BoagWorld Says Good-Bye

A few days ago, Paul Boag announced that he would not continue publishing the BoagWorld podcast past the beginning of next month. While I understand his reasoning, support his decision and am really looking forward to see what he produces in the future; I am also very sad to hear this news. The BoagWorld podcast has been an invaluable resource for me since I discovered it.

New York Times Launches an API Tool

New York Times developer Nick Thuesen has announced the launch of the first API tool from the NYT. Nick notes, “With this tool, you can experiment with Times APIs without writing a single line of code. Select parameters on the left, and view the resulting request and response on the right.”

The basic idea is that rather than figuring out the right API code to write, this new API tool will allow you to do it by using a variety of pulldown menus and text prompts. The code/result is provided which can then be modified as needed to work with your application.

Checkout the API tool here: http://prototype.nytimes.com/gst/apitool/index.html and all of the NYT API offerings.

Who Do You Follow and Why?

Who do you follow on Twitter, and why do you follow them? Following is a sample of the types of people and organizations I’m following on Twitter. I’m curious to know how you guys are using Twitter.

Is This Really Newsworthy?

While checking my Yahoo! page yesterday, I noticed a news article about a girl sending 14,528 text messages in one month. At first, I was somewhat impressed; until I read the story. She didn’t send that many text messages, that’s how many messages were sent and received on her account in one month.

So what? My 13-year-old daughter does close to that every month, and she’s not even the heaviest texter out of her friends. Is this really newsworthy? I don’t think so, but apparently somebody does. It’s been reposted on Yahoo! News, the New York Post and a few thousand other Web sites (and here I am posting it again). Seriously, try Googling “14,528 text messages” and see how many results pop up (at the time I wrote this post, there were around 10,700).

WordPress 2.7 Released

About two weeks ago, the WordPress team released version 2.7 “Coltrane.” The administration area has been completely revamped. The dashboard in the admin panel puts a lot more at your fingertips, and the navigation menu in the admin panel makes a lot more sense, now.

Another great feature, which I’m testing right now, is the “QuickPress.” “QuickPress” allows you to quickly and easily post a blog item directly from the admin dashboard.

Another nice new feature in 2.7 is the plugin manager. You can now search and install plugins directly from within the admin area. If you can’t find the plugin you want by searching from the admin panel, you can also download the ZIP file from the WordPress Web site and use the admin interface to upload the ZIP file and automatically install the extension.

Check it out at http://www.wordpress.org/

RSS Feed Creation – Development Perspective Questions

This is a question for anyone that’s worked on developing their own RSS feeds, as I am preparing to do for a few items on our new Web site.

When developing or starting an RSS feed, how did you decide how much information to include in the feed?

By that, I’m actually asking two questions:

  1. How did you decide how many updates to include in the feed? Did you decide to include all updates in the feed, from the beginning all the way up to the present, or are you only including the most recent XX number of updates; or maybe even the last XX months, days or hours worth of updates?
  2. How did you decide how to summarize the updates? Are you prompting content contributors to write a separate summary of the information; only including the first paragraph; including only the first XX characters of the article, etc.

I’m curious what other people are doing with their RSS feeds. The one RSS feed I’ve developed for private testing currently only includes the last six months of updates, and truncates the article to 500 characters or less (cutting it off at the last complete word before it reaches 500 characters – stripping out any incomplete HTML tags in the process).

Does this seem like a logical way to make an RSS feed, or should I be feeding complete content? What are your thoughts?

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