Asking a lot from my feedreader

I love Newsgator and I’m not shy about saying it. Lately, though, it’s been painfully slow for me. Yesterday I listened to Mike Arrington’s podcast discussion with the heads of 4 online RSS readers, Newsgator included. (Plus Attensa, FeedLounge and Rojo) The show let me know that it’s ok to ask a lot of your feed reader. It’s like a limb to me, so I think I need to explore some alternatives. I had presumed that it was because I’m subscribed to 500 feeds that Newsgator loads so slow on every click. That may be true, but the in depth discussion I listened to yesterday makes me want to reevaluate more alternatives. I want something magically fast.
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Sphere is a new blog search engine

It’s all the rage on Tech.Memeorandum today. Sphere.com. Pretty good. I wrote more about it early in the day at Social Software. Having used it some more and listened to star-maker Mike Arrington interview the founders – I feel even better about it at the end of the afternoon. You might want to check it out too, and if you have an hour you might want to listen to the podcast linked to over there on Social Software.

Video promotion online

Joan Stewart at the Publicity Hound blog wrote today about a mother/child yoga DVD that needs help with online marketing. The DVD producer ends her request for advice with the following:

“But in order to do that, we need to be out there! I’ve sent press releases, done a local news guest segment, gotten reviews, created an interactive website, have product placed in a few specialty stores, done expos, etc.

“But I need that Big Thing. What am I missing? What’s one huge thing that might put us on the map? Please help, Hounds.”

I watched the DVD trailer, and it is pretty neat. So I posted the following comment on Joan’s blog. Anyone have any thoughts on the question or this advice?

Not to rain on the parade, but some people contend that the new social media emerging (like blogs) is not at all about the Big Thing – but rather the aggregate result of lots of small things. That said, this vid has a great trailer! You might consider putting it on YouTube, engaging some yoga and mama bloggers in conversation (see, for example http://technorati.com/blogs/motherhood ) and offering them the short code snippet that will allow your video to be shown on their site. Trying to get bloggers to cover your product can be difficult, but the bottom line is reading their blogs before hand and really engaging with them. Beyond that, I’ve bookmarked the best resources I’ve found for pitching bloggers for coverage at http://del.icio.us/marshallkirkpatrick/pitchingbloggers

Good luck!

One thing I didn’t think to write at the time is that I would make sure to set up search feeds for references to the video and make sure to respond to any coverage. I would not set up search feeds for terms like “mother and baby Yoga” because making a commercial pitch any time anything related is blogged about would be in poor taste.

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On writing good titles

This Yahoo News search result for immigration boycott, on the right hand side of the results page where blogs appear, reminds me that I have to write better titles. Especially when I’m writing about something other than just tech – if I want to take advantage of good placement in places where there is news/blog integration, chances are every other blog post there is liable to begin its headlines with a subject-level phrase. I would love to see people interested in today’s events find my blog through a search for that and take interest in how RSS can be used in their field of interest.

As more and more mainstream media/news sites cut deals with Technorati to include search results on their pages – the headline and first few words of it even become more important for bringing readers beyond that link. Related: See NYTimes, This boring headline is written for Google. I’m talking about something different, though. Perhaps SEO works this way as well, but I’m talking about the human eye being able to see the distinct nature of a truncated excerpt.

I see now that I also misspelled the word strike. Great.

Update: I just changed it and will now go ping manually and see if Yahoo News indexes the new title.

Using RSS to display breaking Immigration-strike survey news automatically


Subscribe to this feed

The above box is an example of how you can use search, RSS and the application FeedDigest.com to create an automatically updating newswire on your web site about anything timely or interesting.

I’m struggling with my CSS for layout right now, but plenty of other people have those skills. There are many different ways that something like this can be made to look. I added the FeedBurner feed and subscription button myself. The important thing is that the box above is the RSS feed for a Google News search for “immigration AND survey AND strike OR boycott.” It will update automatically throughout the day. I wish the demonstrations the best of luck and hope that US attitudes about immigrants change quickly for the better. It would behoove white people to remember how we behaved when our ancestors first came to this place and get our act together.



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