July 24, 2003

Chris Lydon Interview

Christopher Lydon's interview of me is up on his site.  Amazing what he can do with such a tight budget and in such a short amount of time.  I've been a big fan of his work, so I jumped at the chance when he called me up and asked for an interview.  We did it amazingly quickly - he called me up, we talked for 30 minutes, and 2 hours later, the interview was posted to the web.  Chris is onto something...

July 18, 2003

RSS as Infrastructure

With the announcement yesterday of the assignment of the RSS 2.0 specification to Harvard University, along with a Creative Commons license and a new 3 person steering committee, RSS 2.0 has become more firmly cemented as an infrastructural element in the web publishing world.  This is a good thing.  It will help wary organizations to feel more comfortable using a syndication standard with the assurances that it is not going to be changed on a whim or hijacked by someone with a hidden agenda.  RSS 2.0 isn't perfect, and that's one of its best qualities.  It was designed with a "worse is better" mentality, what I like to call POGE - the Principle of Good Enough.  That means it is simple, easy to understand and to code.  It means that it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, and it isn't a format for all things or all purposes.  It has a history, which means it has some bumps and warts, but IMHO, it does a pretty good job of doing what it sets out to do: Be a format for the syndication of published content. 

This is not a knock on other efforts that attempt to achieve other goals.  My perspective is to use the best tool for the job at hand, and it is OK for different people to have different opinions on what that is.

Kudos to Dave Winer, the folks at Berkman, and the Advisory Board for taking this positive step.
Posted by dsifry at 11:46 PM | TrackBack | View blog reactions

July 5, 2003

New Technorati Pinger is active: Hot 'n fresh weblog indexing

Over the past months, I've had a lot of people send me email or leave comments asking how they can get their weblog indexed by Technorati.  This weekend, I had a few hours of free time and I whipped a new feature with two interfaces:  It is a standard XML-RPC ping server (like www.weblogs.com) that you can add to your weblog software configuration (or that hosting providers can use) that will immediately add your weblog into a special high-priority queue for Technorati's indexing runs.  This means faster, more accurate search data.

To use the pinger, there are two interfaces: an XML-RPC interface at http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping which understands the weblogUpdates.ping and weblogUpdates.extendedPing specifications detailed in the weblogs.com specification and the blo.gs specification.  I don't have a SOAP 1.1 version done yet, but I can add that, if people want it - leave a comment below.

If you're using a modern weblog package like Moveable Type, blosxom, pMachine or many others, simply add http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping to your notifications configuration.

The other way of notifying Technorati that you've updated your weblog is the web interface available at http://www.technorati.com/ping.html  Simply fill in your weblog name and its URL and voila, your weblog will be added into the fast indexing queue.  Once you've done it, you can even bookmark the page so that you can easily notify Technorati whenever you update or add items to your blog.

Of course, if you're currently notifying www.weblogs.com, www.blo.gs, or www.blogrolling.com when your weblog is updated, your weblog will continue to make its way into the Technorati index, albeit a bit more slowly.  Notifying Technorati directly will put your weblog (or weblog hosting site) onto a higher priority track to get included in the index.

These two features are new, so there might be some downtime or fixes during the next few days if I need to fix a bug or two, but the interface and the ping URLs are set in stone, so if you are a blogging tool author you don't need to worry that the service will move to a different location, or that the API will change.

A new wiki page describes how to add the ping service to your favorite weblogging tool's configuration.

As always, feedback is appreciated.