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Don’t ask, don’t tell…RSS? June 12, 2006

Posted by Ari Mir in RSS.
1 comment so far

Background: I owned a print publication for 3 years (thankfully no longer) and I am now working on cobundle, an RSS project (hello tech).

The amount of marketing dollars spent by an advertiser is directly proportional to a publisher’s circulation. Exceptions such as demographics and ad to copy ratios affect a publication’s rate card, but for the most part circulation is the name of the game.

So then why would online publishers fear RSS? For the same reason print publishers relish the archaic nature of newsstand distribution. That which is unknown cannot be proven. There is an understanding amongst publishers, I won’t ask you to prove your numbers if you don’t question mine.

A subscriber has always been more valuable than a reader/viewer, but a subscriber has always been more difficult to obtain. Online publishers do not want to admit their “true” loyalty numbers.

orange Kool-Aide May 19, 2006

Posted by Ari Mir in cobundle news.
1 comment so far

Hello,

Seeing as how "Getting Real" by 37signals changed my entire perspective on product development (yes i drink the Kool-Aide), I think it's time we have our first public (it's actually private) beta test. Our goal is to have something up by the end of the weekend.

So please email me if you are interested.

Sarah is 13…she is going to change RSS forever May 10, 2006

Posted by Ari Mir in RSS.
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i appreciate everything early adopters have done for RSS. i was not aware of RSS until late 2005. am i an early adopter? i guess not. :(

do i know about RSS because it has reached critical mass or become a part of mainstream Internet culture? No. i consider myself the pupa. i am neither a caterpillar (early adopter) nor a butterfly (mainstream Internet culture).

RSS is now at the pupa stage. early adopters use RSS on a daily basis, they have encouraged entrepreneurs (including me) to develop new products incorporating the technology, they have demanded publishers syndicate content, and they have spread the word to their non-tech savvy friends.

so then why has RSS not reached critical mass? early adopters have been using RSS to consume mind boggling amounts of content. those of us in the pupa stage, enjoy consuming content, but cannot comprehend 200+ feeds a day.

how does the pupa morph into a butterfly? Sarah, a 13 year old girl from any-town USA will begin to use RSS (the acronym will most likely die) to communicate personal updates to her friends. she will create a bundle, xoxoSarahxoxo, of feeds from the various online platforms (myspace, youtube, deviantart) she uses to indulge her narcissistic needs.

i find the teen/tween phenomenon frustrating. i have been developing cobundle because i believe early adopters can benefit from the services we will be providing. BUT there has not been a night I have not woken up in a cold sweat wondering whether I should brand the site so it will appeal more to the Sarahs of the world.

I hope RSS isn’t a buzz word? May 3, 2006

Posted by Ari Mir in Readers.
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Steve Rubel reported today USA Today launched a branded RSS reader.

To be honest I don't know how I feel about USA Today releasing a branded RSS reader. I think it is great publishing companies are taking an interest in simplifying RSS implementation. Do I think a branded RSS reader is going to help build USA Today's brand, no.

However, the product itself is quite nice. Fairly easy to use. They have taken advantage of some nifty Ajax features. My only recommendation would be to take away the interstitial page warning the user he/she needs to be logged in. There are more user friendly methods for making a user aware of the need to register/log in.

RSS Appreciation Day May 1, 2006

Posted by Ari Mir in Online desktops.
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Thanks to Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion, today is RSS Appreciation Day.

I am going to do my part and help you implement RSS feeds into Goowy, an on-line desktop. Why an on-line desktop and not a reader? I believe in the near future, on-line desktops will be the beginning and end to an Internet users day, making it a natural home for RSS feeds.

Step 1: Create an Account

  • Visit http://www.goowy.com
  • Use the "Sign up now!" table on the right-hand side of the page to create an account
  • If all of the information you have entered is correct, you will be placed in your "Goowy Desktop" page:

Goowy Desktop

Step 2: Implement RSS Feeds

  • Click on the "View Minis" link
  • You should now be in your "Goowy Minis" page:

Goowy Minis Page

  • Click on the "Manage Minis" tab
  • Move your cursor down the list and click on the "Add Feed" link
  • A window will pop-up, enter "cobundle" for the title
  • Enter http://cobundle.wordpress.com/feed/ as the feed
  • Click the "Save" link

You are done!

Please spread the word, RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication." It really isn't that complicated. :)

can’t we (RSS & Atom) all just get along April 26, 2006

Posted by Ari Mir in API.
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i recently came upon a great post: Introducing Feedcache: QOS for RSS

tucows recently made available an API for Feedcache. Feedcache harvests and normalizes feeds. developers can send a feed request to Feedcache and it will return the feed content. if the feed has never been requested, Feedcache will normalize the feed and make it available for future requests. Feedcache normalizes the feeds using Dave Winer's RSS 2.0 feed format.

at cobundle we have been developing something very similar (for internal use). i think Feedcache is definitely onto something. normalizing feed formats will become essential for content feeds to reach critical mass. however, i would expand the scope of the API to allow the developer to choose which feed format he/she would like to use.

welcome to cobundle April 25, 2006

Posted by Ari Mir in cobundle news.
3 comments

what is cobundle?

cobundle makes it easy for you to find new content feeds. sorry that’s all we can tell you for now ;)

how did cobundle come about?

six months ago i started a new job as a product manager at Shopzilla (awesome company by the way). as part of my job i began consuming more and more content. however, i soon realized there were people out there (like michael arrington, pete cashmore and fred wilson) with access to content from the “edge” i was unaware of and did not have the time to discover myself. out of pure necessity, cobundle was born.

i approached my friend paul walker, a talented software architect, and we are now a few weeks away from seeing cobundle become a reality.

unfortunately paul and i do not have many tech savvy friends (we’re from LA), so we will soon be posting a registration page in an attempt to find beta testers.

if you are a member of the online media and would like a demonstration of the product before the beta test, please email me with information about yourself.

thank you

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