Bloglines Launches New Languages

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Podcasting and Bloglines

The idea of podcasting, while having been around for a couple of years, seems to have really taken off in the past few weeks. What’s really exciting for me is seeing people use the Bloglines Web Services API to create new and interesting podcasting clients. There’s Doppler Radio which has been out for a couple of days. And I just saw an announcement of the Bloglines Enclosure Download Script. We’ll be adding these to the Bloglines Web Services section of the web site. Are we missing any other programs?

Update and Business Week Article

The last couple of weeks I’ve been busy with travel and work. And I had the misfortune of coming back from New York with a nasty cold. But that doesn’t mean that things aren’t progressing with Bloglines. We’re in the middle of one of our hardware upgrade cycles – we generally have to add machines to the Bloglines cluster every few months to keep up with growth. This past month, the API announcement and all the press has accelerated the latest upgrade cycle. Always a good problem to have. We’re also completing some back-end architecture work that I’m really excited about. Just because an Internet service is scalable, that doesn’t mean you’re not always working on it to continue to scale it. Scalability is not an endpoint, it’s definitely a journey.
On Friday, a great article on RSS and Aggregators appeared in Business Week. Here’s the first paragraph:

    Sarah Houghton used to get her online news the traditional way: by visiting 10 of her favorite sites several times a day. But since joining the free online service Bloglines a year ago, the San Rafael (Calif.) librarian surfs no more. Now the news comes to her. Using software known as RSS — for Really Simple Syndication — Bloglines pulls together regular updates from a variety of sites. Houghton can check them each time she logs on to the service. “RSS is the primary tool I use to get news,” says Houghton, 27. “It’s all delivered to me; I don’t have to go searching anymore.”

Update: I’ve added the link to the Business Week article, and I forgot to mention a great article that appeared on NewsForge last week, Bloglines, Flickr, and del.icio.us make RSS delectable.

Bloglines Web Services – After 1 Week

I continue to be amazed at the activity surrounding our announcement last week of the Bloglines Web Services. Several libraries have been quickly developed to interface with the BWS, and several aggregators have been working on supporting the services. I think I’ve even seen a Bloglines IM notifier client.
We just opened up a set of forums for developers to talk about the BWS.
In other Bloglines news, there was a really interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today talking about RSS and Bloglines. And today we rolled out a new feature, Show Only Updated Feeds. When enabled, this option (found under the Feed Options of the Account page) changes the left-pane of the My Feeds display so that it only shows subscriptions that have unread items. It’s a great way to simplify the display of the My Feeds page.

Bloglines Web Services – After 24 Hours

All I can say is “Wow!” We thought people would be interested in the BWS, but the overwhelmingly positive response was beyond our expectations. Thanks!
Here are just a few items on the announcement:

So, to everyone, thanks for the support! Over the next couple of days we will be setting up a web-forum for developers to discuss the BWS and other web services.

Bloglines Web Services

Tomorrow morning around 5am Pacific Time, a press release with the title New Bloglines Web Services Selected by FeedDemon, NetNewsWire and Blogbot to Eliminate RSS Bandwidth Bottleneck will go out, but I’m so excited I’m going to blog about it now.
So what is this? First, continuing a tradition we started with the notifiers, we’re augmenting the data that you can pull out of Bloglines programmatically. We’re calling the new functions the Bloglines Web Services and we’ve launched a whole new part of the web site to document them. The new functionality lets a program pull Bloglines subscription data as well as blog entries, using the OPML and RSS formats.
So what does this mean? If you’re a desktop aggregator developer, you can use Bloglines to provide a sync’ing capability for your users. And you don’t have to worry about supporting the different RSS and Atom formats (and various imperfect feeds), because Bloglines normalizes all data.
If you’re a publisher thinking about entering the world of RSS, you don’t have to worry about thousands of desktop aggregators pummeling your servers into oblivion. With the Bloglines Web Services, Bloglines acts as a feed cache, insulating content providers from bandwidth problems.
What makes this announcement extra special, of course, is that the leading desktop aggregators are announcing support for the Bloglines Web Services. FeedDemon has a beta version available now with support built-in, and NetNewsWire and BlogBot will be launching new versions soon.
We’ve been working on this for awhile now, and I’ve gotta say that Nick, Brent and Dru are great people to work with. I’ll have more to say later, but I wanted to be “First Post” with the news.

Bloglines Updates

We pushed out a couple of cool new features last night on Bloglines. First is ‘Keep New’, which lets you mark individual blog entries as unread. The second is ‘Related Feeds’, which are a list of feeds that are similar to the feed you’re reading. This compliments the Bloglines Recommendations, which are personalized for each user.
Also, there’s a great article on us in the San Jose Mercury News today (Yahoo link because the Merc changes URLs and puts things behind registration after a day).

Bloglines Is On Fire!

Really great quote from The RSS Weblog on a survey done of aggregator users:

    Bloglines is on fire. A ton of people use it and love it enough to evangelize it.

It’s true, and we’re grateful for our wonderful users. Our stats continue to show a ‘hockey stick’ growth curve. And of course we’ve got some really great new features on the way.

Meme Propagation and Aggregator Market Share

In Analysis of an artificial meme, Greg analyzed the data generated by the GoMeme experiment launched by Nova Spivak. It doesn’t appear that the experiment yielded much info on how memes propagate, but what was interesting to me was the raw data, which can be found in an XML file at the end of the article. It contains the raw responses of the participants. One bit of information people were asked to include was which aggregator they used. I did a quick counting and came up with the following. A total of 154 people included the aggregator question in their response. The top aggregators were:
Bloglines with 64 responses for 42% of the market
NetNewsWire with 20 responses for 13% of the market
SharpReader with 9 responses for 6% of the market
Newsgator with 9 responses for 6% of the market
Feed Demon with 6 responses for 4% of the market
Firefox RSS Extension with 6 responses for 4% of the market

Aggregation Interfaces

Dave asks why Bloglines uses a 3-pane interface. I guess Dave has never tried Bloglines, because we don’t use a 3-pane interface. I happen to completely agree with Dave that a 3-pane interface is the wrong interface for an aggregator. My guess is that if Dave tried Bloglines, he’d really like it.
Bloglines uses a two-pane interface, which gives a little more flexibility than the single-page interface Dave likes. But here’s the thing. If you organize your feeds into folders, you can click on a folder to see all the new items within that folder at once. And, if you click on the top link in the left pane (the one with the count of your subscriptions), then all unread items for all your feeds are displayed. Just like a single-page interface. Best of both worlds. And if you still don’t like the two-frame interface, you can get to a single-page interface by just using the following link:
http://www.bloglines.com/myblogs_display?all=1
Dave, I ask that you give Bloglines a try.