Archive for the 'RSS' Category

About that Twitter thing…

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

I signed up for Twitter way early in 2006 (check my RSS feed, it shows a relatively small number) but only started really using it at SXSW 2007 in Austin, TX.

It was initially meant as an experiment to just give it a try, see how it works and then decide if I really needed it. Well, that experiment has lasted for almost two years now (we know it’s addictive).

Twitter has grown tremendously over the past two years and so has my usage. There are at least seven accounts I use on a regular basis (one personal, a few various business and product ones, a couple of community events etc.).

There’s definitely been a lot of cool stuff to see and I still enjoy being amidst this new thing (micro-blogging, whatever) — except for one big problem: it’s too distracting and it costs too much time.

It’s not so bad with the smaller accounts that have up to a couple hundred followers/following, lower posting frequency (less than daily) and are focused around one specific niche topic.

But my personal Twitter stream has become a real drag. Too much noise. Too little signal. And as much as I appreciate that Twitter is stable after the problems we saw last year, the fact that there’s been feature standstill doesn’t help much either: no groups, no ability to fine tune tweet volume, no easy way to manage your followers and followed — pretty much all the basics needed to help me manage are still missing. I’m sure there’s an application out there somewhere that does some of that but seriously, who has the time to go on that quest?

Anyway, time to clear out some of the brush (sorry to un-follow you). And probably step away from it entirely for a while and see if the world still turns.

I'm spending too much time reading blogs and stuff

Monday, February 19th, 2007

I’m spending too much time reading all kinds of blogs, following certain keywords, trying to keep up with some of the interesting conversations that are going on all across the internet. It’s browsing the 800+ feeds in my feedreader (only 10 percent of which I actually read on a regular basis), picking the items that seem worth reading, then reading, then maybe bookmarking, or downloading any documents that may be referenced, and reading those, or otherwise processing all this information etc.

Problem is, it takes way too much time out of my day. It’s been bugging me for quite some time now, too. I guess I have to either set strict time limits or find better filters.

Rojo relaunch

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

I’m not a UI guy nor have I ever relaunched a web app. But I noticed a few things about the recent Rojo relaunch that I find could have been done a whole lot better:

  • I’m missing some features I really liked (browse by most-read)
  • Some URLs (bookmarks) don’t seem to be working anymore
  • Navigation has changed significantly
  • Mark as read behaves differently now than it used to (items marked as read still show up)
  • Most of all, I wasn’t aware of any of these changes beforehand (presumably because nobody at Rojo had told me), and even now — a few days into the relaunch — I can find no information on the site whatsoever that would explain the whats and the hows and the whys (presumably because there simply is none or it’s too hard to find).

There’s still a slight chance that underneath all the surprise changes there lies this awesome web-based RSS reader.

Or maybe it’s just that time of year again to switch.

Switching to Rojo

Saturday, November 19th, 2005

I’ve been badly in need of a new RSS reader for a few months now. When I started subscribing to RSS feeds earlier this year I was looking for a quick, web-based solution and ended up using Waggr, a pretty plain and simple app. For the mostpart, Waggr has served me well until recently, when the growing number of feeds made handling increasingly cumbersome.

Unfortunately, Waggr doesn’t offer an OPML export function. Today, I finally got around to manually adding my feeds into Rojo, my new RSS reader.

What is Rojo?
Rojo is a web-based service that allows you to efficiently organize, read, and share content—such as online news, information and blogs. Rojo is free and easy to use and there is no software to download.

Rojo enables users to subscribe to feeds that are published by online content sites, blogs, and various corporations in either an XML, RSS, or Atom format. (Rojo reads all three formats.)

These “feeds” are streams of information. For example, the New York Times publishes its headlines as an RSS feed. publishes various categories of its most popular books as an RSS feed. Cisco uses RSS feeds to communicate regularly with its customers and suppliers. Using Rojo, feeds are delivered to your desktop and presented in a way that enables you to quickly scan headlines or choose to view the full story.

Rojo also gives you the ability to share these stories with friends and colleagues, and discover new feeds.

Sort by most most frequently read - I’ve been waiting for that.

Feed Blog

Monday, August 1st, 2005

Kevin Burton just launched Feed Blog, dedicated to RSS, Atom, aggregation, and feed technology.

Tag Tuesday

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

Seems like going to meetings such as Tag Tuesday always adds to my list of must-see sites and services, some of which are mentioned below.

The main presenters tonight were Odeo:

Odeo makes all of the above [i.e. podcasting] easy, so you don’t have to know how it works. More specifically, Odeo consists of three major parts: A catalog of audio content, of all types, which is constantly being added to. The Odeo Syncr, which let’s you download anything in the catalog (and, optionally, put it on your MP3 player). And creation tools, including the Odeo Studio, which let you publish your own audio content, which will then show up in the catalog. (The creation tools aren’t ready for public use yet, though.)

Spiegel Online has an article on Podcasting today that mentions Odeo: Internet-Radio: Auf der Lauer (in German).

In the audience, Kevin Burton, co-founder of Rojo Networks Inc. was there tonight:

Rojo means “RSS with mojo” and in this spirit our company is dedicated to providing the best RSS feed reader around so that busy people can manage and read content as efficiently as possible. Our vision is that the next generation of feed reading requires new forms of organization so we built in the ability to tag your world, your content, your feeds, and even your friends. We believe that analytics and community based features are what make feed reading accessible and appealing to technophiles and new consumers alike so we provide RojoBuzz, which tracks which webpages are most linked-to by the feeds you read. With Rojo’s community features you can share stories, feeds, tags, contacts, and profile information with your friends and colleagues, making it easy to find, discover, and share interesting content.

Coincidentally, I’m currently looking for an alternative to Waggr (my very first RSS reader). Waggr was a good tool to get me started with RSS, and it has served me well up until now. But at 120+ RSS feeds, I need something a little more convenient.

Ted Rheingold of dogster was there:

Dogster :: For the love of dog. Site to post and share dog photos and facts. Let every canine and pooch have a webpage.


We are dog freaks and computer geeks who wanted a canine sharing application that’s truly gone to the dogs. Such a site didn’t exist, so we built it ourselves. The fluffy love is backed with serious technology and years of coding experience under our collars. Dogster has since become more contagious than kennel cough.


Oh, and Technorati was there, of course, Ryan King was there, announcing the launch of

One of the problems with tagging is that its so cool that everyone’s doing it. This means that there’s no way for people to keep track of all the different tagging sites out there.

So, in order to keep track of all the tagging sites out there, we (Eran and I) have built, the World’s First Social Social Tagging Site Tagging Site.

Things you can do with RSS

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005

Following the recent L.A. Times experiment with wikitorials, Tim Yang has started his own wiki. Just look at all the nice things you can do with RSS. Myself, I’d like to try out right away but it seems to be down at the moment.

Technology Review: Das Web sind wir

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005

Technology Review (German issue): Das Web sind wir - Das neue Leben im Netz: Wie Blogs und soziale Netze das Web umkrempeln. Der Cyberspace ist tot. Im Web hält das echte Leben Einzug: Social Software bringt Menschen zusammen und macht Schluss mit der Anonymität im Netz. By Mario Sixtus (in German).

Wikis, Weblogs and RSS: value-gains through decentralization of control

Thursday, June 16th, 2005

Kevin Werbach, Philip Evans, Janice Fraser, and Ross Mayfield discuss Wikis, Weblogs and RSS: What Does the New Internet Mean for Business? (registration required).

RSS advertising best practices

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

Bill Flitter of Pheedo has posted their Best Practices for RSS Advertising.