Thursday, September 08, 2016

Introducing: WordPress Development Tips & Best Practices | Toptal

Introducing: WordPress Development Tips & Best Practices | Toptal: "WordPress is easily the most powerful open source blogging and content management system available online today, and so working knowledge of its intricacies is a boon to any developer or designer resume.

This resource contains a collection of WordPress development best practices and WordPress development tips provided by our Toptal network members"

'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Google Launches Google+ Commenting System For Blogger | TechCrunch

Google Launches Google+ Commenting System For Blogger | TechCrunch: "Google today announced that bloggers on its Blogger publishing platform can now enable a new Google+-powered commenting system for their sites. This means Blogger users can now use Google+ as a commenting platform for their blogs and comments from Google+ will automatically appear on their blogs, too."

'via Blog this'

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bones - The HTML5 Wordpress Starter Theme

Bones - The HTML5 Wordpress Starter Theme: "Bones is a WordPress Theme for Developers
Built around the HTML5 Boilerplate, Bones is a rock solid foundation to start any WordPress project. Keep what you need, remove what you don't. It's totally up to you."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Posting using email

Post to your Blogger blog using email.


The Mail-to-Blogger feature turns any email account into a blog-posting application. In Settings | Mobile and email you can create a Mail-to-Blogger address which you will use to send posts via email to your blog:



Saturday, November 19, 2011

Custom domains simplified | Blogger Buzz

"Adding a custom domain to your blog is a great way to increase your brand identity. Setting one up, however, can sometimes be a frustrating experience, especially if you aren’t quite sure of the difference between an A-NAME and C-NAME record or where to find them.

The good news is that the folks at Go Daddy created a handy tool that simplifies the process and makes it possible to redirect your blogspot domain to a custom Go Daddy domain with the click of a button. "

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Confluent Forms blog: You can do some amazing things with Blogger

"we’ve found that Blogger can be a great platform for web development when a custom CMS isn’t needed. Blogger provides a ton of functionality and design freedom for our clients, and not just for blogs!"

Go Blogger!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WordPress SEO Plugin - Yoast

"WordPress SEO is the most complete SEO plugin that exists today for users. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview that helps you optimize your page titles, meta descriptions and keywords to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between."

This looks like a useful set of SEO tools for WordPress.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Membership Software | Wordpress Membership Site Plugin | WishList Member

"WishList Member is a powerful solution for creating an online membership site – all built using WordPress as the core content management system.

Now it’s easy to control access to your content, accept payments, manage your members and so much more! Read below for full feature descriptions, tutorial videos and examples of sites using WishList Member."

A most interesting concept.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

WordPress Makes Blogging On The Fly Easier, Integrates With Twitter API

"This morning, a blogging platform and a microblogging platform have become more symbiotic. WordPress has enabled posting and reading the blogs the platform powers via the Twitter API."

More and more products are becoming connected.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TypePad Takes on Tumblr With Free Microblogging Feature | Technologizer

"Six Apart’s TypePad blogging service has long been aimed at bloggers who were serious enough about what they were doing to fork over money for a blogging platform. But today Six Apart is announcing TypePad Micro, a new level of TypePad service that’s meant for extremely casual blogging–and which is the first version of the service that’s free."

I want to take a look at this.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blogging From Microsoft Word 2007

"One of the new features in Word 2007 is the ability to publish directly to a blog. You can use Microsoft Word to publish to popular services such as Blogger and Windows Live Spaces. You can also specify other blogging services."

This option seems to work just fine.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Word to Blogger

Added the Word to Blogger interface to test for a client.

Apparently it is no longer feasible to cut and paste from Word into Blogger, so this interface is now available.

This is a test post, to test the interface.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Verifying a Blogger blog in Webmaster Tools

"Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Verifying a Blogger blog in Webmaster Tools. The steps required to verify your Blogger blog in Webmaster Tools."

Timely information.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Video: State of the Blogosphere 2009

"Video: State of the Blogosphere 2009"

I enjoy the results of this survey each year. This video introduces the 2009 State of the Blogosphere.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Balancing Blogs And Twitter

"290,000 words are written on Blogger per minute worldwide, which represents an increase of 10 percent versus six months ago."

Novels are various sizes, but assuming 58,000 words per novel, that is 5 novels a minute.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How to Switch from Blogger to WordPress Without Losing Google Traffic - Step by Step Guide

"The Goal: Your current blog at is hosted on the Blogger platform but you now want to move this blog from Blogger to WordPress (self-hosted) with a personal domain name (say"

This is needed information. I might consider doing this with all my Blogger blogs.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Using a WordPress Page as your home page

"It’s not only possible it’s relatively easy. The first step is to create a page to serve as your new home page. For the purpose of this example, we’ll call it “My New Home Page.”"

Using WordPress for Content Management

Friday, March 20, 2009

Why Twitter’s ‘Suggested Users’ is the Next Superbowl Ad (or “Calacanis offers $500k for three years”) « The Jason Calacanis Weblog

"Last week, some of you may have read a headline that said I offered
Twitter $250,000 to make me one of the default users in their system.
The headline is almost accurate. I did offer them $250,000, but it was
for two years as a *suggested* user, not a default user."

A most interesting way to look at this microblogging system.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Google Friend Connect: Add social features to your site

"With Google Friend Connect, visitors to your site or blog can:
Sign in with their Google, Yahoo, AIM or OpenID account.
Interact with other visitors by making friends, sharing media, posting comments, playing games, and more. Invite friends from other social networks and contact lists to join your site or blog."

Turn your blog into a social media site with Google Friend Connect.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Best 10+ Sites To Look For Stunning (and Free) Twitter Backgrounds | zMogo Tech Stuff

"A custom twitter background helps you stand out from the crowd. With a background different from others, your profile will carry a feeling of uniqueness. It makes a good impression and takes your brand one step forward. Why have the same background that several thousands of other people have?"

Saturday, January 31, 2009

WordPress › WP-DB-Backup « WordPress Plugins

"WP-DB-Backup allows you easily to backup your core WordPress database tables. You may also backup other tables in the same database."

A plugin to back up your WordPress blog.

» 10 Ways to Backup & Restore your Blogger Blog

"However, there are number of tricks, online services and utilities that can help you backup your Blogger Blog. Here are few ways to backup Blogger Blog, just in case it is deleted and needs to be restored."

Blogger now has an export function, but this article has great ideas.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thesis Theme for WordPress — Solving the fundamental problems of Website development and design

"No matter which layout you select for your site, the core Thesis framework will remain the same, and that means you still get all the ultimate site-building and SEO benefits that Thesis offers. Best of all, you now have a true foundation for your Website—a core code framework that can accommodate any design or layout customization you might wish to make in the future."

I have not tried it yet, but this theme is getting lots of good press.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

9 WordPress Plugins You Need

"As a WordPress enthusiast, guru, and lover, I use plugins every single day and am constantly researching new plugins — even creating plugins. These are the top 9 plugins that I’m in love with. Check them out and see if they’re a great fit for you."

WordPress plugins can improve WordPress. Here is one list.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blog clients review

"Blog client lets you post to your blog via XML-RPC running on your local machine. Often, blog client can manage blog entries. Blog client allows you to write a post even if you are off-line."

A review of 10 blog clients.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How-To: Covering Brand Bases on Twitter - MarketingVOX

"'Microblogging' site Twitter, which enables users to publish anything under a 140-character limit, has over a million users per month, with 200,000 users posting about 3 million messages per day, according to March figures."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Post2Blog is a handy blog editor with live spellchecking and Flickr, Word, Firefox, RSS Readers integration

"Post2Blog 3 is a FREEWARE handy blog editor with live spell-checking support for pro-bloggers"

There are many general purpose blogging clients, but this one has an interface to Microsoft Word.

Help with blogging in Word - Word - Microsoft Office Online

"This article provides information for the Help links within the blog-related dialog boxes in Microsoft Office Word 2007. It also includes troubleshooting information for the More Information button in error messages related to blogging from Office Word 2007."

Using Word 2007 to post to Blogger.

How do I post via email?

"The Mail-to-Blogger feature turns any email account into a blog-posting application. In Settings | Email you can create a Mail-to-Blogger address which you will use to send posts via email to your blog:"

Another way to post to Blogs managed by Blogger.

What is BlogThis! ?

"BlogThis! is an easy way to make a blog post without visiting Once you add the BlogThis! link to your browser's toolbar, blogging will be a snap. Or rather, a click."

I use this tool regularly and recommend it.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

Using Word to Update Blogger

A Test for the Word Blogger Interface. I have a client that would prefer to work in Word, so this is a test.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Blog design 101: Creating your own Wordpress theme | cre8d design: blog design, Wordpress themes, Drupal, Web 2.0

"Blog design 101 One of the most common questions I’m asked is for beginner’s help in creating a new Wordpress theme. There’s a few approaches you could take and I’ll list some of the advantages and disadvantages of each method."

A WordPress Tutorial: Creating a WordPress theme.

WPDesigner » So you want to create WordPress themes huh?

"Tutorials on this topic have been written before and the WordPress website also has guides for you to follow. But are those tutorials and guides really helpful to you when you don’t understand the lingo? Even I got lost while reading the WordPress guides."

Another WordPress Tutorial on creating themes.

How to create a WordPress theme: A guide for the design-challenged non-geek | Leon Kilat ::: The Cybercafe Experiments

"I love minimalist designs with great colors. No, that isn’t accurate, make that: I now love minimalist designs with great colors."

A WordPress Tutorial: How to create a WordPress theme.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - Magazine & Premium Wordpress Themes

"Spending countless hours trying to find Wordpress magazine themes? Me, too. Here’s a collection of some that I found. There are new ones coming out all the time, so please send any that are not on here using the suggest a theme section."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


"We’re proud to present a new service - Because of the need of freedom of speech and secure hosting facility of the words being said we could not agree to how people behave towards bloggers.

Many blogs are being shut down for uncomfortable thoughts and ideas. We will not do that. Our goal is to protect freedom of speech and your thoughts. As long as you don’t break any Swedish laws in your blog, we will defend it."

A blogging for service for those that want free speech.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

AntiLeech - Red Alt

"AntiLeech does not prevent the splogger bots from accessing your site. It produces a fake set of content especially for them that includes links back to your site (and mine, too, ok?) and sends it only to them. When they steal this content, it appears online just like normal, except now you've turned the tables on them and have provided them with useless content."

Any thing that helps fight splogs is certainly welcome.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Blog Hosting Experts. Movable Type or WordPress Blog.


Our mission critical servers are optimized for the special demands of hosting blogs. And
we always offer the best and the latest versions of Movable Type and WordPress, two of the most popular blogging platforms available — and ones with which LivingDot has exceptional expertise and experience."

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Blogcoach

"Getting started with blogging--a site for clients, friends, aspiring bloggers and blog editors."

Good information for bloggers.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Life Cycle of a Blog Post, From Servers to Spiders to Suits -- to You

"You compose a new post. You click Publish and lean back to admire your work. Imperceptibly and all but instantaneously, your post slips into a vast and recursive network of software agents, where it is crawled, indexed, mined, scraped, republished, and propagated throughout the Web."

Check out this graphic about the intricate path of a blog post.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Free Space to Three Gigabytes «

"Today, one of those developments comes to fruition — everyone’s free upload space has been increased 60x from 50mb to 3,000mb. To get the same amount of space at our nearest competitor, Typepad, you’d pay at least $300 a year. Blogger only gives you 1GB. We’re doing the same thing for free."

WordPress now offers more free storage.


"CoveritLive's web based software takes your next live blog to a new level. Your commentary publishes in real time like an instant message. Our ‘one-click’ publishing lets you drop polls, videos, pictures, ads and audio clips as soon as they come to mind. Comments and questions from your readers instantly appear but you control what gets published. Try our software for your next live blog."

A tool for doing sophisticated live blogging.

Monday, August 06, 2007

40+ Free Blog Hosts

"So it seems all we ever speak about is Wordpress, but don’t forget that you have options when choosing a blog platform. Here are 40 free ways to get started."

A complete list of blogging options.

Friday, August 03, 2007

30+ WordPress 3-Column Themes

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so you need a clean, easy to read, and well organized theme for your blog. Today we’re going to concentrate on three column designs."

Lots of three column themes for WordPress.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

50+ Tools For The WordPress Admin

"Running your Wordpress blog can feel like a full-time job sometimes. We’ve compiled an A-Z list of more than 50 plugins to help you streamline everything you need to do out back. As with any plugins list, don’t install them all at once!"

Another list of Wordpress add-ons - irresistible.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

30+ Plugins for Wordpress Comments

"When working on a WordPress blog, posts often take center stage. However, the comments are often just as important - they create valuable discussion. And yet the default WordPress comment box is simplistic and uninspiring - here are Mashable’s favorite comment-focused WordPress plugins that can eliminate spam, improve the appearance of comments, and add more value to your posts."

A valuable list of add-ons to deal with WordPress comments.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Welcome to Blog to Print - Powered by SharedBook

"Content owners on Google's Blogger platform and their readers can now use the Blog2Print widget to turn posts into a printed book with a single click. Additional compatibility with other platforms will become available later this summer."

This is in beta, but it looks most promising.

Monday, July 02, 2007

HP Launches Wordpress Plugin for Blog Printing Options

"HP has released a few new tools for website publishers and bloggers for printing options that site visitors and readers can utilize, called the Tabblo Print Toolkit."

This is interesting because the printer manufacturer might be the only one concerned with printing blogs.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Definitive List of Paid Blogging Sites: Ways to Make Money Online

"One of the easiest ways to make money online is to set up a blog around a specific topic of interest and generate online income from the display of advertising/affiliate programs, product sales or the provision of online services."

A list of sites on how to make money with blogs.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Blogger Buzz: Make Your Own Blogger Widgets

"Do you have a great idea for a Blogger widget? The new version of Blogger has an API for adding a custom widget to a blog. By using a simple web form on your site, you can encourage bloggers to add your widget to their blogs."

How to Backup a Blogger Blog

"How to Backup a Blogger Blog

If you have a blog hosted on Blog*Spot and you've upgraded to the new version, there's an easy way to backup your blog."

83 Beautiful Wordpress Themes You (Probably) Haven’t Seen | Smashing Magazine

"83 Beautiful Wordpress Themes You (Probably) Haven’t Seen | Smashing Magazine"

You cannot never have enough themes or clipart. - Inline Blog Comments

" - Inline Blog Comments

What is LineBuzz and what does it do?

LineBuzz gives blog readers the ability to post comments directly on the text of a blog entry. A blog author simply installs one line of JavaScript and LineBuzz is activated."

Another options for Blog comments.

O'Reilly Radar > Call for a Blogger's Code of Conduct

"I was quoted in a BBC article a few days ago and a San Francisco Chronicle article on Thursday calling for a 'Blogger's Code of Conduct' in response to the firestorm that has arisen as a result of Kathy Sierra's revelation that she's been targeted by a series of increasingly violent and disturbing anonymous comments on her blog and on a series of weblogs that appeared to have been created for the purpose of celebrating cyber-bullying."

Interesting set of posts.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Dosh Dosh - Making Money Online

"How to Effectively Create Content for your Niche Blogs: An Introduction and Guide"

Good advice for maintaining your niche blogs over the long haul.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Free Blogging Video Tutorial

"Blogging With WordPress - Free Video Tutorial"

Good place to start with WordPress. Tutorials on how to install, and how to do the basic template modifications.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Eight Insider Tips for Turning Your Blog Into a Business - Part 1 at Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

"People often seem surprised when I say matter-of-factly: yes, you can turn a blog into a business and make money from it."

Solid tips for bloggers wanting to make money.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


"What is this?

Ping-O-Matic is a service to update different search engines that your blog has updated.

Ping-O-Matic is a great service that must be used well. It must be balanced with your blog service and feedburner PingShot if that is used.

Friday, October 27, 2006

How to become an A-List Blogger - The Jason Calacanis Weblog

Keynote from Blog Business Summit - The Jason Calacanis Weblog

How to become an A-List Blogger by Jason Calacanis

1. Go to Techememe (that's a tech website-KK)
2. Blog something intelligent about the top story of the day
3. Link to and mention all the people who have said something intelligent
4. Repeat for 30 days
5. Go to a couple conferences a month
6. You're an A-list blogger.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Podcast Academy: Paul Colligan

The Podcast Academy: Interview with Paul Colligan the author of "The Business Podcasting Bible"

Saturday, August 19, 2006


"Zookoda is an email marketing application designed specifically for bloggers. Zookoda enables you to send a daily, weekly or monthly summary of your latest blog posts directly into your vistors inbox.
Oh...did we mention - it is all FREE!"

Monday, January 02, 2006

RSS Tutorial

RSS Tutorial.

"There are many resources on the Web for RSS. This tutorial emphasis the benefits of RSS, and how they can be realized. This tutorial refers to other sources for RSS History, Background, and Technical specifications."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Official FeedBurner Weblog: No Feed is an Island: Introducing FeedFlare

"FeedFlare is a one-step service that enables publishers to configure a very slim 'footer' containing customizable actions that will appear beneath each item in a feed"

Friday, November 11, 2005 - Refreshing Connections

"Blogarithm lets you easily manage all the blogs (or any other pages you'd like!) that you track. Any time one or more of the blogs you read changes, you'll get BlogMail(tm) - a morning email listing all your blogs that have new content - including excerpts when available! "

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Blogging Predicted in 1837?

"A talented, prophetical Russian prince by the name of Vladimir Odoevsky (1803-1869) apparently predicted the internet... and blogging."

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Podcast: What Is RSS?

"TTU College of Education Podcasts: Podcast3: What Is RSS?

Information Access in the 21st Century: RSS and News Aggregators ..."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

RSS - conclusion and summary

That completes the RSS basic and RSS advanced sessions.

I will take some time, add some new material, reorganize the class, and then
do it again at a later date.


I am well aware that we all have multiple demands on our time, but I would
appreciate any comments or critiques as I start the process of refining the
class material.

- I will probably put the material together into an e-book.
- I will certainly add numbers in the subject the next time to keep them in


Please feel free to ask any RSS questions in Tech Talk.


RSS is an exciting technology, and there are new announcements every day. I
look forward to incorporating some of the new RSS Announcements and doing
the class again.



Les Bain
Wizard Creek Consulting

Creating a Feed from Your Website - Generating the RSS Code

Creating an RSS Feed from Your Website - Generating the RSS Feed File


When we created the RSS Feed manually,
- we defined 3 data items for the RSS Feed - title, description, and link.
For each RSS Feed item,
- we also defined 3 data items - title, description, and link.

We then manually added all the RSS Feed Tags like <title> and <description>
and the RSS Feed was complete.


The most efficient way to create an RSS Feed is to use a service or program
- allows you to enter the title, description, and link and then
- the program adds the RSS Feed Tags and generates the RSS Feed file.


Here is one basic service called RSS Headliner.

You enter the basic information (title, description, link) into the website
- The website adds the XML RSS Feed Tags and generates the RSS Feed.
- You must cut-and-paste the code into the RSS Feed file and
- FTP or Upload the RSS Feed to the server


The best product I have seen is FeedForAll (
- It is a program that is downloaded.
- It is a complete package for creating and maintaining RSS Feeds.
- It costs $39.95.
- There is a free 30 day trial period.

It works like this:

- There is a RSS Feed tab so you can select any of multiple RSS Feeds to
work on.
- There is an RSS Item tab where you can add or edit RSS Feed Items.
- The first page allows entry of title, description, and link.
- The second page allows entry of optional elements like author, copyright,
and date.

You provide the title, description, and link, and the program does the rest.

FeedForAll includes an FTP product, so you can upload the RSS Feed file
directly to the server. To create a new RSS Feed Item for an existing RSS
Feed, upload it, and make it available takes 10 - 15 minutes.

However, this product is designed to do multiple feeds on a regular basis.
It might be overkill for one RSS Feed updated infrequently.


My recommendations:

1) If you can, just create the RSS Feed file manually.
2) If you need help with the RSS Feed Tags, use RSS Headliner to generate
the RSS Feed Tags and cut-and-paste into an RSS Feed file.
3) If you maintain multiple feeds with frequent updates, use FeedForAll.
4) If you want the coolest product, use FeedForAll.


Creating a Feed from Your Website - Using Programs

We have been discussing how to create an RSS feed from your website
manually. There are all sorts of programs that are available to create
Feeds from your website.

Some read the website and create an RSS Feed for each webpage, and create
the RSS Feed as follows

- RSS Item title = webpage Title
- RSS Item description = webpage Description Meta Tag
- RSS Item link = webpage URL

Some using the technique known as "scraping" or "screen scraping", which is
reading a website or webpage screen or HTML and trying to make intelligent
decisions about what should be in an RSS Feed.

For each program in this category, they read the website or webpage and
create the RSS Feed.

But lets review. The two characteristics of a website RSS Feed.
- It is just the headline or an announcement that brings people to the
- It is a "what's new" feature for the website

Each of those characteristics means that it is probably going to take manual
intervention to make the programs work.
- If you are using the RSS Feed to announce a new article, you want to
decide how much of the article is enough to entice someone to click and read
the entire article.
- If you are using the RSS Feed to introduce a new product, you want to
decide what should be in the RSS Feed to entice people to come to the
website, review the product, and potentially buy the product.
- If you are using the RSS Feed to announce a meeting or event, you want to
include enough to bring people to the website and have them review the
details of the event or meeting.

All-in-all, I do not recommend any program, product, or system that reads
the website or webpage to try to figure out what should be on the RSS Feed.

Next topic: What I do recommend.

Les Bain
Wizard Creek Consulting

BlogBot for Outlook

"An easy-to-use RSS/ATOM aggregator that plugs into Outlook!"

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Creating an RSS Feed for your Website - notes

Creating an RSS Feed manually - notes.


- It is certainly easy enough to create a RSS Feed for your website
manually. New technology always has a learning curve, but the format of the
XML file is straightforward.
- We only used the necessary elements to create the RSS Feed example, but it
is certainly functional.
- The real issue is to match the dynamic RSS Feed to a static Website.
- For some, coding the RSS Feed manually takes away all the mystery.


You can use CSS to format your RSS Feed.

- See
If you click on this file, you see the XML code.

- Now click on
It is the same file with CSS added.
Example 3 has one additional line.
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/css" href="rss-feed.css"?> that invokes a CSS

- The CSS File is

- It is questionable the value of using CSS to format an RSS Feed, because
an RSS Feed is designed to be read by computer and not by humans, but it can
be done.


There are two more posts to finish up this advanced topic.
- Using programming to create feeds.
- Using products to create feeds.

Creating a Feed from Your Website - Describing a Feed Item

Here is my sample RSS Feed. At this point, it describes just the channel.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<rss version="2.0">
<title>RSS Class</title>
<description>RSS Class: lessons, illustrations, examples and

We are now going to add an RSS Feed Item.
RSS Feed Items are described with
- title,
- description and
- link.

The following is an example of an RSS Feed Item.

<title>Using RSS to create content</title>
<description>This is an example of creating a webpage using

To show that it is an item, we wrap it in <item> tags.

<title>Using RSS to create content</title>
<description>This is an example of creating a webpage using

It is now added to the RSS Feed file. The RSS example feed now looks like

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<rss version="2.0">
<title>RSS Class</title>
<description>RSS Class: lessons, illustrations, examples and

<title>Using RSS to create content</title>
<description>This is an example of creating a webpage using


The RSS Feed file is sent to the server, and the first RSS Feed Item is
available to the Internet. You can use FrontPage or DreamWeaver to do the
entire process of course. You can also use Notepad and any FTP product.

The result is this RSS Feed:

Creating a Feed from Your Website - Adding items to the website feed

The last post we discussed how to create an RSS feed. I provided a
barebones but fully functional outline for an RSS Feed for a website. Here
it is.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<rss version="2.0">
<title>the feed title</title>
<link>the website url</link>
<description>the feed description</description>

The Title, Link, and Description describe the feed. There are more optional
parameters like author, copyright, and date.

Review: To create a feed
- Create a text file with the extension of xml
- Copy and past the lines above
- Fill in the blanks for title, link and description
- FTP the text file to a server
- and people can start subscribing to your feed.

To update the Feed, we add information for items.
- An item is like an entry, a post.
- A channel may contain any number of items.
- An item for a website is a headline or summary of what is on the website,
- The item points back to the website for the full story.

The process is this
- Add one or more items
- FTP the text file back to the server

The RSS Feed aggregators will find the new items and deliver them to your

Next Post: Describing Feed Items

RSS benefits feed into business

"At Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference earlier this month, Bill Gates declared that, 'Windows Vista has actually built a platform around RSS.'"

RSS 2.0 Specification

"RSS 2.0 Specification


* What is RSS?
* Sample files
* About this document
* Required channel elements
* Optional channel elements
* Elements of
* Comments
* Extending RSS
* Roadmap
* License and authorship"

Sunday, September 25, 2005

RSS: Creating a Feed from Your Website - Notes about the Feed

If you are following along with the lessons, you have created a basic RSS
Feed for your website.


You should validate the feed.
- and validate the feed
- if you use Firefox and have the Web Developer Toolbar,
then display the feed and on the Web Developer Toolbar - Tools | Validate

The feed that you created should validate.


There still seems to be a problem with adding feeds to My Yahoo.

If you are having trouble with My Yahoo, you should find a new RSS feed
reader to use for this exercise.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

FeedBurner Aggregate Statistics

"It's been a while since we've discussed any broad metrics here, and nature abhors a lack of charts and graphs, so as the leaves begin to turn and the kids head back to school, we thought we'd take a moment to reflect on a couple of interesting statistics."

Nielsen reports on RSS

"RSS users are more engaged in online news.

83 percent of survey respondants who used RSS were unaware that they were using rss.

Among RSS users who understood the technology, 78 percent were male."

Creating a Feed from Your Website - Creating the Actual Feed

Today: Coding a feed for your website.

OK. Let's create an RSS Feed for your website. If you follow along, you
will have a working RSS Feed for your website at the end of this lesson.
This is not a drill (smile). This will be an actual working RSS feed on the

- It can be used by you from now on to make updates.
- Others can subscribe to your RSS Feed.
- It will be fully functional.

1) Decide on a title for the feed. My website is Wizard Creek Consulting
( The feed I decided to do was for this class,
so my feed title is "RSS Class". A website can have more than one feed.

2) Use Notepad, FrontPage or any other text editor to make a text file.
Name it using your title dot xml. My file is named rss-class.xml. Use
hyphens, not spaces or underlines.

3) Add the following to the file. The commands specify that this is an XML
file, that it is RSS 2.0, and that it has a channel or feed. Everyone should
have the identical statements here. (Feel free to cut and paste of course).

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<rss version="2.0">

4) Add three statements after <channel> to describe the feed: title, url and

<title>the feed title</title>
<link>website url</link>
<description>feed description</description>

Example of complete feed:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<rss version="2.0">
<title>RSS Class</title>
<description>RSS Class: lessons, illustrations, examples and

5) FTP this to your server. You can use any FTP product. I recommend you
use a folder for RSS because you might have more feeds, but it is not
required. Mine is

- It is now a working RSS feed.
- There are no entries yet. That is the next lesson.
- This is an advanced class, but I can provide some help if you are

Let me make a strong suggestion. This is optional but it could be fun.

If you have created this feed,
- respond to this post and tell us the URL of your feed.
- subscribe to the feeds of others that respond
- subscribe to your own feed
- I will subscribe to the feed of everyone that responds

Next post we will start to add items / entries, and those that have
subscribed will start to see feed entries in their feed readers.

Friday, September 23, 2005

RSS - Creating a Feed from Your Website - "What's new?"

Topic: Creating an RSS feed from your website - how to create and manage
your own feed.

Today: What's New?

RSS Feeds are a "what's new" mechanism. RSS Feeds are a way of sending a
"what's new" message so the recipient knows it is time to revisit the

"What's new" is perfect for a blog, because a blog is a serial set of
entries. The latest post is the "what's new".

But how does that work with a website? Some websites are relatively static.
Some websites are online brochures that do not change much. How does a RSS
Feed work for that kind of website? The answer is simple - it does not. If
you have a static website that does not undergo change, there is no reason
to have a feed.

What if you wanted to add a regular post and then generate a feed? I would
recommend that you consider creating a blog and letting the blog create the
RSS feed.

The RSS Feed does not fit every website.

The "what's new" does not have to be regular or frequent. I subscribe to
RSS Feeds from software sites that inform me when there is a new software
version release. I might get 1 or 2 RSS feed items in a year.

Unlike a blog where some regular updating is recommended, a feed only has to
be sent when there is something new. That could be as little as once or
twice in a year, or for a news feed, it could be every hour.

To create a feed for a website, you must first determine what the feed will
be posting. What is going to be the included in the "What's new?".

What are some examples of feeds from websites?
- The daily menu from a cafeteria website.
- New product announcements.
- Notice of a sale.
- Seasonal announcement
- Invitation to a special event.
- Notification of a new article.
- News story headline
- Sports score
- New software release

The goal is to have the "What's New" of sufficient interest for the
subscriber to follow the link and come back to the website.

Assignment: Is a feed appropriate for your website? What would be the
nature of the feed?

Next topic: Creating the feed.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

RSS - creating a Feed from Your Website.

Creating a feed from your website is a new and more advanced topic. I
assume everyone will self regulate whether the topic is appropriate for

Topic: Creating an RSS feed from your website - how to create and manage
your own feed.

- Differences in website and blog feeds.
- Creating feeds from a website: manually, scraping, programming, and
- How to manually create a feed.
- How to write a program to create a feed - overview and resources.
- How to use a product to create a feed from your website.

Today: Let's do some thinking about feeds and websites and blogs.

RSS feeds for a website are designed to do headlines, to do a tease, to get
people to select a link and to go to the website. A website RSS feed is an
advertisement for the full webpage or the full website. The RSS feed
always contains a link back to a website.

An RSS feed for a website is like a movie preview. The movie preview shows
just enough of the movie to make the person want to see the movie.

The feed for your website is a notice or announcement that brings people
back to your website. The goal of the website RSS feed is to entice the
subscriber to click the link and come to your website. The goal is for the
RSS feed to bring visitors back to the website.

It is not the same for a blog. If the blog entry is short, the subscriber
may very well just read the feed and not go to the actual blog entry. I
read many RSS Feeds from blogs where I rarely, if ever, go to the actual
blog. Some subscribers never go to the actual blog. One reads the feed.
That is all.

For a blog, the feed is to alert the subscriber that a new blog post was
written. If the RSS feed subscriber is up-to-date on the blog, all the
subscriber cares about is the latest blog entry. The subscriber does not
care about the rest of the blog.

For a website, you want to bring the visitor back to the website where the
visitor can purchase a product, review your services, read your latest
article, or get acquainted with your business. Each RSS feed entry is
another invitation to come back to the website.

Next post: More discussion about website RSS feeds.

Les Bain

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Feed Autodiscovery

"Among the new features in Firefox 1.0 Preview Release is Live Bookmarks, which lets you view an RSS or Atom feed as a bookmark folder. Firefox takes advantage of RSS Autodiscovery to determine the availability of a feed for your page."

RSS - Conclusion and Summary:

Conclusion and Summary:
This is the last post in the class:


RSS use is growing.
RSS Benefits:
- Use RSS to keep yourself informed.
- Use RSS to create content on your website.
- Use RSS to promote your website or blog.


Some final tidbits and resources:

Register your RSS Feeds in the Feed Directories:

Validate your feed:

Dave Winer was the programmer who developed RSS - his blog about RSS.


RSS Questions are still welcome.
RSS Comments are most welcome. I would appreciate any comments.
- We will consider doing the class again if there is interest.
- Let me know what we can do to improve the class.
- Let me know what worked with the class.
- Let me know whether you want the class again.


Final Recommendation: RSS is a powerful tool and should be considered for every webmaster's tool kit.


Using RSS to bring visitors to your website or blog - using FeedBurner

Topic: Using RSS to bring visitors to your website or blog.

Today: Using FeedBurner

Feedburner is a free service for Feed Publishers. They provide a one-stop fill-in-the-blanks service for working with your feeds.

Disclaimer: I have no interest in FeedBurner. I do use the service. It is free.

1) FeedBurner solves the problem of all the various versions of RSS and ATOM by providing a Feed that works on all Feed Readers.

2) FeedBurner provides a feed that browsers can read by using XSL.
See for an example.
Right click and view source to see what the actual file code looks like.

3) FeedBurner provides capability for podcasts, mobile readers, splices with Photo Services, and Google adsense.

4) FeedBurner solves the problem of providing all the information on how to subscribe to feeds. It is all contained in the feed file itself. Just provide a link to the feed. The feed contains all the other information.

5) FeedBurner provides stats on feed use.

6) FeedBurner provides a service to "Use RSS feeds for content on your Website".
See for an example.
You have CSS Control over the way the Feed looks on your website.

7) FeedBurner provides various promotional buttons to use for your Feed.
See for example.

8) FeedBurner is used by professional sites. FeedBurner manages over 100,000 feeds.

This is my only caution. Proceed with care. Make sure you name things carefully, because after you get subscribers, it is difficult to change. Pay attention to what you learned in SEO class to name your feed.

Feedburner is certainly worth investigating. It can save time and improve your feed product.

This is the last post of the topic Using RSS to bring visitors to your site.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Encourage your visitors to subscribe to your feed

Topic: Using RSS to bring visitors to your website or blog.
Today: Encourage your blog visitors to subscribe to your Feed

Now that your blog has a Feed (either RSS or Atom), provide a way for your visitor to subscribe to the feed.

I am surprised when I visit blogs that have feeds, but have nothing on the blog to encourage visitors to subscribe. (I peek at the HTML source to find out there is a Feed.) It is a little like publishing an ezine with no way for people to sign-up for the ezine.

This is a very easy step. There is no reason not to.
This is how to encourage your visitors to subscribe to your Feed.

The basics:
- Create a hyperlink on your blog that points to your feed URL. The anchor text can say "RSS" or "Feed" or "RSS Feed" or "Subscribe to my Feed". That is all that is required to get started.

Add a graphic:
- You can add one of the orange RSS or XML graphics to the hyperlink. The following directory has a random collection of RSS and XML graphics.

Add buttons:
- You can add special buttons for those that use the popular RSS Readers. Yahoo, Bloglines and Newsgator have instructions for webmasters to make it easy for your visitors to subscribe. Most of them generate the HTML for you.

for Yahoo -
for Bloglines -
For Newsgator -

And the final optional piece:
- You can include a link to a URL that describes what a feed is for those that have no idea.

Here is just one of many examples where someone did a thorough job of helping people to subscribe. (Scroll down to How to subscribe to our RSS feeds)


And if all that is too much, you can use FeedBurner, which is the next topic.

Using RSS to bring visitors to your blog - create a feed

Last topic: Using RSS to bring visitors to your website or blog.
Today: Create a Feed from your Blog.


Some people prefer to get RSS Feeds rather than revisit blogs. It is easy to accommodate them if you have a blog.

If you have a blog, I recommend you generate the feed. Most every blog service has the capability to generate feeds. It is usually just a parameter that one has to turn on to get the RSS or Atom feed. There is no reason not too, and many reasons to do it.

Some blog services give the option to create multiple feeds in different versions of RSS. That has some merit because you provide for each type of user, but now most Feed Readers read all versions. So, I recommend you create just one feed, and if you have a choice pick RSS 2.0.


Treat your RSS Feed File with respect. It might bring you many visitors over time. Give it the same care you give to your site. Investigate the options. Keep an eye on it.


Some blog services add the name of the feed to the blog HTML.

Do a view source of your blog and between and look for statements like the following
link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="name of feed" href="Feed-URL"
link rel="alternate" type="text/xml" title="name of feed" href="Feed-URL"
link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="name of feed" href="Feed-URL"

- View source and observe that WordPress has the option to generate feeds for multiple versions.
- If you are using Firefox, click the orange icon at the right of the status bar. Did that generate an "ah ha"?

- View source for another example.
- I changed mine from the Blogger default to another option.
- If you are using Firefox, click the orange icon at the right of the status bar.

Ok, that should have been easy. Turn on the Feed Generation from your blog.

Next Lesson: Helping people subscribe to your feed.

XML security gateway expanded to support RSS feeds

"Colorado Springs, Colo. — Reactivity Inc. is offering its XML security gateway to Really Simple Syndication (RSS) publishing and subscription applications. The move is being made in collaboration with SimpleFeed Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif., company working to simplify RSS subscription duties."

RSS gets its due at Microsoft developer conference

"LOS ANGELES -- It wasn't mentioned as often as Windows was, but one techie term was uttered with extraordinary frequency during Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference here last week: RSS."

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Use RSS to put content on your website or blog - resources

If you have decided to put content on your website or blog using RSS - here are some resources.

It is beyond the scope of this discussion to review each of the tools. If you are going through this discussion just to learn in general about RSS, this post can be ignored.


Article: "Display RSS Feeds" -
This is an excellent article that discusses the various ways to put RSS Content on your website, including Javascript, PHP, ASP, and XSL. Pros and Cons of each are discussed.


Service: Feed Digest

I recommend FeedDigest to start. FeedDigest provides a comprehensive set of tools and instructions to use RSS content on a website. Like many web services, you can do a small number for no cost. Fees apply after that. Feed Digest provides the service, the script code, and the formatting. You just need to insert into your website.

Feed digest examples:


Service: FeedBurner

FeedBurner offers various services to feed publishers. If you use FeedBurner already, they have a tool to display feeds on a website. FeedBurner also creates code that must be copied and inserted into your website or blog. The FeedBurner display can be controlled using CSS. This is a free service.

FeedBurner example:


Scripts: FeedforAll

FeedforAll provides RSS to HTML scripts. These scripts required more effort and expertise, but they allow more control.

FeedForAll example:


FeedDigest and FeedBurner are fill-in-the-blank services. They are designed to be easy to use, but you are dependent on the service.

FeedforAll provides scripts for Webmasters to take and use. They offer more flexibility. They are more work.


This concludes the topic of Using RSS to add content to your website.

The next and last topic: Using RSS to get more visitors to your site.

Use RSS to put content on your website or blog - introduction

You can use RSS to put content on your website or blog. Usually this means putting headlines or a short paragraph of information on your website or blog with a link back to the original post or article.

If for example, you used an RSS Feed for Google news, it could look something like this. Each of the entries would be a link back to the news article.
Google News
» Bonds OK with career winding down - MSNBC
» Annan Urges World Leaders to Fight Terror - Washington Post
» Car Bombing at Iraq Market Leaves 30 Dead - Guardian Unlimited

Some reasons to use RSS to create content.

- If you have two related blogs, you can provide links back and forth to the recent posts.
- You can provide a sidebar of news or sports.
- You can generate a quick webpage.
- You can provide links to your blog from your website.
- Because it is fun? Interesting? Because you can?

Some issues about doing using RSS to create content.
- You have to be aware of copyright issues when using other's content. Many RSS publishers want you to use their RSS Feeds because it generates traffic back to their site, but each case is different.
- Putting RSS Feeds on your website or blog is not for the faint hearted. There are some services that are making it much easier, but it involves adding scripts to your website or blog. That script can be JavaScript, PHP, ASP, or others. All the usual script issues apply. Your site visitors can have scripts turned off. Your server might not support the script you would like to use.
- The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) issues will not be discussed in this group.

To learn more:
Article: "How You Can Instantly Tap Into an Unlimited Source of Content, for Free!" This article is overly dramatic, but a good overview.

Some Examples of using RSS feeds on a website or blog. These are all from my website or blogs. They were created in large part just to be examples. - part of a webpage from RSS feed. Find the box that says "The Feed Reader". - full webpage is generated from RSS feed. - another full webpage is generated from an RSS Feed. - a blog sidebar for Google News is generated from an RSS Feed.

This is a two part topic.
- This post introduces the concept and give some examples.
- The next post will be list of resources of scripts or services if you want to include RSS feeds on your website or blog.

Friday, September 16, 2005

AOL Survey Says: People Blog as Therapy

"A new AOL blog survey shows most bloggers are not aspiring 'cyber journalists' or political activists; they blog as a form of therapy.

According to the AOL 'Blog Trends Survey,' nearly 50% of bloggers say they do it because it serves as self-therapy, and one-third of bloggers who responded say they write frequently about self-help and self-esteem topics. The survey also revealed that when it comes to relieving real-life pressures or dealing with personal issues or tragedies, six times as many respondents prefer to write in their blog or read blogs written by others suffering from similar problems rather than to seek counseling from a professional."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Displaying RSS Feeds

"Displaying RSS
RSS offers webmasters a unique opportunity to display fresh content on websites. While publishing an RSS feed is a great way to generate site interest and increase communication, syndicating and displaying feeds from related relevant sources can also generate interest, increase traffic and improve search engine ranking."

RSS & Podcasting

What is podcasting and what does it have to do with RSS?
Podcasting is a method of publishing audio using the Internet.  The Podcast, usually an MP3 file, is recorded, up-loaded to the Internet, downloaded onto another computer, and tranferred to an IPOD or another MP3 player.  You can subscribe to podcasts, connect the IPOD to the computer, use iTunes or IPodder software, and fill up your IPOD with podcast audio.  It enables individuals to become audio publishers and individuals to build a custom virtual radio station.
Podcasts are RSS 2.0 enclosures.  The actual XML code would look something like this:
<enclosure url="" length="12345678" type="audio/mpeg" />
An RSS feed with an audio enclosure is a podcast. 

RSS Directories

Subject: RSS / Feed Directories

In a previous post, we discussed search engines for Feeds. This post is about blog directories and RSS/Feed directories.

There are directories for blogs, directories for feeds, and directories for both blogs and feeds combined. I created a webpage of directories for blogs and directories for feeds, but there is overlap in the two categories. Following is the link for the directories: Blog and RSS/Feed Directories

One can find RSS/Feeds using search engines, directories, or by finding feeds as you surf the web.


This completes the first and longest step of this discussion which was "Using RSS to stay informed".

The next two sections will be
- Using RSS to add content to your website.
- Using RSS to bring visitors to your website.

It is time now to raise any questions or issues about the first part of this discussion.
- If you are having trouble finding an RSS Feed Reader and/or RSS Feeds, it is time to respond with questions.
- If you have discovered an RSS Reader that I have not mentioned, this is a good time to share that information.
- If you have discovered something about RSS that is worth sharing, please do so.
- If RSS is still not making sense, this is the time to ask for clarification.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

RSS in the News

This is a bonus post on some recent RSS developments.

The large Microsoft PDC (Professional Developers Conference) is in Los Angeles all this week. Any attendee of the conference can blog about their conference experience. There are 647 people at the conference writing blogs about it. All of them have RSS Feeds.

There has been lots of RSS news at the conference, including in Bill Gates keynote address.

- Vista (The new version of Windows)will have RSS built in.
- Office will have RSS capability
- Outlook will be able to read RSS Feeds
- Internet Explorer 7 will have RSS aggregating capability
- SharePoint will have RSS Capability built in

I listened to one interview where Bill Gates talked about RSS as the way Microsoft will be connecting applications together

One reference for those interested:

"Microsoft gives RSS a big bear hug"
"RSS is now a pillar of Microsoft's strategy to make loosely coupled client/server the preferred architecture to Web-based thin client computing."

What does that all mean? RSS is rapidly moving from new technology to a pervasive technology.

What makes a weblog a weblog?

"At Berkman we're studying weblogs, how they're used, and what they are. Rather than saying "I know it when I see it" I wanted to list all the known features of weblog software, but more important, get to the heart of what a weblog is, and how a weblog is different from a Wiki, or a news site managed with software like Vignette or Interwoven. I draw from my experience developing and using weblog software (Manila, Radio UserLand) and using competitive products such as Blogger and Movable Type. This piece is being published along with my keynotes at OSCOM and the Jupiter weblogs conference. And a disclaimer: This is a work in progress. There may be subsequent versions as the art and market for weblog software develops. Dave Winer, June 2003, Cambridge MA."

Microsoft gives RSS a big bear hug

"Microsoft is using RSS 2.0 as a major conduit of myriad content — including business-to-business applications interactions — inside, across, and for wide area import/export of feeds throughout its software systems. Remember the digital nervous system? Well, RSS just became a new variety of spine. Very cool."

RSS Review


RSS has 3 benefits for the website owner
1) Use RSS Feeds to keep yourself informed
2) Use RSS Feeds to find content for your website
3) Use RSS Feeds to bring visitors to your website

We are working on step one.
- We have discussed RSS Feed Readers
- I have recommended that you start to use an RSS Feed Reader to learn about RSS and Feeds.
- If you have an RSS Feed reader that you are now using, you have the opportunity to find RSS feeds, subscribe to them, and have your own personalized news service.

Lets review how RSS Feeds work:

1) A website or a blog creates a Feed. Many Blog services can create RSS Feeds by just selecting an option. Other sites can also create feeds.

2) The Feed is an XML file that lives on an Internet server. There are now hundreds of thousands of RSS Feeds sitting on Internet servers waiting patiently for an RSS Reader to subscribe to them.

3) The RSS Feed Reader website reads the XML file and displays it. There is software that can make any website an RSS Reader.

See for an example of all three steps.

Finding and Subscribing to RSS Feeds.
Using RSS to add content to your website or blog.
Using RSS to bring visitors to your website or blog

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Finding Feeds - Search

The major search engines are all in the process of adding Feed Search.


MSN just announced a feed search.
Enter feed:keyword and find feeds for any topic.
Enter hasfeed:keyword to find sites that generate feeds on a topic


Google just announced their blog/feed search.

Notes about Google Blog Search:
- Google calls in a Blog Search, but it only includes blogs that publish a
site feed (either RSS or Atom), so it is also being called a feed search.
- Even though Google owns Blogger (a blog service), it searches all blogs.
- The Google Blog Search will find blogs that have feeds, but we know there
are some feeds without blogs.
- And of course, it is in Beta.


Yahoo is testing blog search in Korea


Next: Find feeds using feed directories and smaller feed search engines.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Getting Started with RSS .... Continued (2)

Another lighter post today as I give everyone a chance to find an RSS Reader and get started.


Another RSS quote:

"It is clear that the aggregated news model is rapidly becoming the preferred method of online consumer news consumption,"
said Jim Pitkow, chief executive officer and president of Moreover Technologies.


Orange is the color of RSS and RSS Feeds.

The buttons and icons for RSS, XML and Feeds are usually orange. There are exceptions of course, but orange is the de facto standard.

Google calls the Google Desktop Sidebar RSS Reader Web Clips - but it is orange!

"RSS" or "XML" or "FEED" in an orange button alerts one to a Feed.


Firefox has a special feature for RSS feeds. If you are using Firefox and browsing a website that has an associated feed, an orange! icon shows up on the status bar to the lower right.

To illustrate: (Only in Firefox)

1) Click on my website - no orange icon on the status bar.
2) Select Blogging Info or go to - there is now an orange icon on the status bar. It signifies that there is an associated feed for this website.

Click on the icon and you can add a live bookmark that is really an RSS/ATOM Feed Reader. It will create a bookmark for each entry on the Feed.

Technical note: You are not subscribing to the blog, you are subscribing to the feed. The feed is Firefox automatically finds the feed.


Continue to work on finding an RSS reader and getting familiar with RSS Feeds.

Coming attractions:

Finding RSS Feeds
Putting RSS Feeds on your website
Creating RSS Feeds for the world to see.

The RSS Space: The Next Google

"Recently I made an attempt at defining 'The RSS Space'. Based on some great discussions with VCs and wise people in the RSS business, we came up with the following categorization for RSS vendors:"

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Getting Started with RSS... continued

I want to give some time for people to get started reading RSS Feeds, so the
posts will be lighter for a few days.


Here is a good quote by Dave Winer, the programmer who developed RSS:

"When people ask me what RSS is, I say it's automated web surfing. We took
something lots of people do, visiting sites looking for new stuff, and
automated it. It's a very predictable thing, that's what computers do --
automate repetitive things."


The Google Desktop - Sidebar Option - has an RSS Feed Reader built in. It
is called Web Clips. The Web Clips help says - "You can also manually add
RSS/Atom feeds to see updates to your favorite blogs and other websites."

But Web Clips has another optional option that is most interesting. If you
surf a website (using IE or Firefox) that has a feed, the Feed is
automatically added to Web Clips.


Anyone have any questions about getting started with a RSS Feed Reader?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Getting Started with RSS

That is enough introduction and theory about RSS. Let's get started using

The first step is finding, subscribing and reading RSS feeds.

To subscribe and read RSS Feeds you need a tool. The tools all do the same
general things, but they have several names. They are called Feed Readers,
News Aggregators, or RSS feed readers. If you want to learn about RSS, I
recommend that you find a tool and get started reading RSS Feeds.

Here is a directory of RSS Feed Readers / News Aggregators just to give an
idea about how many there are.

There are three basic types of RSS Readers.

1) Web-based RSS Feed Readers. These are websites that provide access to
RSS Feeds. Pick one of these if you want to set up a RSS Feed Reader that is
web based and can be used from any computer that can access the Internet.

They can be portal sites that include RSS Feeds. Examples:
- My Yahoo -
- Personalized Google Homepage -

They can be websites that exist only to provide access to RSS feeds.
- Bloglines -
- Rocket RSS Reader -

2) Desktop based RSS Feed Readers.

These are programs you download, install, and run on the desktop.
- Feed Demon -
Mac OS X
- NetNewsWire -
- Straw -

3) Outlook based products
These are Outlook add-on products that deliver the RSS Feeds to Outlook
- NewsGator -
- IntraVnews -
(I use IntraVnews because I like the feeds delivered to Outlook.)

This lesson will require several posts, but I would recommend that you find
one of the tools and start to use it. If you cannot make up your mind, then
use My Yahoo. You must have a Yahoo account to be a part of Tech Talk, so
set-up will be minimal.

This lesson will continue with finding and subscribing to RSS Feeds.

Let me know if you have problems finding or using an RSS Feed Reader.

Friday, September 09, 2005

What is RSS?

There are lots of articles that describe RSS and what it is. The reason there are lots of articles is because it is not easy to describe.

Here is a great video that introduces RSS.

Now for the terms. Let's review the terms.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the presentation language of the web. It is the language that communicates with human readers. It is the language of websites and webpages.

XML - (Extensible Markup Language) is the language of the web that is used to communicate with computers. It is used to allow for the easy interchange of documents on the World Wide Web.

RSS is one of the dialects of XML.

There are various flavors of RSS. One flavor is different enough to have another name - ATOM.

Web Feeds - some people prefer the more generic term "web feeds" or just "feeds" to describe RSS and all of its flavors. Products like FeedDemon and FeedBurner capture this terminology.

Microsoft supposedly is debating whether to use the term "web feeds" or "RSS" for the new version of Windows.

Confused? Lots of people are. But we know the internet is chaotic and it will get sorted out over time.

Just know that "RSS" and "RSS Feed" and "Web Feed" and "Feed" usually mean the same thing. That some people also use the term "XML" to identify a Web Feed.

I use the terms "RSS" or "RSS Feed" because those are the most popular terms at this point in time.

To summarize:
- XML files are for document exchange.
- Web feeds are a subset of XML Files.
- Web feeds include all the flavors of RSS, including ATOM.

That is enough introduction - the next topic is how to get started using RSS. The best way to understand RSS is to use it.

RSS. How can it help? How can this tool be used effectively.

We all know that RSS is one of the hot new technologies. But what is it
good for?

It is customary to start with what RSS is, but I am going to talk about 3
benefits of RSS to anyone who has a website.

RSS can help us do three things.

1) RSS can help find updated information on the internet that can help us
stay current in our areas of expertise.

RSS comes close to fulfilling the promise of a custom newspaper or magazine
that is delivered to our desktop as it happens.

My RSS reader delivers to my desktop a custom mix of articles on news,
sports, technology, computer security, call centers, cellular technology,
gourmet coffee, personal growth, website development, information
technology... and of course RSS. I continually refine this daily flow of
information, dropping those that get stale, picking up new ones like I did
for additional Katrina news.

The news blogs are updated hourly, but most of the blogs are updated weekly,
so it is very manageable set of information. It is delivered in headline
form, and I can choose whether to read the entire article. RSS reduces my
surfing time; gives me more reading time.

2) RSS can help provide content for websites and blogs.

RSS feeds can be used to provide content for websites and blogs. Tools are
available that can capture RSS feeds and put the information on a website or
blog. Most of them are point and click kinds of tools that require no

3) RSS can bring additional traffic to a website or blog.

RSS is getting more and more popular. Those of us who are using RSS readers
to get information, want to subscribe to information that we can read as RSS
feeds. I do not want to go check to see if a blog or website has been
updated. I want updated blogs and websites to show up on my desktop. The
RSS Feeds will point back to the blogs or websites for the complete article,
and will bring additional traffic to the blog or website.

RSS can provide these 3 benefits: (1) help keep us current, (2) provide
content for our websites and blogs, and (3 ) bring traffic to our websites
and blogs.
The next post will describe what RSS is.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Why RSS? What is the fuss all about?

RSS is getting a great deal of attention in the tech press. What is all the fuss about? Should RSS be part of your Internet toolkit? I will be providing some information on RSS in a discussion format here on Tech Talk.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.

Note: None of these following references are required reading or even recommended reading. They are just to give a bit of flavor for the kind of press RSS is getting.

1) The major companies are implementing RSS.

Microsoft is building RSS into the latest version of Windows now called Vista.

If you personalize your Google home page, you can add RSS Feeds.

If you use My Yahoo, you can add RSS Feeds.

2) RSS is enjoying some great tech hype. One example: "RSS is probably the most powerful marketing tool emerging in internet publishing today."

3) RSS tools are multiplying.
RSS tools are now available for Dreamweaver (RSS Dreamfeeder)

Tina sent us the article "Creating an RSS Feed for Your FrontPage Web Site."

4) Steve Gillmor, who has one of the most popular technical podcasts - the Gilmor Gang, pronounces we are now in the Syndisphere. "Not the Blogosphere so much as the Syndisphere."

I subscribe to almost 100 RSS Feeds, including feeds created by people who are on this Yahoo list - and some of you do NOT make it easy to subscribe. (smile). I generate 14 RSS feeds. This post is also on an RSS feed.

Let's discuss what the fuss is all about. Discussion will be about RSS and how RSS can be used. Questions and comments are welcome. Let me know if you have specific questions to be answered.

Creating an RSS Feed for Your FrontPage Web Site

Summary: Learn about RSS and how to programmatically create an RSS file for your FrontPage 2003 Web site.

Forrester Research: Technology research and advice.

"Today, only 6 percent of online consumers read blogs and 2 percent use RSS"

RSS Writer

"If you don't have a server that is able to generate RSS feeds, then you can manually create them with RSS Writer. All you need to do is upload the XML file once you have entered your content."

SoloSub - RSS Subscription process made easier

"SoloSub allows you to point subscribers to one url (see example), and then your subscriber selects which Feed reader they are using. We hope to eliminate the subscription button clutter found on the web today."

About Feeds (XML, RSS and Atom)

"Many websites have links labeled 'XML' or 'RSS' or 'Atom'. All of these are ways of saying that you can find out about updates to that site without having to browse to it yourself to check."

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Sept 2, 2005: International Blogging for Disaster Relief Day

"Therefore, I'd like to unilaterally declare tomorrow, Friday September 2, as International Blogging for Disaster Relief Day.

If you have a blog, here's what you can do. Sometime tomorrow, take a break from whatever it is you usually blog about, and post something constructive related to disaster relief. You can keep it topical to your blog: for example, if you usually blog about pets, blog about Noah's Wish or another entity working to rescue and reunite hurricane-affected pets with their families. Or, you can just dedicate blog space to listing websites where people can donate money (maybe even challenge people to match your donation), or share a story of a hurricane survivor. This goes for photo bloggers, podcasters and video bloggers as well - there's no reason why this should be text-only."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Syndisphere

"This is the subscription economy we're talking about. Not the Blogosphere so much as the Syndisphere. In this ecosystem, the contract is based on continued attention, not captured attention."

Blogging gets popular

"NEW YORK -- Blogging is catching on big time. A survey says the top 50 blogging and blog-related sites grew 31 percent, to more than 29 million unique visitors during July as compared to the start of the year, comprising nearly 20 percent of active Internet users."

Friday, August 19, 2005

Feed Validator for Atom and RSS

Feed Validator for Atom and RSS

"What is this?

This is a validator for syndicated feeds. It works with RSS 0.90, 0.91, 0.92, 0.93, 0.94, 1.0, and 2.0. It also validates Atom feeds.

To use it, simply enter the address of your feed and click Validate."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Are 'splogs' ruining the blogs?

Are 'splogs' ruining the blogs? | | CNET

"Spam has always been a hotly debated topic in the digital realm, so it should be no surprise that its form in the blogosphere--'splogs'--is the source of much angst. But the latest controversy over splogs is far more specific than the broad condemnation that has become the standard response to spam in email, cell phones and other electronic communication."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Feedster Top 500

Feedster (sf) :: RSS Search Engine:

"Each month, Feedster brings you a list of 500 of the most interesting and important blogs. Enjoy browsing to see what people are reading, to find feeds that will bring topics of interest to you on a regular basis, and to discover new voices in the Blogosphere."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 - Mobile Podcasting - Mobile Podcasting:

"Welcome to Pod 2 Mobile!

Currently we are BETA testing our software. If you have a SprintPCS phone, (why SprintPCS only) our software will stream a Podcast to it! Just SIGN UP and we will send a text message to your phone with a link to our software. There is no cost to you. "

Monday, August 08, 2005

Who's Using RSS

Who's Using RSS:

"Only two percent of adults in North America say they use RSS ... That's compared with five percent of teens and young adults aged 12 to 21, according to research in a pair of new reports on marketing and RSS from Forrester Research."

Clusty the Clustering Engine for Blogs

Clusty the Clustering Engine:

"Clusty Blogs combines VivĂ­simo's federated search and clustering capabilities to bring you the best blog search on the web. With one search box you can search and cluster these top blog search engines:

* Blogdigger
* Blogpulse
* Daypop
* Feedster
* IceRocket
* Technorati"

Blogging Terms and Blogging Tools

Time to check: Are you using the right blogging tool?:

"Blogs are one of the hottest publishing tools around, but picking blog software can be confusing and frustrating. Use this primer to get a feel for what's available and what will work best for you."

NASA - First Podcaster From Space

NASA - Steve Robinson: First Podcaster From Space:

"One day before landing, STS-114 Mission Specialist Steve Robinson transmitted the first podcast from space. "

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Blogging Continues to Grow Exponentially

All Headline News - Blogging Continues to Grow Exponentially - August 6, 2005:

"According to web experts, one blog is created every second by users around the world.

Blogging, personal web logs that allow users to post thoughts read by online readers, is changing the way people express their published views and are considered to be the new homepages of the 21st century."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Free Forum Hosting

Blog forum , only free blogger forum on the internet which is FREE!:

"Blog forum offers free forum hosting, with an automatic, easy sign-up procedure where you can be up and running with your very own forums within minutes."

Friday, July 22, 2005

RSS Video

"RSS: feel the need for feeds?
Rafe Needleman, editor for Business Buying Advice, explains how RSS feeds give you the news you need, when and where you want it. Watch as he helps you stay informed with more news from more sources than you could ever possibly read. "

This video is an excellent introduction to RSS.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The place to find Podcasts -- The place to find Podcasts:

"Podcast Alley is the podcast lovers portal. Featuring the best Podcast Directory and the Top 10 podcasts (as voted on by the listeners). You will also find podcast software, the podcast forum and great podcasting info. "

podsafe music network

podsafe music network

"The best in new music and music podcasts from the creators of"

Separate sections for artists and podcasters.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Tim Bray on Atom 1.0

ongoing � Atom 1.0:

"It’s cooked and ready to serve. There are a couple of IETF process things to do, but this draft (HTML version) is essentially Atom 1.0. Now would be a good time for implementors to roll up their sleeves and go to work."

Includes a comparison of RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

O'Reilly Network: Screencasting Strategies

O'Reilly Network: Screencasting Strategies:

"A number of folks have written asking for more information on the process of making screencasts. Nowadays, my weapon of choice is Camtasia Studio. (Perhaps I should make a screencast showing how I use the product. But like the demonstration of Windows Media Encoder 9 I did in the February column, a Camtasia demo would be of interest only to Windows users. And since Camtasia costs $300 more than the free Windows Media Encoder, the appeal of such a tutorial would be even more limited.)"

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Blogarithms - The New Project

Blogarithms � The New Project:

"Every day there are scores or even hundreds of fascinating and important conference sessions, lectures or other presentations that are lost. They simply evaporate because no one captures or records them. Some of these presentations are by the greatest and most inspiring minds of our time, and many could be important to people in the far reaches of the planet, if only they could hear them.

My new project is to capture (record) all of these presentations, post-produce them, and make them available worldwide for free."

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers

EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers:

"Whether you're a newly minted blogger or a relative old-timer, you've been seeing more and more stories pop up every day about bloggers getting in trouble for what they post.

Like all journalists and publishers, bloggers sometimes publish information that other people don't want published. You might, for example, publish something that someone considers defamatory, republish an AP news story that's under copyright, or write a lengthy piece detailing the alleged crimes of a candidate for public office."

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Eric Rice :: How to build a 10 minute podcast

Eric Rice :: How to build a 10 minute podcast:

"The first rule of podcasting is that there are no rules in podcasting. Trust that rule, and you'll have a lot less stress in your life. I've created guidelines for creating short, organized shows that can help you either get started in podcasting or organize your existing podcast into manageable, predictable chunks."

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Wired News: Photo Site a Hit With Bloggers

Wired News: Photo Site a Hit With Bloggers:

"When bombs went off in Jakarta, Indonesia, in September, readers weren't the first to know. Instead, members of Flickr, an online photo service, were among the very earliest to see pictures of what had happened."

Build a Feed You Can Cut 'n Paste

Build a Feed You Can Cut 'n Paste:

"Build a Feed!

The tool below will help you format a feed's display with the information you want to use on your web site. All you need to enter is the URL for the RSS source, and select the desired options below. Note that we now have a number of mirror Feed2JS sites that can provide the exact same service as we provide here."

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Camtasia Studio - Screen Recording for Demos and Training

Camtasia Studio - Screen Recording for Demos and Training:

"Camtasia Studio is a complete solution for quickly creating professional-looking videos of your PC desktop activity. Anyone can Record and create a full-motion video tutorial or presentation, in real-time, and publish it in the format of their choice. No multimedia or programming experience necessary!"

Secrets of screencasting | InfoWorld | Column | 2005-05-11 | By Jon Udell

Secrets of screencasting | InfoWorld | Column | 2005-05-11 | By Jon Udell:

"Secrets of screencasting
With a little diligence, short online videos can become powerful educational tools for IT"

O'Reilly Network: Movies of Software

O'Reilly Network: Movies of Software:

by Jon Udell

BBC NEWS | Technology | 'Blog' picked as word of the year

BBC NEWS | Technology | 'Blog' picked as word of the year: "

"The term 'blog' has been chosen as the top word of 2004 by a US dictionary publisher."

BBC NEWS | Technology | Voters flock to blog awards site

BBC NEWS | Technology | Voters flock to blog awards site:

"Voting is under way for the annual Bloggies which recognise the best web blogs - online spaces where people publish their thoughts - of the year."

Microsoft Windows Media - Windows Media Encoder 9 Series

Microsoft Windows Media - Windows Media Encoder 9 Series:

"Windows Media Encoder 9 Series is a powerful tool for content producers who want to take advantage of the many innovations in Windows Media 9 Series including high-quality multichannel sound, high-definition video quality, new support for mixed-mode voice and music content, and more."

Product for Screencasting.

Bickering among the 'Pod squad - The Boston Globe - - Technology - Business

"Bickering among the 'Pod squad' "

Friday, May 27, 2005 Buzzworthy: The state of podcasting Buzzworthy: The state of podcasting:

"Eight weeks into's first experiments with podcasting, I can say this much: It's still a little too complicated -- both for the audience and the podcaster."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Jon's Radio

Jon's Radio:

"When conversations turn to the rivalry between Old Media and the Pajamahideen, I try to steer another course. Blogging, rightly understood, isn't going to take down newspapers, magazines, and TV, it's going to energize them. The adversarial rhetoric mostly just gets in the way."

KYOURadio - Open Source Radio

KYOURadio - Open Source Radio:

"After our first week what can we say other than thanks for your podcasts and thanks for the overwhelming support. It’s been 12-hour days, lots of take-out supplemented by equal amounts of coffee to get to this point but the payoff was worth it: the first radio station in the world powered by YOU. "

Thursday, May 19, 2005

FireANT | Not TV

FireANT | Not TV:

"FireANT is an RSS video aggregator and media player that can automatically download media content for you to watch and listen to."

Thursday, April 14, 2005

BBC NEWS | Technology | Bogus blogs snare fresh victims

BBC NEWS | Technology | Bogus blogs snare fresh victims:

"The bogus web journals are being used as traps that infect visitor's machines with keylogging software or viruses.

Filtering firm Websense said it had found hundreds of bogus blogs baited with all kinds of malicious software to snare the unwary."

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Bloglines: May we track that package for you? | CNET

Bloglines: May we track that package for you? | CNET

"Bloglines, a news aggregator and blog search service, has unveiled a tool that tracks packages mailed through UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service."