Grazr Goes 1.0, Relaunches with Video

Grazr.com relaunched late yesterday with a host of new features. (Marshall Kirkpatrick has the Techcrunch writeup) I helped with the site redesign, focusing on demonstrating the capabilities of Grazr as well as making the activity of building a Grazr painless and easy.

One of the new features that I’m most excited about is the ability to watch video from any web page. Here’s a Grazr displaying YouTube videos:

So it’s as simple as that. You can browse YouTube from any web site with a Grazr!

Continue Reading: Grazr Goes 1.0, Relaunches with Video

Good News

I recently rebooted my Powerbook after 56 days of uptime. This means that my Powerbook was on and running for almost two months without a hitch. And that’s with me using it approximately 12 hours per day. And now I’m back up to 10 days uptime already…

Adam Green’s OPML Camp is slated for May 20th in Cambridge, MA. It looks like a great event, and further solidifies Boston as a burgeoning place for techies. Unfortunately, I can’t go because of family reasons…but I hope everyone has fun.

Speaking of OPML, have you shared yours yet?

Speaking of sharing, Del.icio.us now has a Don’t Share feature. I’m using it more than I thought I would.

The Ugly Design Debate took a turn for the better this past week over on Jason Santa Maria’s site. Jason articulated the argument very well, and the comments stayed civil and enlightening. I particularly like Christopher Fahey’s comment (#53) in which he points out that we’re mostly talking about style preferences (which are as varied as the New England weather). In the end, I don’t think anybody is really arguing for ugly design, but rather for unpretentious design. I used the example of your favorite local diner…none of them are pretty, and that’s partly why we like them.

Want AJAX tutorials? Max Kiesler has aggregated a ton of them. Nice!

Ryan Carson has a brilliant idea for web apps. Charge more money.

Here are a couple posts I wrote recently for Brain Sparks:

Jeff Croft has a great writeup on how he used Django, a Python framework, to build his site. Not everyone is crazy about frameworks, however, as Eric Meyer wrote recently. As a programmer, I can say that if you were migrating toward MVC anyway, then the frameworks coming out now are great and will be an easy switch. If MVC means nothing to you, and you’re not used to building web apps, then you’re probably going to nod alot when reading Eric’s post. I’m happy that he was able to use the word flummox.

Finally, Bokardo has a bunch of new readers and I just wanted to say Welcome. I also want to say Thank You to my existing readers. We’re starting to amp up the discussion here, and that’s great. Feel free to drop me a line anytime, and please let me know how I can improve.

OPML Podcast

Alex Barnett, Adam Green, John Tropea and I recorded a podcast last week on OPML:

OPML podcast (58 min 13MB .mp3)

We talked about the new OPML 2.0 Draft, namespaces, and structured blogging. Adam talked at length about what the new spec means for the development community, while John spoke about the creative ways in which OPML is being used. I learned a lot about how OPML might be used as a container format for some of the interesting activity in and around other structured formats.

As always, Alex has written up a set of great notes.

Continue Reading: OPML Podcast

On OPML 2.0

OPML 2.0 is out.

“We now know how OPML is being used, and where the problems are, and I think are ready to produce a frozen and extensible format and spec.”

Yep, we do know how OPML is being used. Information grazing is a big part of it.

The Evolution of Information Grazing

One lens through which to look at the recent innovation in the memetracker space is frustration. If you look at where the frustration is in how we track memes (ideas), you can get a decent picture of where the innovation is going. If you want to predict the future, find the frustration!

Like an antelope eating grass on the Kalahari, grazing is eating small quantities of food at frequent but irregular intervals (Apple Dashboard dictionary). Recently, the term grazing has been adopted to describe our efforts at finding information on the Web. The following is a very general picture of the four types of “grazing” we’ve gone through, or are going through now. Each level had it’s own share of frustration, which led (or is leading) directly to the next level.

Continue Reading: The Evolution of Information Grazing

On Bridge

This is cool, Blog Bridge allows easy publishing of Reading Lists to Web:

“And while you don’t need BlogBridge to do this, we do make it brain-dead-simple. A single checkbox enables the publishing of your Guide (Reading List) to the web. No OPML, no scripting, no FTP, no nuttin.

So in the fun and excitement of Semantic Web and OPML name spaces, and dynamic, meta-dynamic, and hyper-dynamic reading lists, it’s easy to lose sight of the universal appeal of sharing ones enthusiasm.”

Reading Lists Podcast

Adam Green and Danny Ayers joined Alex Barnett and I for a podcast on OPML Reading Lists.

Reading List Podcast with Adam Green and Danny Ayers (11MB .mp3 – Alex’s notes)

We talked about reading lists, dynamic reading lists, and feed grazing. In addition, both Danny and Adam talked at length about the Semantic Web, and how we seem to be building toward it with formats like RSS and OPML.

It’s a solid introduction to this interesting development in feed reading. Enjoy!

Continue Reading: Reading Lists Podcast

Dynamic Reading Lists

Adam Green:

“There are plenty of RSS aggregators that allow you to import OPML files as a quick way of subscribing to a large number of feeds, but these are basically a static form of subscription. BlogBridge, on the other hand, is able to stay in synch with the original OPML.”

I’ve been using Blogbridge for a few days now, after talking about them with Adam over sushi, and I can say that dynamic OPML reading lists are really cool. However, because they are OPML they are working at the feed level, and at this point I think I’m more interested in the post level.

Adam has set up a dynamic OPML reading list of Tech.memeorandum created from an hourly check-in of the popular meme tracker site. So, every hour the OPML updates to show all the blogs that have bubbled to the homepage of memeorandum. So this is totally cool.

However, the blogs got there because of some really interesting post, because they’re somehow related to the top stories of the day. In other words, the blogs themselves may or may not be interesting to me other than their one, attention-getting post. So OPML might not be the best solution at this level. So the question is: are reading lists dynamic? Or is it simply news headlines that are?

Going forward, my guess is that we’ll be more interested in the post-level relevance, as opposed to feed-level relevance. Or, perhaps that’s easy for me to say because I already feel like I have enough feeds to read (about 200). But I think it makes sense that way, because we read many, many more individual posts than we acquire new feeds, and we’re more interested in the relevance of the information than what feed they come from. Acquiring new feeds is slow, reading the news is not.

Structured Blogging Podcast with Marc Canter and Joe Reger, Part 2

Part 2 of the podcast Alex Barnett and I had with Marc Canter and Joe Reger is now available. In it, Marc Canter riffs about OPML, the Compatibility Box approach, and calls Structured Blogging the “next era of blogging”.

Continue Reading: Structured Blogging Podcast with Marc Canter and Joe Reger, Part 2

Passing Along Some Pointers

Ryan Carson is excited about his Web 2.0 workshop in the UK that he’s holding on February 8, 2006. Judging from the lineup, it looks like it will be a great show. He’s got the Tags guy, the Rails guy, the Flickr guy, the Feedburner guy, the Mint guy, the Dropsend guy, and the Yahoo guy. He definitely found the right group of folks to share their experiences.

Also, Doug Martin sends word that his new product is ready for tire kicking. It’s called LookLater, and is a bookmarking tool. He’s currently trying to get the word out, so I’m helping him along a bit. Looks interesting.

Pieter Overbeeke wants folks to check out OPMLManager.com, a tool to help you maintain your OPML file. I’m not quite there yet, but you early adopters might find something useful.

Finally, Alex Bard says that his company, Goowy, is growing fast. They provide traditional web services including web mail, contacts, calendar, games, widgets and more. Looks like another player in the Web-based Office space…

BTW: I don’t normally advertise for free. And since I’m getting more and more requests it’s getting hard to keep up. If you are interested in advertising for pennies in the burgeoning Bokardosphere, let me know. I’ve got some ideas about that…

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