IMO the standard RSS reader app is Reeder on both the desktop and the iPhone/iPad. If I were them, I’d be building out the server as well as web version that would easily grab everything from the apps to help users switch from Google . They could also dominate the space by making the web version a friendly looking version of Google Reader. Reader is the best RSS platform but it’s interface isn’t. Who ever wins that would win the war.
It’s very slick, they’ve added some small touches that just make it feel pretty. One is the edge of the window.
The paper look is a little thing but totally cool.
It takes a lot of work setting it up. I’m not totally done yet but I wish there was an easy way to import all my Google Reader stuff into tabs matching my folders. You can import Reader but it’s all manual. It’ll give you a big list of your feeds, you select what to import. I also think it should sync the unread items back to Reader. It does sync but to Pulp’s own server then to your other Mac’s or iPads. It works well for what it does, just a couple clicks on my MacMini and it’s all synced up.
The other cool feature is the Shelf. It’s a little holding place at the top of the app.
It pops out and you can drag articles to it to read later. I think this feature does need a keyboard shortcut though. You have to grab the mouse and drag stuff to it. It’s just not optomized for the way I work. I love keyboard shortcuts. I think thay shuld also add shortcuts for Instapaper, Twitter and Facebook but…
So far I love that app, if that can come up with a way to get a version on the iPhone I’d probably switch and use this instead of Google Reader! And Syncing to Reader would seal the deal!!
A good friend of mine, Will Spaetzel just launched his new website, CastRoller.com. CastRoller is an online podcast management tool that has a lot of cool features that makes listening to to podcasts a lot more social. On CastRoller, you can see what your friends are listening to using your “homepage” a lot the same way the Facebook News Feed works. You can also share podcast episodes with your friends by clicking on one “Share” button. And all of your contacts will receive the episode in their CastRoller inbox. Plus, if they’ve added the RSS feed for the inbox to iTunes, they’ll automatically have the episode downloaded right to their iPod.I’ve spend a lot of time helping Will out with the site, and am very excited about this launch. I hope that lots of people start using the site so that we can start to really take advantage of the social aspects of the site.You can view my profile, and add me as a contact, on CastRoller at http://castroller.com/billdeys. And you can also watch the help videos I recorded for CastRoller here: http://castroller.com/help/gettingstarted
So I was listening to Mitch Joel on the latest Six Pixels of Seperation this morning and Joseph Rogers had a comment that he spent a lot of time reading blogs but not commenting because he uses a feed reader and rarely goes to the site. I can say I do the same thing but I do have a habit of opening the feed item in a new window and commenting every once and a while. I would probably comment more if I didn’t have to do that so it got me thinking..Step One – Get the Comments to the Feed Reader.So to start there is no way of reading comments from your reader and no way to publish them from it either. For the first part, getting the comments to the reader, what we need is a xml tag in the rss feeds with a link to that items comment rss feed. Most, I think, blogging platforms already have a feed for the comments, I know WordPress does (it’s ?feed=rss2&p=”Post ID #”). This would be fairly easy just a standard xml tag like “we” added enclosure for podcasting. Then the feed readers need to add the ability to pull in the comments when you “read” an item. This could be automatic when you open a new item or could be a link at the bottom of the article that will grab the comments..Step Two – Publish Comments from the Reader.The second step is to set up a hook to allow for comments to be publish right there in the feed reader to the original blog thus allowing everyone to see them in other readers. Most platforms use an xmlrpc hook to publish posts from third party apps (like ecto) and other sites (like blip.tv, flickr and clipmarks). The same method could be adapted for publishing comments and still maintain all the spam protection and what not already in use..Final Notes.I know other people, the guys from the TechCanuck podcast jump to mind, have a problem with sites like Shyftr taking the community away from their sites and this would eliminate the need to take the comments and community off site.
With iTunes considering going to a subscription model for music, an idea I had way back near the beginning of podcasting before iTunes was even a podcast aggregator..My idea then was to publish some sort of XML that would contain links to the music to buy and the “host/DJ” created audio that would wrap the music and all the info on how to mix it together. Basically a listener would be able to download all the parts and legally purchased music and locally mash them together to make the podcast. It was a way around using licenced music as just the mashed up result would easily be fair use..The big problem would be cross border subscribers not being able to buy the music, mostly just in areas where there was not a system to purchase the tracks in digital form. Although with a bit of work I’d bet some one would be able to work around the issue in a non legal way..So now that iTunes offers subscriptions it’s even easier. Basically anyone who subscribes to the service, obviously has to use iTunes to use it, and the mash up part can easily be built into the application. Publishers just have to upload their audio and link up the tracks they need and any subscriber can add the show to their list and upon release of a new episode the host audio is downloaded as well as the music and the playback is as easy as playing any other podcast..My theory is also supported by a patent that apple applied for a while back for a way of mashing up audio, which at the time everyone thought, and rightly so as it could be used in this way too, that the system would be used to make custom news programs and such.
So I love using Clipmarks and I am just addicted to Twitter and I wanted a way for my “clips” to be posted to twitter without having to copy the info and the like and pasting it into a tweet. Now Clipmarks has a great feature to allow you to clip-to-blog which if you have looked at any of my site I use quite frequently! They also have a neat feature that will post links to del.icio.us, as well as other services. I figured they probably already had the idea but I Im’d Eric Skiff anyways to let him know and he confirmed that they had bee talking about it but he also reminded me of another way that this can be accomplished. Clipmarks generates an RSS feed for just about any list on their site, your clips, your pops, your clippers clips, you get the point. You can of course grab the feed for which ever page you want and use TwitterFeed to publish that to your Twitter page. Now in a case where you have multiple twitter accounts for different purposes, I have my personal account and one from BlogLDN, you can take advantage of Clipmarks tags and use the feed for that tag to post and because TwitterFeed uses a different login for each feed you give it there is no end to the number of combinations you can use. Thanks to Eric for pointing that out and the guys at Clipmarks and Twitter for the services!
I been hanging out on Group in Facebook a bit more then I have ever before. The group is “Bloggers of Canada“, go join there if you like, it’s been growing pretty quickly and there is some great value in the discussion. I don’t know why but this if the first group I’ve really been active on, just kinda happened that way. A few things I have found there have been annoying me and some other people. Chris Brogan has posted a fewtimes about it and I suggest that you go read him for far better coverage.What i can’t stand having to go back and check on the discussion boards. I can never keep track of new posts and new members. They need to use RSS so I can subscribe to a number of feeds and make sure I never miss a thing. If I could subscribe to a feed for new posts on the discussion boards, one for the new members and one for new “recent news” items I could stay on top of things far more effectivly AND I would be back on their site more often to post replies. What they don’t get is the only group I keep up with is the Canadian Bloggers because the way they make me use the site is limiting what I can keep up with. There is a lot happening in the other groups that I would love to participate in and through RSS I could but they dont allow it.One other thing that I’d like to make quick note of is the amount of data the collect and keep. There has been a big buzz around the net about it. I don’t mind them knowing stuff about me but I should be able to delete EVERYTHING easily. Acording to Steven Mansour it is extremely far from it. Here is what I suggest they do is allong with the option to deactivate your account, which I think is kind of handy, they should allow you to DELETE you account which will dump everybit of data they have on you! Just my two cents, what do you think?