Monthly Archives: October 2006

6th Reason RSS Feeds are Not Popular

Having just posted about adopting RSS Bandit in our organisation I read this post about why RSS Feeds aren’t popular. I’d like to add to the list: people don’t have a reader by default. I’ve spoken to so many people who go, “Oh yes” when I talk about the ‘little orange icon on the BBC web site’. 

Outside of geekdom there’s a lot of resistance to installing applications, especially when the poor user has to go and find a good one. Many people who have now used RSS Bandit in my organisation (a few dozen to date) have also installed it at home, using it for non-work related feeds.

Make subscribing to a feed as easy/intuitive as bookmarking a site and it will become very popular.


Finally tried Max

I bloggedthat Max might be a good RSS Reader when Vista comes along. I finally tried it out. It requires .Net 3, so I installed that, rebooted, installed Max and Max complained that my version of .Net 3 was too new! So I removed .Net 3, allowed Max to install .Net 3, rebooted and fired up Max – it didn’t work! Anyone had more success?

UPDATE: Just to clarify – this was done on XP SP2.

UPDATE: I tried again today (17 Oct) and Max is still falling over, so thought I’d look for a reason. I stumbled a post by Mark Woodman in which he points to a whole bunch of failing in Max. I can only assume that the people writing these things don’t use RSS – well not in anger – because they just don’t get it. Disappointed I am.

RSS Bandit wins the day

I’ve been working for some time to raise awareness of Web 2.0 in the organisation for which I work. It’s been a long journey and I’ve blogged about the early stages of this process here. One of the keys requirements is to introduce a feed reader. Conventional Wisdom is that without one, adoption of Web 2.0 technologies is far less likely to succeed.

My approach has been to adopt RSS Bandit. It’s a tatical solution because in 18 months time we’ll be looking to roll out Vista and the whole picture will have changed. That will be the time to make a long term decision that can justify some spend. Well, this approach has now been ratified by our Global IT folk, so we will be looking to roll it out in the UK real soon now.

Office 2.0 is not…

Stowe Boyde writes an interesting post listing three things that Office 2.0 is NOT.

  • It’s not about productivity — personally, I’m willing to swap productivity for connectedness everytime. As a result, I keep my IM clients open even in meetings, while I am on the phone, and while working on client work.
  • It’s not about being “dead easy” — some things are necessarily complex, and if you try to simplify them you wind up with something that is unusable: for example, textile is easy but leads to badly formatted text.
  • It’s not about better knowledge management — social apps allow us to learn what others think, but not manage what they think.

Ultimately most things boil down to conversations. I stumbled across this interesting looking book, The Cluetrain Manifesto. Chapter 4, Markets are Conversations, is published on the web – it’s quite long and I haven’t read the whole thing yet.

Conversation is a profound act of humanity.

You’ve done testing IE7, right?

Microsoft are set to release IE7 with next months batch of critical updates, and sooner for manual download. That means that some of your clients may be using IE7 to access our external services. The link has some tools and tips on the what and how to be prepared.

Scott Hanselman blogs here about the way IE7 treats certificates.

Level your podcasts

One thing I really hate, when listening to podcasts, is people or items coming through at different volumes levels; especially in interviews. Enter the Levelator from GigaVox. A free (for non-commercial use) utility that analyses the levels across the audio stream, building a “loudness map” and leveling the volume over multiple passes. I heard of it on a podcast, which was recorded on a stage and even before it was mentioned I had noticed how consistent the level was.

Attention data

Putting something like this together with the InfoCard (see Kim Cameron’s blog) would be a wonderful way to manage access to attention data. You could even manage different attention profiles that you make available to different sites.

/Message: APML – Attention Profiling Mark-up Language

A new draft standard for an APML – Attention Profiling Mark-up Language has been proposed