Playing with RSS

I spent the past few hours linking up my entire life on the web.

That means linking up my Facebook profile with my blog, my Twitter feed and doing the same thing with my Orkut profile; linking up my twitter feed to my phone and IM, which means I can update my status message (on the left), from just about anywhere in the world. Even my office, where I can’t access this page.

So now if you want to know, for instance, what I am doing right now, just click on the Twitter feed on the left (the link that says “WNWEK LIVE!”); or if you wanted to know my tastes in movies, books or music, just log on to Facebook and have a dekko. Want to check out my friends? Facebook/Orkut. Want to be one of my friends? Send me a friend request and wait for approval. Want to read about my literary exploits? You are doing it right now.

And likewise, I have linked up all my favourite blogs and news sites to my online feed reader, (Google Reader: pretty good, lean and has just the right amount of features to keep me going); all my favourite posts show up on a page mashed by my feed reader. (You can see it here, or in the sidebar, the link that says “My Shared Items“). And, when my favourite blogs update with a post, my feed reader tinkles and I come to know about it. When I update my posts, all my profiles on the web, come to know about it and post a snippet of it on my profile page, so that anybody who tripped over my profile could go through it.

And when I update my status, my blog comes to know about it (albeit a couple of hours late, nothing to do with Twitter; WordPress only swipes the feed once in a couple of hours only.) and so do a sumtotal of 4 people who follow me — One, a woman, halfway around the world whose aim in life is to get as many Twitter friends as possible, two, a breast cancer fund-raiser, three, Robert Scoble, the popular blogger, and lastly, another guy from same place halfway around the world.

I have subscribed to the Reuters and Financial Times twitter feed as well; which means all their updates are instantly messaged to me (quite irritating at times, but on the whole quite fascinating.)

Whew!

The technology that runs all this? RSS or Really Simple Syndication. RSS has come into its own now and I am enjoying it! (A lot has been said about RSS already, so I won’t put in my two-bits as well. If you are really ignorant about this pervasive technology,go ahead and Google for it.)

Or I was enjoying it. Till I suddenly realised, nobody cared whether they could or could not read my blog posts in real time or know exactly what I was doing when they came online (as constrained by 140 characters or less.) Nobody even cared whether they could read my blog-posts or not, forget about real-time.

But, as I would say, wallowing in self-pity, bahut sahi hai yaar.

~

But seriously, I mentioned these sites for a reason. These sites are earning millions (Facebook by putting up Microsoft’s adCenter and getting people to buy add-ons, Orkut through Google AdSense.) It is being speculated in the Silicon Valley, that Facebook and Twitter will be the targets of a big-buyout, the likes of MySpace and YouTube (though I am not sure the acquirer will be Google.)

Twitter is unique among the sites mentioned because it doesn’t have any obvious sources of income right now, and it is the next big thing. Even more inane than SMS, Twitter is just syndicated “status (in less than 140 characters) message” service. People use it to chat though, similar to the Orkut scrap thing, something that it was never intended to do. But like Orkut, Twitter has also adapted quite a few features to facilitate the new uses its users are putting their product to.

Facebook, it seems, is better than LinkedIn in making business networks and finding old friends, when LinkedIn is specifically designed to do this. And they are raking in more than hi5 who started atleast a couple of years ago. Anybody who has doubts about this, can check out the last few posts on the Scobleizer, Robert Scoble’s blog. Up-to-date, on what’s happening to Facebook and why it is going to be the next big thing. (Hint: hi5, its the Facebook Apps that are clincher.)

But as soon as I post this, I know I am late (about the Facebook thing), because Google Reader has just pinged me with the latest Scobleizer post. Here is Scoble blogging about a guy who is scolding another guy for complaining about the load of work you have to do to keep with Facebook. Interesting… all this because the guy who complained turned off comments on his blog. Oh, and the guy who complained happens to be a venture capitalist. From Sequoia Capital. Which means his pain counts. Towards Facebook’s future. If you are wondering why, check their homepage out, and see who their start-ups were.

~

All my friends who are wondering how I got that neat little button at the bottom of the post, to help them bookmark this post on any bookmarking platform on the net (another big thing apparently, but I have only so much time 🙂 ), don’t have to wonder any more. Here is the code that I have included at the bottom of this post. (If you are a WordPress.com user, then you have to do this. For the privileged WordPress.org users, there is a plugin for this which does this thing automatically. And for other blogging platforms as well. One of the disadvantages of blogging on a platform which doesn’t allow Javascript or template-editing like Blogger.)

Updated with WP’s sourcecode feature

<a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?pub=GXRR25BF48GMMMUG&amp;url=https://wnwek.wordpress.com/2007/07/29/playing-with-rss/ &amp;title=Playing with RSS" title="Bookmark" target="_blank"><img src="http://s9.addthis.com/button0-bm.gif" width="83" height="16" border="0"></a>

This post here on Lorelle on WordPress tells you how to design a small Javascript function which you can drag and drop on your bookmarks toolbar in your browser and removes the manual work involved in cut-paste work.

This is courtesy of another genius site, which at the moment I will leave you to explore.

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2 responses to “Playing with RSS

  1. This is precisely the magic that I need when I get irritated with myself for not keeping track of the sites I want to visit everyday .. am getting around to get Google Reader right away.. Im dizzy, Im flustered I just cannot keep pace with all of Googles thingumajiggeries

  2. True, true… looks up blogs for you and lets you lead your life in peace!

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