Combining and filtering feeds: Top blogs on video

In answering some one’s question about work in online video I made time to fix a resource I had put together some time ago for SplashCast team members – an RSS feed containing only blog posts containing the word “video” from a number of the biggest Web 2.0 blogs online.  It’s a handy way to catch all the big, topical stories in the news – or news blogs anyway.  I thought some of my readers here might like it too.

That feed above contains articles from the following blogs that contain the word “video”
TechCrunch, Mashable, Gigaom, PaidContent, ArsTechnica (all top web 2.0 generalist blogs) and my personal blog

If you’re real interested in online video, I’d also recommend reading and NewTeeVee.  (What other video focused blogs would people here recommend?)  Every post in those blogs is about video though, so I kept them out of the aggregate feed above.

How does it look?  Check it out at the end of this post, after the “more” link.

Here’s how I made that feed.

I identified domain leaders in my topic of interest.  If you don’t know how to do that, one starting place is to go to and look around there.

I grabbed the RSS feed of each blog and spliced them together using the wonderful service FeedDigest. One of the many options there is to filter for a “search query.”  I entered the word video there.  This service does a lot (including displaying the feed live here in this post) and I gladly pay $50/year for it.

FeedDigest produced a combined and filtered feed for me.  I took that RSS URL and entered it into FeedBurner because it makes everything pretty, it lets me make lots of changes to the base feed without disrupting the readers’ experiences, etc.

Then I posted here about it so share this info with anyone interested.  Just imagine how much fun you could do creating feeds like this for yourself or your friends!  The folks at SplashCast like it quite a bit.

Want to see the output?  Check out this link… Continue reading “Combining and filtering feeds: Top blogs on video”

My favorite podcasts

My local friend Dawn Foster has a podcast listening obsession and has followed up a list of her favorite podcasts with a request that some other people share their own lists.  I’ve never participated in one of these chains of blog posts where you tag me to write something about myself and then I tag other people – but this is a good one.  Making a list of clearly identifiable items already being produced by someone else?  No problem.

What is a podcast?  The term has been defined as serialized, shortform audio delivered by RSS – but they aren’t always short, they aren’t only audio (video podcasts are big) and a high percentage are viewed on web sites instead of by RSS anyway.  Serialized online media might be key concept.  It’s an unfortunate misconception that an iPod is required to consume podcasts.

To be honest I used to listen to far more podcasts before I got a good web enabled mobile phone, an EVDO card and the excellent services of the City of Noses dog walkers here in Portland.  All caveats aside, here’s my list and a SplashCast player so you can check out my favorites right away.

IT Conversations – not all episodes are of interest to me, but many of these interviews and tech conference talks are not to be missed.

Democracy Now – a daily audio and video show about current events that delivers some of the best investigative journalism and world news you’ll find anywhere.  This show is an international media phenomenon of mind-blowing proportions.  It’s broadcast on over 500 cable access and community radio stations in addition to being available as a podcast.

The Vloggies Show – Irina Slutsky’s comedy and commentary on the state of the video blogosphere is fun and informative.

Rabbit Bites – two sassy bunnies, with subtitles.  This one isn’t in the SplashCast player because something funky with the RSS feed prevents it from being included.

Textra – If you can get over the assumption that Natalie Del Conte is little more than Beauty Myth eye candy, you’ll find that she actually does some good research into the tech stories you might not have read closely over the week.

1938 Media – Loren Feldman is not a nice man but he’s smart and I can’t stop watching his show about people on the internet.

That’s about the extent of my current list of favorites.  Here are some shows I used to listen to a lot that you might enjoy as well.

The Gilmor Gang – Rest in Peace.  Ever since this weekly two-hour tech round table stopped publishing, podcasting has felt far less meaningful to me.  I mean that literally.

For Immediate Release – Another long show about online communication – PR especially.  Always timely, if a tad uninspired in its analysis (sorry guys).

Diary of a Shameless Self Promoter – Heidi Miller speaks at trade shows but also does a great podcast about promoting yourself as an independent professional.

Those are my favorites!  I’ll be putting this SplashCast player back in my redesigned blog sidebar here and adding individual videos I find and want to share in there as well.

What are your favorite podcasts?  New ones I like can be really hard to find so please let me know.  The practice of tagging people and asking them to blog about something in particular isn’t one I’ve ever been very comfortable with.  You’re reading this post – would you like to participate and list some of your favorite podcasts?  Go for it, link here or to Dawn’s post and we’ll all get to discover more content.

Chris Pirillo on OPML

I couldn’t be more impressed with the work Chris Pirillo is doing right now with live and archived video – it’s really good stuff. I’ve been tweeting about it, talking to people about it and now I’m going to blog about it.

Today one of his segments was an answer to a question I asked that lead to a 6 minute discussion about OPML. What is OPML? The simplest explanation is that it’s a bundle of RSS feeds that can be ported into and out of an RSS reader. For a more fleshed out explanation and discussion, though, let’s go to Chris… /

Besides working with your own feeds, to switch from one feed reader and another for example, there’s much more you can do with OPML. If you ever think to Google the phrase “useful OPML files” (hah! who would?) well then you’d find my post titled 5 Useful OPML Files. That’s got more info and some neato examples of ways that OPML can be fun and useful!

See also: Here’s a post I wrote awhile ago about live video – I think it’s going to be huge.

“Should I write an article on Wikipedia?” Blogher as case study

I noticed last week that there was no Wikipedia entry for Blogher, the women-centric blogging conference, blog aggregator and now VC funded company.  Shocked, I twittered that this was the case and my buddy Jeremy Pepper replied asking whether he should write an article.  

This was the second time in a month someone has asked me a question about whether they should be the person to write an article in Wikipedia so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts here.  A Blogher article in particular makes an interesting case study.

Wikipedia has great Search Engine Optimization, can be a good traffic generator and is a good reference source.  People like to have an entry in Wikipedia for their projects for a variety of reasons.  In this case, there ought to be a Wikipedia page about Blogher just so that people can go to this widely trusted source to learn about the project. Who should start writing that page, though?

In general – here are a few things I think are important when considering whether you ought to be the person to write about something in Wikipedia.

1. Conflicts of interest: If you have an antagonistic relationship with something, you probably ought not write about it.  If you have a financial interest in that subject’s success, I am of the belief that it may be ok for you to write about it so long as you practice…
2. Disclosure: Make sure your user page identifies who you are and what you do for a living.  Being open makes a world of difference.
3. Value add: In addition to a neutral point of view, make sure your post adds important value to the Wikipedia community by being truly informative.  Also, the more you have contributed to Wikipedia in general the more any specific contribution will be respected.  
4. Time invested: In some cases, like if a PR agent is writing about their client, I would recommend that in addition to disclosing the fact that you are a PR agent on your user profile page, you should also consider editing the article live in Wikipedia.  Multiple edits over time, even if from the same user, demonstrate time spent on the article in Wikipedia and help demonstrate respect for the platform.

To answer Jeremy’s question about Blogher I first searched in Technorati for his name and the word Blogher, to see what his relationship with the group was like.  He had written some supportive blog posts about the event, which received favorable comments from some people I understand to be leaders in the Blogher community.  I know that Blogher is generally supportive of participation by men.  I also did a google search for this query: site: “for wikipedia.”  I found one forum thread about the fact that there is no Wikipedia article for Blogher.  The conversation seemed supportive of the idea, people were just wondering who should write it and how it should be done.  The thread seemed to taper off without any clear answers for that question.  That lead me to believe that there wasn’t any clear reason why the Blogher community did not want an article about Blogher in Wikipedia.

I suggested that Jeremy write one up and post it while logged into a Wikipedia account that was clearly tied to him personally.  That way people could see who was responsible and contact him to discuss it if they wanted to. He hasn’t written that article yet, but that’s ok. Eventually someone will write it and I think this is a good opportunity to talk about these questions.

If he does write this article, here’s how I suggest this and other articles begin.  In addition to maintaining a “neutral point of view” and sticking to the facts, it’s important that an article be long enough to satisfy the community of Wikipedians who dislike very short articles.  I’ve had articles be deleted because they weren’t substantive enough.

Since Blogher is an active online community there’s an opportunity to make sure that participants there know that a new Wikipedia entry about them has been posted.  Emailing them or posting to the Blogher forum could be good ways to let them know. Once they know about the article, they will have a chance to edit it as they see fit and help watch in case this new article gets nominated for deletion, as does happen frequently.

Finally, I’d suggest that if you add a new entry to Wikipedia that you check back daily for the first week after posting it to see if any conversation about the article has been posted or if the article has been nominated for deletion.  You can subscribe to the RSS feed for your entry’s history, but there doesn’t appear to be any way to track by RSS whether your article has been nominated for deletion.

If it is nominated for deletion, there will be a discussion and vote.  In that case, you can let people know and provide the URL for the voting page so they can participate in the conversation and respond to any concerns that the Wikipedia community may have.

Those are some of my thoughts about writing articles on Wikipedia.  There’s no guarantee of success in Wikipedia, but if you make a good-faith effort to contribute value to the community (with any interests of your own weighing less heavily than the interests of the community) then odds are good.  You’ll learn more about online social media from the experience of engaging, so in most cases I say yes – write that article.  

I’m going to email a link to this post over to one of my Wiki-loving buddies and see if we can flesh out answers to these questions all the more.

Want a custom Web 2.0 search engine? Here’s one!

I’d never used Google Co-op before today. Thanks to a twitter reply by Josh Bancroft in response to one of my questions, I just did. (Turns out it was Rollyo I was looking for, but I don’t like it as much so far.) If you’d like the ability to do a Google search inside the following leading web 2.0 sites – see the tool below.

“When, magic 8 ball, has my search term been used on…”

LifeHacker StartupSquad TechCrunch GigaOm Mashable PaidContent ArsTechnica CenterNetworks FranticIndustries ReadWriteWeb NewTeeVee and what the heck – !

Just drag this link to Marshall’s Magic Search to your browser toolbar or add it to your favorites and kapow! you’re searching some big blogs for company names, concepts, whatever! I regularly search TechCrunch for past posts on things I’m writing about, just by dragging the URL for a google search for site: to my toolbar. Now I can do so much more.

Try it out:

Google Custom Search

Now available: a MarshallK super feed

I really appreciate those of you who are subscribed to this blog’s RSS feed.  As part of my recent, albeit aesthetically challenged, redesign of the site – I’ve started to run a new section of links along the right hand sidebar.  Those are links to the most interesting things I’ve found online throughout the day that I want to share with readers.  I’ve been doing a good job keeping that content fresh, something I waited to make sure I could do before blogging about it here. My motivation really has been a desire to share these off-site resources with others.

I’ve put together a new RSS feed that you can subscribe to, one that combines this blog’s feed with those links I want to share.  Here’s the URL:

Of course my existing feed will still be available, delivering only my full blog posts from here.  I think many of you may enjoy some other quick links, though.

For those of you who want to subscribe to a daily email digest, for now I’ll put a form for that in this post.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

How did I splice these two RSS feeds together?  I used FeedDigest, one of my favorite tools and a service I gladly pay for every month.  I combined my blog’s feeds and my shared items feed (a tag I’m using in in FeedDigest, then took that new feed and ran it through FeedBurner.  

I think my next step will be to combine my SplashCast video favorites into the same super feed.

Three Things I’m Really Excited About Right Now

The new version of NetNewsWire, Newsgator’s desktop feedreader for the Mac, is fantastic.  I’m not just saying that because I was honored to be quoted in their press release – it’s really a joy to use.  I haven’t been able to test out GoogleReader offline via Google Gears yet, but this new NNW is so nice that I’m struggling to find the motivation to do so.  That’s awful – I will do so soon and will let you know how it goes.  Perhaps I’ll do that when I take some special time to clean up my OPML files – something I’m sure we could all benefit from taking the time to do!

Speaking of OPML files, or collections of RSS feeds if you’re unfamiliar, if you’re a Firefox user you should check out BlogRovr.  I don’t use Firefox (I prefer Safari) but it’s plug-ins like this that make me doubt my decision.  BlogRover lets you upload your personal OPML file of feeds you read, along with a selection of topical feeds they offer that you can chose between and then every time you load a web page, they check to see if your favorite sources have linked to said page.  The viewing options are really nice too, but the concept – wow!  Talk about bringing it all together – yes, please – automate a quiet notification if any of my favorite sources have also written about whatever I’m reading.  Love it!

Finally, speaking of recursive online art – are you familiar with the film Four Eyed Monsters?  It’s not to be missed!  Two artists in New York date for like 6 months without speaking to each other directly, just through art.  Then they make a movie about their falling in love, video blog the heck out of it and get thousands of friends on MySpace.  Feature film debut on Valentine’s Day in theatres across the country, any city with sufficient requests via their website.  I saw it in Portland, loved it.  

The news?  Now the full feature length film is up on YouTube and movie social networking site Spout is running a cost-per-action style sponsorship.  For every person who creates an account on their site, via the FourEyedMonsters promotion, the company is giving the FEM crew $1.  I don’t know if it will work, and I hope there was a base level of sponsorship as part of the deal – but hey, this is cool news.  I urge you to create a Spout account and support these awesome indy artists leveraging online social media!   I learned about this news on the up and coming blog 901am.  I’m going to blog about it over on SplashCast this afternoon and embed the full video blog series along with the full length film.  Yay!