Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Power up the blog

My pet subject of native blogs vs RSS has picked up a bit of momentum lately with these posts from Jeanne Sessum, Shelley Powers and Euan Semple, among others.

As much as I agree with Jeanne and have expressed similar thoughts, I guess in the end, all bloggers have to take responsibility for ramping up their blogs so that they have more inherent value so people feel inclined to visit the site rather than just sifting through an RSS feed.
One very potentially valuable service for doing this is the new functionality that has been added to Google Reader. Google Reader now lets you tag or star your various posts that you read via RSS and then, and here’s the good part, let’s share those posts via a personalised RSS feed.

A lot of blogs try to add value by providing some quick links to things they found of interest, well if you plug this RSS feed or paste the required code into you blog, you can do that as simply as clicking on a star as you read the post.

Of course, the irony there, is you have to be reading the blog in the Google RSS reader, which kinda is against what we’re trying to achieve here. It’d be nice to have a bookmarklet so you can do the same thing but from within the post itself.

I got very excited about this prospect and I tried to use the new WordPress.com widgets to do it. However, the RSS widgets didn’t seem to work properly with this Google Reader feed and I didn’t seem to have any luck pasting the javascript code into a text widget.

This issue has frustrated me for the last couple of weeks. The startup I’ve mentioned I’ve been working with will in the next fortnight release a new service aimed at enabling you to power-up your blogs, myspace’s, e-mails and homepages. However, the service keeps striking problems because WordPress, Google Page Creator, Hotmail and others strip out the code that would enable you to do the neat tricks we’re trying to achieve.

In this Web 2.0 world of mashups, badges and so forth, it seems nuts that these kinds of services limit the code that you can copy into them. I have no doubt that over the next year, companies will keep piling on the functionality that enable you to do more and more with your blog if only their innovations aren’t thwarted at the point of publish.

Filed under: Blogs

6 Responses

  1. Give Reblog a shot – it does basically everything you’re describing, has been developed and tested over the past two years, and doesn’t require you to feed the GOOG’s data addiction while you’re at it. Check out Matt Haughey’s recent guide to the software on Lifehacker.com, and give it a test-drive at http://my.reblog.org.

  2. Phil, will your startup be integrated with Newsgator and other popular feed readers right out of the gun? This sounds interesting and I had the same idea after day 2 of blogging. Great to see someone executing it!

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