Should I subscribe to 38 different YLE feeds, or just one?

In an attempt to monitor YLE’s coverage of certain topics, I’m collecting YLE’s RSS feeds so that I can run a search query on them.

They are offering 38 different feeds in Finnish. I don’t want to miss anything, but I also want to avoid duplication where possible. Therefore, I’m wondering if the feeds with the format http://yle.fi/uutiset/rss/uutiset.rss?osasto=[category] all provide selected content that is also included in the feed http://yle.fi/uutiset/rss/uutiset.rss.

If that was the case, I could suffice with just http://yle.fi/uutiset/rss/uutiset.rss.

Would be nice to know :-)

Switching from Google Reader to Feedly, Flipboard and Pulse

Google pulling the plug on Reader is perhaps a blessing in disguise. It gets us to rethink news consumption in several ways.

It doesn’t feel bad to move away some of the online pie from Google the giant to something smaller. It was about time to re-evaluate RSS tools anyway. Feedly has come a long way. The user experience seems rather similar to Google Reader, so the transition is easy.

The visual presentation – of the Firefox plugin and Android app at least – is quite compelling. Feedly, Flipboard and Pulse are often mentioned together as being some of the most pleasing tools for consumption and sharing of aggregated news and other (social) media streams.

I think I’ll use all three for a while. Too early to tell which will prevail. Maybe all three, for slightly different use cases. Continue reading

[UPDATE: solution] Struggling to re-route my microblog posts and shared reading

[UPDATE, January 30, 2010: I think I found a solution. I created an additional notify.me account, so now I can handle two different flows.

(1) Shared reading:

Google Reader -> Yahoo! Pipe -> notify.me (1st account) -> Ping.fm -> Twitter, Hi5, Jaiku, Friendfeed, Identi.ca, Plurk

(2) (Other) status updates / microblog posts:

Twitter -> Yahoo! Pipe -> notify.me (2nd account) -> Ping.fm -> LinkedIn, Typepad, Hi5, Jaiku, Friendfeed, Plaxo, Facebook, Identi.ca, Plurk, Tumblr

(3) Posting from any other place (e.g. Skype) to Ping.fm, or from the Ping.fm web UI:

-> Ping.fm -> @tt in post -> Twitter -> (see 2 above)

I'm testing now. Hope it will work this way.

Tweet: http://ping.fm/txw1h [UPDATE: solution] Struggling to re-route my microblog posts and shared reading

Okay, method number (3), with the @tt prefix, seems to work. At least it seems to post to Twitter only…]

Twitter's implementation of "reply" and "retweet" functionality inside its web UI is compelling me to set it apart from other social networks that support status updates and microblog posts.

Where I used to input my microblog posts in Ping.fm in order to distribute them to virtually all my accounts on social web services (including Twitter), I now find it a better idea to input on Twitter first, and then have my tweets automatically route to the other services.

Why? Because I want to use Twitter's "reply" and "retweet" buttons whenever an interesting conversation unfolds on Twitter.

Until now, I would type in the @ or RE or RT syntax manually. This involved the same effort whether on the Twitter web UI or on the Ping.fm web UI. So I would usually go to Ping.fm in order to spread my tweet across services.

Twitter now adds useful metadata when e.g. replying to a tweet. Due to that metadata, you can actually see on Twitter to which tweet I was replying. This is very useful. Since that metadata does not travel with my message when I write it on Ping.fm, I am compelled to write every reply on Twitter itself.

One such compelling reason is enough for me to switch from Ping.fm to Twitter.

Current flow:

Ping.fm -> all my accounts on social web services

AND:

Google Reader -> Yahoo! Pipes -> notify.me -> Ping.fm -> all my accounts

Desired flow:

Twitter -> (notify.me?) -> Ping.fm -> all my accounts (except Twitter)

AND:

Google Reader -> Yahoo! Pipes -> (notify.me?) -> Twitter -> (notify.me?) -> Ping.fm -> all my accounts (except Twitter)

OR:

Google Reader -> Yahoo! Pipes -> (notify.me?) -> Ping.fm -> all my accounts (including Twitter)

The challenge that I've run into is to do with notify.me. As far as I can tell, I can setup notify.me to post to Ping.fm in one way only: either for Ping.fm to post to Twitter only, or for Ping.fm to post to all my social web accounts (including or excluding Twitter).

I'm wondering if there's a hack, or whether I will need to find another service, similar to notify.me, in order to create a different route.

I've been trying some syntax suggested by Ping.fm in order to specify to which services it should post – by including that syntax into the Yahoo! Pipes feed.

In particular, I've tried to include #T in the Yahoo! Pipe after I had created a posting group "#T" on Ping.fm which included only Twitter. To no effect.

I then tried to include @tt in the Yahoo! Pipe hoping that Ping.fm would post only to Twitter, but none of those posts seem to go through at all. Three of them were picked up by notify.me, but none appeared on my "recent posts" on Ping.fm.

(I do apologize for my messy language here. It's late and I should really be sleeping. But this is bugging me.)

LATER: Right, after I removed "@tt" from the Yahoo! Pipe, my Google Reader shared reading items do seem to go through again.

EVEN LATER: Well, maybe not. But I need to get some sleep now. Let's see how much has gone through by sunrise. In any case, seems like I need to find an additional grab-and-post service like notify.me in order to enable two out of three routes from the desired flow described above.

Capturables from Bad Hair Day #6

http://badhair.us/2009/07/31/00025.html

Every once in a while I review my blog hosting options. The first time I did this was in this post: 'Is it worth switching from TypePad to WordPress?' I was impressed with Anil Dash's swift comment. What prevented me from moving to another platform back then was Anil's point that I would loose "the ability to get professional support right within the application".

In 'If you were to start blogging today…', I tried to compare different platforms as systematically as I could.

The last time I compared blog platforms, in my post 'Hopes and fears of switching to WordPress', I again came to the conclusion to stick with TypePad. The main reason this time was that I haven't figured out how to export my blog's content from TypePad and import it into, say, WordPress, in such a way that the URLs of all my entries would remain the same after domain-mapping WordPress. I still don't know how to do this; if you do, please let me know.

Anyway, Anil was a guest at Marshall Kirkpatrick's and Dave Winer's Bad Hair Day podcast this week. He is SixApart's chief evangelist (the makers of TypePad) and has a keen eye for the latest social Internet technology.

The threesome talked about Anil's vision of the pushbutton web, on which he wrote an insightful post recently, how this relates to Dave's recent work on rssCloud, and to Google's PubSubHubBub.

From Anil's post, 'The Pushbutton Web: Realtime Becomes Real':

"(…) Before Pushbutton, in today's systems, when you create a message (a blog post, tweet or other update) that's published in your RSS or
Atom feed, every application or site that wants updates from you has to
repeatedly request your feed to know when it's updated. You can
optionally notify ("ping") some applications to tell them it's time to
come collect your new updates, but this is time-consuming and
resource-intensive on both sides, especially if you want to notify a
lot of people. (…)

Pushbutton-enabled applications will improve upon the current state of
affairs by proactively delivering not just the notification that
there's a new message, but the content of the message itself.
And instead of requiring all those applications to come to your site to
read the update, it uses a hub server in the cloud to pass along the
message directly to all the receivers that are interested in it. (…)

  1. You, the Sender, create a message to be delivered via RSS or Atom
  2. Your application gives the messsage to one or more PubSubHubBub or RSSCloud hubs, which reside in the Cloud
  3. The PubSubHubBub or RSSCloud hubs deliver the message to any Receivers, the applications or sites that have requested updates from you (…)"

The result is that updates happen within a second or two. The live streams can have powerful applications. One application Anil dreams about in the show is of a spreadsheet which' cells are populated with formulas and live RSS feeds, so that streaming data can be analyzed in realtime.

Interesting stuff!

My previous posts on Bad Hair:

See also the FriendFeed group at http://friendfeed.com/badhair.

Shared reading back on

[UPDATE, January 30, 2010: I managed to create different flows for status updates / micro-blog post that include and that don't include shared reading]

Just released the brakes from my shared reading feed again.

I managed to address only one of the three issues I mentioned yesterday, but I think it's the most important one: to make clear to readers of my blog that the posts in question are my shared reading, that they are re-blogged and that they originate elsewhere.

So I'll let it run for a while to see what it looks and feels like.

How I did it was by fetching my shared reading feed from Google Reader, into Yahoo! Pipes. There I managed to modify the contents of the item.title element, using the Regex Module, and the regular expression "$" to locate the end of the string (the end of the title), and replace it by the text string " | (re-blogged!)

Also, using the same tools, with the regular expression "^", I managed to insert the following string at the beginning of the item.description element as well as at the beginning of the item.content element:

(NOTE: This post was re-blogged as shared reading. Please, follow the
reference link at the end of this post to where it was originally
published. – Jos Schuurmans;
http://www.josschuurmans.com/shared-reading/)

This is the resulting feed from Yahoo! Pipes, which anyone can clone and edit:
http://pipes.yahoo.com/josschuurmans/google_reader_shared_reading

And this is the resulting RSS feed:
http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.run?_id=9E0LgSpU3hGzB8Xd8cv2rw&_render=rss

I would still like to (1) offer a line break at the end of my insert, (2) activate the URL and perhaps (3) format the text a bit, but I have no idea how to.

What I also didn't manage to do was to shorten the body text of each item, nor to activate the embedded links. Later, perhaps.

Now, notify.me subscribes to this feed, and posts it via Ping.fm onto my blogs at www.josschuurmans.com and josschuurmans.wordpress.com. I'm considering how to route them as micro-blog post as well.

I like playing around with Yahoo! Pipes. I think it's a very powerful tool. However, even though it has a nice graphical editing pane and "you don't need to be able to write a single line of code", it still poses quite a learning curve for non-geeks like me.

For example, there must be a way to insert the name of the author (i.e. the value which corresponds with the item.author.name element), automagically into the item title. Any pointers?

Related question: who competes with Yahoo! Pipes in this space?

Dugg: Geek Army Knife #4 – chatting to Charlie about livestreams

My friendly and knowledgeable colleague Charlie Schick in a podcast interview by Geek Army Knife.

Charlie "(…) spoke about lifestreaming and how it led [him] to thinking about semantics. [He] mentioned a bunch of folks along the way, including Friendfeed, Socialthing, Socialbrain [or Second|Brain?], Lovely Systems, and TagCrowd. (…)"

(Via Charlie Schick)

read more | digg story

Dugg: Becoming 2.0: all startpages, the comprehensive review. startpages part 2 | Justin Fenwick

Justin Fenwick: "(…) I looked through 20 different options, which exhausts the lists of other older comprehensive reviews I found. (…) Netvibes is without question the one to beat. (…)"

read more | digg story

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Dugg: Ajax homepages market review | ZDnet.com

[A lengthy analysis of the main Ajax homepages (aka personalized start pages), concluding that Microsoft and Google are set to dominate.]

Published February 28, 2006:

"(…) Over the past year many new AJAX homepages, aka personalized start pages, have been introduced to the market. Microsoft and Google have offerings, as do a host of small startups. First I’ll define what an AJAX homepage is, then I’ll do a feature comparison between the leading services. (…)"

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Dugg: Netvibes Ginger is now open to everyone | Tariq Krim / Netvibes.com blog

Posted March 4, 2008: "(…) Netvibes ginger is now open to any netvibes registered user. (…) Ginger features and performance improvements:

  •     General startpage loading time improvements
  • Prefetch feeds features
  •     Flash audio player improvements
  •     OPML import/export improvements (now available in adcontent/add a feed section)
  •     Mobile and iPhone versions improvements
  •     Feedreader content is not updated if marking all items of a tab as read
  •     New Ginger thumbnails
  •     "Send to my universe/Send to my private page" feature improvements
  •     New Premium Widget : Stechworld, L’express, Usa Today, FranceTelecom, Computer World UK
  •     Widgets Improvements: myspace, digg, FeedReader, Weather, multiple feeds widgets (Premium widgets), preconfig widgets

(…)"

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