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Some really interesting Reading Lists are generated by algorithm rather than by a person

Amyloo has an interesting post about reading lists. One thing bears expanding on:

"There's a tendency to think of reading lists as topic-oriented and fairly static -- refined and appended to, but keeping most of the same data over time. A slant on reading lists I've thought about are specialized lists that change their composition entirely on a periodic basis, a list in which none of the feeds you see today may be there next week." (from Churning urns of burning funk)

True. And actually there are a lot of very interesting sources for reading lists which are not human experts but still make very interesting reading. For example, you can get Feedster's Top 100 Blogs as a Reading List. The result using this hyperlink as a Reading List is a dynamic set of feeds, the Feedster 100, which is automatically changed whenever Feedster resorts their Top100. Almost more interesting, you can use to compute a dynamic Reading List which is the result of a search query. So for example, interactively, here is's search result for Chris Pirillo. And here is the same thing as a Reading List. The result of using this hyperlink as a Reading List is a set of feeds corresponding to the result of the search in a whole series of search engines. Try both examples in BlogBridge to see. Makes your head spin doesn't it? (At least it does mine 🙂 Technorati Tags: OPML, readinglists

Decorating tip

Hanging a picture on the wall? The perennial question, "how high should it be"? Here's the formula, handed down from the decorating gods: 60″ + height of the frame / 2 - distance between the top edge and the hook Supposedly works perfect, every time. Yes, this is a full service blog. Technorati Tags: decorating

[GEEKY] RSS Advisory board has a pulse again!

For those of you (like me) who have lots of dependency on RSS, this is exciting (geeky) news! The RSS Advisory Board suddenly looks like it's back alive, with new members and a totally new draft specification.

"A new era begins today for the RSS Advisory Board, an independent organization formed in 2003 that publishes the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) specification, helps developers create RSS applications and broadens public understanding of the format." (from RSS Advisory Board)

RSS is a really great format and it's been a little neglected recently with all the attention going to Atom. Only good things can come from this new development. **Let me know if I can help! ** [via Darwinian Web] Technorati Tags: atom, RSS

How come no-one has invented this yet :?

I write a lot of emails and IMs with smileys 🙂 and big smileys 😀 in them. It's very effective. But there's one that keeps coming up for which for some reason there's no correct emoticon, at least as far as I know… I need an emoticon to denote a funny question. Haven't you had that need 🙂 ? I need an emoticon to denote a funny question. Haven't you had that need ? 🙂 See the problem? Is there one that exists or do we have to create a new one 😕 Technorati Tags: funny

An actual “trial balloon”

A company that was launched at the Demo conference (which i am going to this year) is deploying in North Dakota:

"A trial balloon will be launched in the next few weeks to test the idea, said Schafer, who left office in 2000 after eight years as governor." (from Associated Press)

It just struck me as funny. (People ask: how much time does it take you to do a post every day in your blog? This one took less than 100 seconds. Would have been less if not for this parenthesized meta-joke.) Technorati Tags: democonference

Interesting Wikipedia situation developing

Wikipedia appears to have banned all contributions and edits coming from the US Congress!

"I am opening this RFC in order to centralise discussion concerning actions to be taken against US Congressional staffers who repeatedly revert wars, blank content, engage in libelous behaviour, violate WP:NPOV, WP:CIV. The editors from this IP are rude and abrasive, immature, and show no understanding of Wikipedia policy. The editors also frequently try to whitewash the actions of frequent politicians. They treat Wikipedia articles about politicians as though they own it, replacing articles with their sanctioned biographies and engaging in revert wars when other users dispute this sudden change. They also violate Wikipedia:Verifiability, by deleting verified reports, while adding flattering things about members of Congress that are unverified." (from Wikipedia Request For Comment, via Digg)

I am not exactly clear on Wikipedia's dispute resolution process. It seems especially challenging given the decentralized approach they take. From reading the entry they do make a real effort to be organized and consistent in their approach, which is impressive. If you are curious you should follow the link above and see what you make of it. One curiosity , don't know what to make of it: This entry is being heavily and rapidly edited even as I type. Following the change history it looks like the original author of the entry is someone who goes by the Wikipedia name of Natalinasmpf. If you look up his or her bio, it starts as follows:

"Greetings. I'm a politically active fifteen year old radical who lives in Dover, Singapore, and I have a communist slant…even though my government condemns it regularly (like every other country in the world). Generally, by communism, I mean …" (from Wikipedia User Entry for Natalinasmpf)

So that's who is keeping the US Congress away from Wikipedia. The world is flat after all. Technorati Tags: wikipedia

Bob Tedeschi on using RSS for travel information

Here's an interesting article in today's New York Times about how to get travel information in your your home page, like My Yahoo and others. This all hinges on RSS of course, which means you can bring your travel information into BlogBridge and other aggregators.

"Recently, these sites began allowing consumers to populate their home pages with similar information they'd find in e-mail newsletters, with two added benefits: all the relevant information from multiple sites appears on one page, instead of multiple e-mails, and the information is often considerably fresher, with several updates a week - or even a day." (from "There's a popular new code for Deals: RSS")

Take a look at the article, it's interesting. Here are some fun links that you can drag and drop into BlogBridge to follow travel specials.

One more thing: This is not just limited to travel deals. In fact many other shopping sites are providing Feeds for tracking deals. Here are some that I follow:

Now you can drag and drop any of these into your favorite aggregator, but I've also created a Reading List so you can simply keep an eye on my recommended shopping feeds. (Yes, a broken record 🙂 To use it, choose a Guide in BlogBridge, and in Guide Properties, Reading List, simply add this url to the list and you are in business. Each time I add a new one to the list, you will automagically get it! Technorati Tags: Bob Tedeschi, OPML, shopping, readinglists, RSS, travel

Geek Dinner? Harvard Square? February 15th? Should be fun!

Inspired by Geek Dinners popping up all over, we thought it might be fun to try it here. Who is "we"? Adam Green, who writes Darwinian Web, and yours truly who writes this Blog and also runs the BlogBridge project. Adam also has a Ruby Blog (he's been swallowed whole by Ruby) as well as a Mashup Blog. The third "we" is Mark Doerschlag.. What is this "geek dinner" thing? Well 3 guys inviting all their geek friends to hang out and geek out for a few hours. Each of us have almost non-overlapping networks so this is a chance for us to make new connections around town, and for you to do the same., This is like, totally totally informal! Anyone who reads this blog is invited. You don't have to be a geek, but you probably should like to hang out with them 🙂 Expect the crowd to be, well, you know, technical types. We have no idea whether it will be just the three of us (which would be a bit embarassing… ) or who else will come. As it is totally informal there are no startup, setup or other commitments. The space is borrowed (thanks RSSLabs and Bela!) , so, nothing ventured nothing gained as they say. So with no further ado, here are the coordinates. Location : 66 Church Street, Cambridge. (Near Fire and Ice) Time : 6:30 to 9:00pm Topics of discussion : Web 2.0, RSS, OPML, AJAX, Ruby, Mashups, Web Services, Startups, etc. RSVP : dinner at darwinianweb dot com Please come! Technorati Tags: adamgreen, geekdinner