Jan 30, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Via Alexander Hayes, who writes about a 'river of news' created with Planet. "Planet is an awesome 'river of news' feed reader. It downloads news feeds published by web sites and aggregates their content together into a single combined feed, latest news first. It uses Mark Pilgrim's Universal Feed Parser to read from RDF, RSS and Atom feeds; and Tomas Styblo's templating engine to output static files in any format you can dream up." So it's written in Python and is, of course, open source. And it's the flip side of the service we see next.

In the same breath, I may as well mention SplashCast, which I tried out earlier this week. There was something in their email about an embargo before the launch, but I see Robin Good has a big write-up, which was echored by Jennifer Maddrell, where I saw his item (usually an embargo means "never cover this" because if I have to go back in time, I probably won't). Anyhow I thought Splashcast was a good idea except for the relentless (and hence broken) Flash interface. It reminded me of Flickr when it first came out; I wonder whether they remember my complaints. Jeff VanDrimmelen also writes about them - hey, that's a pretty successful launch. Targeted relevant email backed by a good concept - works every time.
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