are for the better. I certainly hope that Fav.or.it, Bloglines, and any future competitor with a creative feature set will continue to push and challenge Google reader. I am confident that the Reader team will respond with enormous benefits to the end user.