New Feature for POPURLS

POPURLS is a great news aggregation site that I have talked about before. When I first saw POPURLS I was impressed by the slick coding and ease of use that this site oozed. I still am that impressed and enjoy a visit from time to time. Since I use a stand-alone application for reading feeds I don’t have much cause to make regular visits. But it is still a pleasure to take a trip.

So I noticed that POPURLS has a new feature, or it is more like a new related site. Called POPURLS.TV. It is yet another Google Maps Mash-Up that tracks in real time the stories that users are clicking on the POPURLS homepage. There is a list view at the top of the page that gives you the top stories over the last hour, the last 24 hours and the last 78 hours.

You can also switch the font size size and also the background colour if you please. Nice features. The listed stories are clickable as you might expect. Watch in Full Screen if you please as well.

Another voyeuristic look at the world I guess, but it is nicely done in typical Thomas Marban style and that is nice to watch. As good a reason as any to check it out.



RSS Calender; Great Idea!

I stumbled upon this while reading my RSS feeds today and I think it is a great idea.

The site is RSSCalendar, not sure if it sort of coincides with the release of Google’s calender effort but it seems ironic. Basically from what I can gather registered users create a calendar then create entries that are updated to others via RSS. It does this by you creating a unique RSS feed to the calendar that you set up when you create a calendar.

I think this is a great idea as a way of sharing what you are doing with family or friends. The other application would be working with a small group on a business project for a limited time, as calendar’s can be daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Updates will be sent to everybody subscribed to the feed in real time.

The only thing that I was thinking might be a concern is the fact that anyone would know what you were up to if they were subscribed to your feed. I am not sure if the option to password protect the feed is available but if it isn’t it should be. Because I am thinking if you post that you are out of the country on a certain week, I wonder if all your electrical appliances will still be there when you get home? In addition a group might not want the whole world to know what they are working on. I don’t know how easy it is to search for RSS feeds but I would not imagine it to be too hard. So the assumption that others would not know the feed address because you didn’t give it out is not in my opinion safe-guard enough.

Apart from that it looks like it has promise. Have a look. It is still in Beta but then again what isn’t these days.

NewsGator Response

I am compelled to write this post due to the buzz created by the NewsGator outage and their response to the FeedDemon community.

It certainly generated some buzz. “NewsGator” was the number one search on Technorati yesterday and people have blogged about it big time. The interest that was shown aside. The response from NewsGator in my opinion has been one of the best responses from a large company that I have ever seen. I even received a comment on my previous post from Jack Brewster who is in Tech Support at NewsGator! I have never seen any company communicate to the users of their product in such an open and frank way. Under the same circumstances other large companies would not have even made an apology, let alone tried to explain exactly what happened.
Greg Reinackers Weblog goes into further explanation in regards to the reasons for the outage, detailing the exact events of the outage hour by hour. He ends his post with these words:

But for now – yep, we screwed up. To our customers who were affected – you have my personal apology, and my assurance that we’re doing everything we can to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

In fact I started to feel sorry for the bastards! They are obviously working very hard at delivering a stable client that does have some great features. It would appear that they were trying to improve that when the crash occurred! I really hope that the willingness to provide information and communicate that to users will continue it certainly gives a fresh face to the usual no comment I see from big companies. Well done NewsGator.

I would still recommend FeedDemon to anyone, it is a great RSS reader. I would recommend it even more strongly given their handling and response to the outage. I hope that other companies take a leaf out of their book and start remembering that real people are using their products. Thanks guys keep up the good work.