Advogato and Syndicated Blogs

Over on Advogato, cdfrey asked whether syndicated blogs were good or bad for the recentlog. He asked whether the authors who allow their blogs to be syndicated into Advogato’s recentlog stream actually stop by to read the recentlog anymore. I’m sure some of them don’t but I’m equally sure some of them do. In any case, I can verify at least one person who syndicates to Advogato reads the recent log – me! :)

ta0kira followed up with some further comments on the topic including the question of whether other sites interleave syndicated posts with content that originates locally. There are a few such as Facebook (see below) but Advogato has always done things that were a little, ummm, experimental in nature. He has a good point that it would be nice to be able to select whether or not to see the syndicated posts. It has also be suggested in the past that an ideal solution is to give each user the ability to create their own personalize recentlog view.

One aspect to consider is that there are several ways of syndicating your blog to Advogato that may go unnoticed. Posts syndicated by RSS or ATOM are explicitly marked as such in the recentlog but syndication by XML-RPC or the older HTTP POST method go unnoted. My blog posts, for example, originate on my personal blog and are then syndicated to Advogato and using the HTTP POST method; and to Facebook by RSS. Facebook’s blog syndication services are horrendously bad incidentally, turning each blog post into a nondescript thing called a “note” with no clear indication of what it is or why it exists.

Another recentlog issue that’s been mentioned several times lately is that some people are piping their twitter feeds into the recentlog via RSS. I agree this can be annoying but rather than block twitter feeds, I’d like to see them rerouted into a user status field, much like Facebook or Myspace. For example, I use twitter and my tweets update my user status field on Facebook. Maybe it’s time to add a user status field to mod_virgule sites like Advogato?

Random Complaints

Does anybody else miss the O’Reilly Meerkat aggregator? It was nice because you could subscribe to the results of arbitrary keyword filters rather just specific blogs. Anybody know of another aggregator like that? There are plenty of places that allow keyword searches of blogs but I’m not aware of any that allow one to subscribe to the results of those searches.

I downloaded the Fedora Core 5 ISO images this morning and burned them using X-CD Roast. That program wins the prize for worst, most non-intuitive user interface of the week. I’ve used several Windows CD burning programs that take just a few clicks to get from ISO image file to burning the CD; something like “create CD from image”, “select an image file”, “burn the CD”. on X-CD Roast I spent a half hour trying to figure out how to get it to burn anything at all. I eventually gave up and Googled for the website. Helpful hint to the developers: when your interface is so bad that “how do I burn a CD from an image file?” is a FAQ, it’s time for a redesign.

For the curious, the steps are: click “setup”, “HD settings”, type the path to your ISO images and click “Add”, “OK”, “Create CD”, “Write Tracks”, select the image file, click “Add”, click the tab labelled “Write Tracks” (not the nearby button labelled “Write Tracks”!), click the new button that just appeared, also labelled “Write Tracks” (yes, at this point there are two buttons and one tab that all say “Write Tracks” – all three do different things), insert the blank CD, click “OK”, grumble, and blog about bad user interfaces while you wait.