Archive for the 'feeds' Category

Goodbye Yahoo! Podcasts, we hardly knew ye!

yahoo! podcasts closingAccording to their site, the Yahoo! Podcasts site is due to close at the end of October. It was funny to see the news spread from a post to my Twitter account, on to Marshall over at Read/Write Web, then out to the rest of the blogosphere and TechMeme. 🙂

I’m sure this has a lot to do with the various culling and belt-tightening going on at Yahoo! recently since they started shuffling things around. Who knows, maybe they’re saving up money to buy Facebook? ;p

When their podcast site launched, I was well in the middle of coding podcast.com and was a bit perturbed by the Yahoo! splash in the pool, especially as I knew they had some great people there who could do a lot to threaten what it was I was trying to achieve. They had a nice site which read RSS feeds, but how many people were behind it? WHO was curating it?

Let’s not forget that back in the early days of Yahoo! their site was a selection of quality website links curated by human beings. All placed in to very easy to navigate categories proving some of the earliest taxonomy on the web. Nice and organised!

I like taxonomy PLUS folksonomy. Now THAT’s delicious 😉

I get so sad when I see people who produce podcasts only linking to their iTunes ‘phobos’ link. This is NOT an RSS feed. Dave Winer also pointed this out recently. Also, you’ll notice that iTunes do NOT let you grab an RSS from a podcast in their system. They even make it impossible to copy and paste the rss feed url when you do eventually find out how to expose it.

I have a solution.

podcast.com LogoSome of you may not know this, but I coded every single line of PHP, JavaScript, Flash Actionscript, Apache configs, etc, etc, myself. 😉 I work from home in London engineering the site and system, while the business end of the company resides in Boston under the command of the excellent Scott Beatty. It’s a GREAT team and works a LOT better than some might imagine.

It’s quite a task to undertake, but the basic principle of podcast.com is very simple: Help people find podcasts, then give them easy tools to build their own directories and playlists of their favourites, to share.

Readers of my blogs may know about my passion for OPML and RSS over the years (if you look between the slew of image posts appear from various other mobile and virtual publishing tools I have built in my spare time (‘spare?’ *chortle!)) and that is at the very heart of the system at podcast.com

I’ve said it before: it’s “OPML plus RSS to the Power of users” – Which kind of translates to “User generated multimedia content libraries curated by people using machines” – Heh. Maybe I’ll work on that. But hopefully you get the gist 😉

Having the opportunity to build the architecture and system for the generic term domain name for podcasts was a hugely attractive prospect for me. It still is. I left the BBC to sit and do it.

Two years or so down the line and we are about to throw open the doors to the beta, so the news of Yahoo! Podcasts closing could not have come at a better time, to be perfectly honest with you 😉

3535 feeds have been put in 654 folders
from a total of 17282 feeds

The collection of podcast rss feeds on our site has been steadily growing and keeping track of the vast amount of great multimedia content there is out there. The site makes it a snap to sample an episode and download or subscribe to the whole kaboodle.

For a long time now, the site has been ‘curated’ by myself and the boys in Boston using some tools which enable us to build directories really easily. These tools are about to get in to your hands. You will also see how we are leveraging the power of the generic term domain to provide very easy to remenber urls for your podcasts and collection of podcasts for the consumer or business and brand.

Think about it: BRANDX.podcast.com

Our brand (podcast.com) does not dilute your brand (X) – in fact it helps it! I’d guess that if someone saw that url, they would expect to find a podcast about Brand X!

Correct! 🙂

I really need to record a podcast about all this, as I have lot to say on the matter. There are so many opportunities out there! Expect a heap of widgets and gizmos for your websites and blogs soon!

Adios Yodellers! 🙂

OPML Reading/Listening/Viewing ‘Lists’ and ‘Trees’ = ‘Treedia’

OPML webDave on Scripting News and Mike over on Techcrunch post their views of OPML used for ‘reading lists’.

This is an important discussion and one close my heart. I commented over on Dave’s (wordpress) blog , but I thought I’d add to it over here:

Re: OPML lists and ‘trees’ – etc expect some along these lines soon:

The system developed behind podcast.com enables just that, it’s just that naturally with podcast.com we are only interested in feeds with audio or video enclosures.

So, podcast.com is a ‘client’ of this larger system which will be able to support all types of ‘types’ – all supporting OPML inclusion.

I don’t think you should call them ‘lists’ – I think ‘trees’ is more descriptive. ‘Reading trees’. People can either ‘climb’ up then to find the ‘fruit’ (content) they want, or they could wait for the most popular to drop into their lap. Also through looking through ‘leaves’ (tags) they can be sure of following the right branches, as they ‘climb’ up the tree, deep and deeper into the directory/tree. (’directree’? ;) )

OPML is the tree
FEEDS are the vines
TAGS are the leaves
ITEMS/ENCLOSURES are the fruit.

The coolest thing about OPML inclusion, is you could think of it like climbing up a tree, going along a branch, and then ‘zap’, you’re in another tree. Like magic. Painless. Rewarding. ;)

Telepordata?

Semantics. Taxonomy. Folksonomy.

Now that’s what I call a ’social media network’ ;)

I hope to be able to let some users in to try out the system in the next 4 weeks.

Then people could create something like : http://my.podcast.com/kosso , which is my ‘listening tree’/ podcast folders/ ‘tree of sound’

One reason why I think there are more OPML ‘lists’ than ‘trees’ out there is that there are too few tools out there to effectively manage an OPML file. Your apps have been the best to date (once we got the rss attributes sorted)

I mean managing OPML folders/nodes effectively, over import/export of ‘flat’ lists. So many systems eith dont ‘do’ folders or destroy them on import/export.

Also, I think we really need to evangelise the concept of ‘OPML subscription’ .
OPML files are so often used as static files to import/export bunches of feeds. It is indeed great for backup in that sense. But I believe that ‘OPML Subscription CONNECTS’ all these trees/branches out there. When one branch changes on one tree – if there is an ‘inclusion’ (think of it like a shortcut/symbolic link to a folder) then the other will be able to reflect that if one was to climb that branch.

The trees are ALIVE! So subscribe to them! Watch them grow ;) Feed them, prune them and ‘graft’ ‘cuttings’ to their branches.

We like to call it ‘treedia‘ 🙂

Clearly for this to work, we also need well defined standards to make sure the data out there is well-formed – or we’re screwed ;) but let’s not make the same mistake the web browsers did, by just displaying html if it was broken or not.

I feel like doing another podcast ;)

Reuters launched new NewsHUD with BlogHUD integration!


The Reuters bureau in Second Life has now released a new version of their RSS reading NewsHUD. Packed with loads of cool features for discussing current stories and the ability to customise your RSS feeds. NOt on that, but they have now added a ‘BLOGHUD’ tab. You can set it to load up all posts from BlogHUD, or only posts from the region you are in. It looks great – quite a few prims though 😉 Link to full story
posted by Koz Farina on Nooribeom using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Is Microsoft Trying To Kill Us?

What on earth are Microsoft trying to do here? This is the US Software Patent office at its most ridiculous ever!! It has filed a patent on the Windows RSS Platform. Does this apply to Europe?

Part of the application appears to be describing the auto-discovery methods of detecting feeds in a page, but what about the rest of it? Is it for desktop Windows applications? Is it web aggregators? Time to call the lawyer.

If granted, one proposed patent would cover “finding and consuming Web subscriptions in a Web browser.” The invention, for example, could allow a user to “subscribe to a particular Web feed, be provided with a user interface that contains distinct indicia to identify new feeds, and…efficiently consume or read RSS feeds using both an RSS reader and a Web browser.”

I’d like to know what effect this is going to have in Google Reader, Bloglines, Netvibes, PageFlakes, etc, etc and OF COURSE, podcast.com (which is nearing the end of a major overhaul with regards to feed reading and feed folder organisation – and ‘amplification’) !!! The whole podcast industry (yes, there is one) relies on this so-called invention.

The application was made in July 2005, so surely there’s plenty of prior art? I don’t get it?

Nick Bradbury, creator of FeedDemon apparently does not want to call Microsoft ‘evil’ just yet, but personally I feel like we just had a major shot across our bows. Friendly fire? I think not.

Is this just a way for lawyers to make money? I sometimes I think these departments just sit around working out ways to make eachother money while screwing consumers in the process. A little bit like a nation’s defence department working out ways to keep us on the brink of mass destruction in order to keep their budgets up and brass polished.

Foul!! Microsoft, I denounce thee!!

I just had an idea : Get every web developer in the world to write an RSS reader and post it up online. Let’s see how they deal with that. 🙂

Platforms Are The New Portals

I. Couldn’t. Agree. More.

We don’t live in a tube. We cease to be  entertained by them. Yet they say the most popular is Yours.

The Well-Formed Web?


With well formed data, there’s no reason why not. 😉

Now, can we please work out the right way to *do* OPML please?

Basically:

If you want to point to a WEBSITE: use type=link and url=http://your.web.site.com

If you want to point to an RSS feed use type=rss and xmlUrl=htt://www.your.rss.feed.com/rss.xml

If you want to point to MORE OPML use type=include and url=http://www.you.opml.file.com/hoopla.opml

OK. So, you could argue that there might be better ways of doing/specifying it.
And what about htmlUrl, opmlUrl, atomUrl, foafUrl, rdfUrl, type=rdf, type=atom, type=application/pdf or whatever… I don’t know. Just DOCUMENT how you do it.

But what I do know is the sooner we agree and what is the right way to ‘do it’ – the better. 😀

IMHO.

Hey! Is my OPML Icon out of date?? :p

3D News with RSS

For Vista, when it comes out, here’s an app/widget from Microsoft called UniveRSS.

UniveRSS is a showcase application that demonstrates the use of several WPF features, 3D animations, data binding, and data visualization. Currently UniveRSS uses the RSS Feed Store managed through Internet Explorer 7. Later versions will allow you to manage the Feed Store from within the UniveRSS application.

It looks very nice and very much the type of thing I envisage in Second Life, when (and if) we get html on a prim surface. With all the available data bindings and communications we have at our disposal there, it should be faily easy to build this in the Metaverse.

Thanks to Dave Winer for the link.


Who is this ‘kosso’ anyway?

I am a 'Createc'. A creative technologist, entrepreneur/ hacker/ geek. Worked on building things on the web for over 12 years.

Used to work at BBC News interactive and created the publishing and delivery systems for video news to get distributed on huge screens in major railway stations around the country.

I left the BBC to become CTO / sole-lead architect/developer at podcast.com for three years.

I have now left them to build a start up a new system called 'Phreadz', which is a 'Social Multimedia Conversation Network', integrating everything that is 'V.I.T.A.L' to us on the web. Video, Images, Text, Audio and Links.

I built the whole thing my myself. I programmed every line of code and positioned every pixel. I'm looking forward to attracting an hiring new members of the team to help me out! :)

There are currently over 1000 happy and helpful beta testers on the system so far and one client of a white-labelled solution.



@kosso : twitter

kosso's flickr stream

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