Friday, June 13, 2008

Making it easier to feed!

Work has been extremely busy for me lately, my company is in the middle of a software migration so it's been intense at times. Today was better as we seem to have got on top of it but with the weekend upon us now no doubt Monday will be a nightmare. My friend at work started to blog recently and speaking with him today he told me he wants to get more involved. Where to start is the challenge as keeping up with the constant stream of feeds and news is relentless, never mind the movement to keep us with the sites that create a buzz. As a start Google Reader is an essential, Google Reader is a Web-based aggregator, capable of reading Atom and RSS feeds online or offline. Discovering new blogs and sites to subscribe to is what I enjoy, it's finding them that is the challenge.

Introducing Toluu which is a free service for sharing the feeds you read and discovering new ones. How it works is you import your feeds, I'll use Google Reader as an example as what I did is I exported my subscriptions as an OPML file and uploaded to the site. Once this has been achieved the site recommends people with similar tastes and from here you can discover new feeds. It works really well and on Wednesday the site rolled out an update and received praise from several sources. The updates included;

a way to see popular posts and a way to see who else subscribes to that feed. The goal of these new views is to give you another way to discover interesting feeds and people. ~ Caleb Elston

What was impressive is how word got around about Toluu and reading the Toluu Blog and also a post from Louis Gray it shows that reaching out to generate interest has it's rewards. Using Twitter and FriendFeed Caleb Elston was able to make the site much more visible and this was evident not just in the emails I received from people adding me as a friend but also the discussion on FriendFeed and Twitter. A nice feature also rolled out is the Twitter integration which announces to your followers that you have added a new feed. I'm currently using Toluu to clean out my Google Reader and discover new sites and it is proving to be a real asset!

Other updates rolled this week I haven't mentioned were FriendFeed which
added 5 more services to include in your lifestream: Intense Debate, Brightkite, Diigo, Mister Wong, and Tipjoy. Twhirl has also been updated and you can read about the latest update on the site. Stand out improvement I feel is to the FriendFeed side of Twhirl although I still feel that Alert Thingy offers the better interaction. For my friend who will no doubt be reading this after the weekend plenty to keep you occupied!