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Archive for the ‘Aggregator’ Category

Why WordPress is the Best and RSS Too

Posted by James M. Helms on December 20, 2007

I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to pass on a blog to the wordpress readers that I just read. The blog posting was syndicated through Sphinn and talked highly about WordPress blogs. The Title was “7 Reasons Why WordPress is the Ultimate SEO Tool”. I am not going to reiterate a thing but if you need some reasons to justify your decision to go with a WordPress blog this is a must read.

This brings me to another point. Should I write a good detailed blog sometime about RSS? I know that I have covered RSS in the past but I am not sure how many people are actually using the technology. I have an RSS reader in my email side panel and I seriously keep up to date with dozens (and dozens) of blogs daily. Using RSS may create a lot of “noise” but I really like lots of information. Let me know if there are aspects of RSS that need clarification and I will try to clarify things for you.

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Posted in Aggregator, Blog, Blogging, Feed reader, RSS Feeds, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Splashcast Gives Media Player Facelift

Posted by James M. Helms on August 30, 2007

It’s true, the Splashcast player has a new look and a great feel. The old player had a lot of functionality but was lacking in a few areas.  Splashcast is a content player that you can embed on websites and blogs. You can subscribe to shows and the shows update automatically through RSS. Additionally, the player allows you to make shows with Audio, Video, Powerpoint, Photos, even documents. These changes are now in effect. In an email recieved from Splashcast they write of these changes:

“In addition to the snazzy new look, here’s a list of new features in the SplashCast player

1. Video, Audio, or Text Comments – For any item in a show, viewers can now record or upload a video or audio comment as well as leave a text comment. When comments are added, you will receive notification via email. When publishing a show from the SplashCast console, you can disable the comment feature if desired. As an added bonus, all the audio and video comments added to your channel will be available by searching the SplashCast console where you can create a “Best of Comments Show” Your viewers will love to have you feature them!

2. Easier item navigation – Whether your show has 3 or 30 items you can now start a show and quickly scroll over the item thumbnails or click a thumbnail to go directly to a particular item.

3. New captions box displays the name of each item in your show. Log in to the SplashCast console to change the names of your items. Because, ya know, “D32165” as a name is just not that catchy. As always, the player fades away after a few seconds, but if you prefer, you can always close the caption box while navigating through the items if desired.

4. Full Screen button – Right there in the player! No need to create your own “full view” link anymore.

5. Pause/Play button – Pause actually pauses everything now… even background music.

6. Send button – Email friends and family a link directly to your favorite item or to an entire show.

7. Follow Me – Family, friends and fans can now “follow you”. No… these aren’t stalkers. These are people who want to be notified via email whenever you publish a new show. This is for those folks who haven’t caught the RSS fever yet. By clicking the button on bottom right you can access the new “follow me” link.”

If you are interested in seeing the player in action you should check it out at Splashcast. Or click through to my homepage.You can read their own blog post by following this link. In addition to the player they have been gaining momentum with their customized facebook player. For more information you can learn more here.

Posted in Aggregator, Blog, RSS Feeds, Technology, Video | Leave a Comment »

What’s up with RSS?

Posted by James M. Helms on June 30, 2007

If you are like me, tech challenged, then RSS kind of snuck up and just appeared one day. Recently I was frustrated with my lack of understanding so I decided to do a little snooping. RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” which at face value is pretty ridiculous. If you have seen my website it may be apparent that I can barely script html and CSS, much less learn more acronyms. So, I want to cut to the chase and make it a little simpler for you and me both. After a couple hours of work I pretty much picked up the basics. I will write them down so if I forget I can come back and read about it in the future.

RSS feeds are a tool that we can use. If we compile the feeds in an aggregator the aggregator allows us to receive feed updates on a periodic basis. How does it work? I don’t have a clue; I guess it’s like magic. To make things simple lets just say that RSS allows content to magically appear in an aggregator. Matter of fact lets just call the aggregator a “feed reader” it just reads and displays the feeds that we tell it to. Feed readers are platforms like My Yahoo or Google Reader, the information from the feeds update occasionally without any action on our part. Where can we get feed readers? Just type “feed reader” into Google and there will be about a few million links to check out. After selecting the feed reader that is wanted just customize the page. From the aggregators that I have checked out they all have really simple directions to do so.

For the greater part of my time looking into RSS I was trying to set up an RSS subscription on my blog. If you have a blog and want to set up an RSS feed you can do so easily by going to FeedBurner which was recently purchased by Google. FeedBurner has a free basic service. There are options to buy souped up versions with analytics and extra features. My RSS was simple and free to set up on my blog. I also pasted icons to subscribe to my feed on my website using the “Chicklet Chooser” option.

I personally don’t have a feed reader unless you count the SplashCast slide show. It’s a great tool if you want to use it. I have just never found an application for it yet. I guess I am just more interested in doing other things right now. I suppose that I was blindsided by RSS because I don’t spend my time on the web making my life easier. I just use the web as a tool to learn how to do things myself…many times the hard way.

Posted in Aggregator, Feed reader, FeedBurner, Humor, RSS Feeds, Technology | Leave a Comment »