Great Bloglines Mention in Wired

A Scan of the Headline Scanners:”Bloglines is free, powerful and intuitive, making it a good choice for those new to RSS. You can subscribe to hundreds of feeds without slowing the service (or your computer). It handles categories of feeds beautifully and has a strong search feature.” Thanks Ryan!

Bloglines: New Top Links Features

As announced this morning, we introduced several new Top Links features. In addition to seeing the overall list of most popular links for the past day, you can now view just the top gaining links or just the top declining links for the past day. These listings are a great way to find out what people are talking about every day.

In addition, you can now use Bloglines or another reader to subscribe to
RSS feeds of these pages. Each page has a ‘Subscribe’ button to subscribe
using Bloglines, and the individual pages are:

If you wish to access the individual RSS feeds in another aggregator, they
are at:

As a reminder, you can subscribe to the Bloglines News RSS feed, which is at:

http://www.bloglines.com/rss/about/news

The New Net Architects Interview

Harold Check’s interview with me has been posted on the RSS Weblog. Harold asked some great questions and I appreciate the opportunity to talk about Bloglines and the world of syndication.

Mailing Lists, Google vs Yahoo

With the announcement yesterday of the beta version of Google Groups 2, Yahoo Groups now has serious competition. I’m not a disinterested party in this latest Yahoo vs Google battle. I started ONElist, which morphed into eGroups, which was acquired by Yahoo and is now Yahoo Groups. That was in September of 2000. I know and appreciate the power and utility of mailing lists. I am also friends with the people running both services, and without exception they are great engineers.
Yahoo has basically had the free mailing list space to themselves for the past 3 and a half years. I’m not familiar with the exact traffic numbers, but groups traffic accounts for a not insignificant percentage of Yahoo’s total traffic and user base. At the time of the acquisition, eGroups had 20 million users and we were sending billions of emails a month. Those numbers have only multiplied since then.
Anyone familiar with eGroups and now Yahoo Groups can attest that the service has not been improved since the acquisition. In fact, Yahoo has placed several limits on the service, including limiting message archive storage space. This is not the fault of the engineers working on Y! Groups, who work really hard on maintaining the system. It’s simply a function of resources. Yahoo has never dedicated much manpower to the Groups service. For example, right now I believe that there are only 3 engineers working to support all of Groups.
All of this is of course Yahoo’s right. But it does make the new competition with Google more interesting. Imagine if Yahoo had dedicated serious manpower to improving Yahoo Groups over the past 3 and a half years, instead of keeping it in maintenance mode. Imagine how much more difficult it would be for Google to enter this space if Yahoo had been constantly improving Y! Groups.
I’m just glad that there a chance for innovation in this space again, even if it doesn’t involve my old company.

Google Groups 2

Congratulations to Dave, Brandon, Gaku and the rest of the team for launching the beta version of Google Groups 2. I’ve only played with it for a little bit but it looks good so far.
Now here’s one of the really interesting things. The new groups is an intersection of USENET and mailing lists, and every group has two Atom feeds, one for topic summaries and the other for message summaries. This means that you can now subscribe to USENET groups with your favorite Atom-aware aggregator. The format of the URLs for the feeds is:

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/USENETGROUP/feed/topics.xml

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/USENETGROUP/feed/msgs.xml

where USENETGROUP is something like ‘comp.arch’.
It’s not quite perfect yet, but it’s a great start!

Miscellaneous

A few miscellaneous things:

  • We rolled out enclosure support in Boglines today.
  • Reaction to the release of the Bloglines Mozilla Toolkit yesterday has been fantastic. I’m not surprised, it’s a super cool piece of code.
  • Bloglines will have some downtime late Friday night. We’ve run out of space in our current location at the co-lo, so we need to move.

The Internet Archive is building a Petabox or 1,000 terabyte storage system. There’s a bunch of fascinating information there, including heat/power/air flow calculations. They’re going with 1U/half depth enclosures, running VIA processors, 512 megs RAM, with 4 300 Gb IDE drives each. Contrast that with the published specs of the machines that Google apparently uses for its clusters, which are P3 boxes, with 2 gigs RAM and 2 80 Gb IDE drives. With more RAM and fewer drives per controller, I’d expect the Google boxes to perform much better, but the IA machines get you much more storage bang for the buck. As usual, life’s a series of trade-offs.

Reading about a 1,000 terabyte cluster makes the 5 terabytes that we’re adding to Bloglines right now seem tiny. I never thought I’d say that about 5 terabytes….

Bloglines Mozilla Toolkit

This morning, we announced the Bloglines Mozilla Toolkit. I’ve been playing with a development version of this for the past couple of weeks, and I think it’s fantastic. The toolkit extends Mozilla, embedding a Bloglines notifier into it, and adding several features to the right-click menu. Some of the things it makes easy to do:

  • Find references for the page you’re viewing
  • Find references to a link within the page you’re viewing
  • Search for a term by just highlighting it
  • Subscribe to the page you’re viewing (like the easy subscribe bookmarklet)

It really makes Mozilla even more useful.
The toolkit was developed by Bloglines user Chad Everett and he did a great job. We have an amazing group of users.

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