Posts Tagged ‘google reader’

How Was Your Read And Comment Day?

April 29, 2008

What Read And Comment Day?

Yesterday was Read and Comment day, where you have to make an active effort to comment on blogs and join the conversation. It was suggested by Chris Brogan, and true to form, he even left a comment here as well. Read and Comment day also inspired me to encourage people to strengthen their links to people on Twitter, especially the weaker links.

My Report

I put aside an hour last night to really go through my Google Reader (learnt how to use it yet?) and properly digest blog posts and comment. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of when I first started blogging in January when Prof. Netley advised us that we should comment twice as much as we post to establish a presence and drive traffic. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I forgot that along the way, but Read and Comment day really reminded me how important it is not just to create my own content by blogging, but to add value to others’ content as well.

How About You?

Have you found yourself commenting less than usual? Something holding you back from joining the conversation? Go post a couple of comments today. You’ll feel great!

My Conversations

All great topics, especially if you’re into social media. Why not read and comment on them (or right here) yourself?

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Blogs I’m Subscribed To: February

March 6, 2008

I subscribe to so many new blogs a day it’s crazy. On one hand I feel like I should stick to just a few, on the other there is so much good material out there, it seems like I’m never following enough.

So I decided to come up with an experiment:

  • Put all new blogs in a monthly folder on Google Reader
  • Star great posts from the respective bloggers
  • Take a look at the end of the month who’s worth keeping (I mean if they haven’t gotten a single star post in 30 days, I probably don’t need to subscribe to them)

The result? About 30 blogs stayed on my subscription list, of particular mention (in no particular order):

  • Adam Stiles (of LinkRiver) – I’m admittedly not using LinkRiver a whole lot these days, but I do still follow what Adam has to say on his blog. I actually think LinkRiver has good functions, but just needs a little bit more critical mass.
  • CC Chapman – Heard of CC for awhile from Six Pounds of sound, but a recent post which highlighted CC on Second Life talking to some students, as well as a great musical pick by bill last month really made me sit up and take notice. The man takes great pictures too.
  • Claud Talking – I think I was randomly searching Tweetscan for “Singapore” and came across Claud. It’s nice to see a local blog know and “get” social media, without just being a Meepok blog.
  • Tony Hung @ Deep Jive Interests – I probably first picked up this post on Twitter from Tony, and since then have been following him both on Twitter as well as FriendFeed.
  • Tiffany Monhollon @ Personal PR – I first found Personal PR by a post on 27 secrets to linking like a master networker and then later came across 5 comments not to post on blogs which came in very useful for a project of mine. Instant subscription.
  • Rex Hammond @ RexblogTwitter is something you’ll never understand, so stop trying. ‘Nuff said.
  • Chris Clarke @ Student PR – I can’t even pick out one single post that’s more deserving of attention than other posts. Read everything.
  • Frederic @ The Last Podcast – Picked up for How I Use FriendFeed, been following via RSS and FriendFeed ever since.
  • Jeremiah Owyang – A lot of stuff flies over my head because I’m not a practitioner like he is. But there’s still a load of good stuff in there and he does try to write for the newbies as well, so credit there.

I’m following most (if not all) of these bloggers in Twitter as well, look for them via my Twitter page if you like. (And follow me too!)

More blogs to share? Drop your URL and/or RSS feed into the comments below. I’m always on the lookout for new, interesting and educational stuff to read, absorb and most importantly, share.

If I Have Unlimited Choice, How Do I Decide?

February 25, 2008

Just over a week ago I highlighted a chance to get on AssetBar as provided by Louis Gray, as well as introduce LinkRiver, picked up from the same source.

I don’t know how many people took up those invitations, but I sure did and I have to admit my reaction is kinda mixed. I liked the features of AssetBar, but not the UI (user interface). I liked LinkRiver’s functions, but found it a little hard to find friends. All in all, great products, but I wasn’t sure they would ever take the place of Google Reader. Not that it really mattered, I wasn’t looking for a replacement, just different ways of using the same RSS function on the web.

As a pretty typical Internet user, my attention span isn’t great, and I thought “Ok nice programme, doesn’t do a lot for me, I’ll try to keep it in mind.” What changed it was that creators from both applications dropped me a message at my blog to say “look out for this” or “just to clarify this”.

In other words: they were listening. I commented on this somewhere, which lead to Louis beating me to the punch (on time, but not message), that companies that listen to their users will win in the end

And that alone was enough for me to consciously set aside time to continually explore their applications, and I’m sure one day they’ll give Google Reader a run for their money.

If you’ve had similar stories, or other such applications/programmes to share, feel free to comment and share them!

By the way, I am well aware that these posts are just flying over the heads of many of my friends, but I’m going to be introducing 2 things that have totally changed my internet usage habits: RSS and del.icio.us. So if you’ve been one of them who’s been telling me “your blog is so technical now” or “why do I want to be even more connected?”. Stay tuned and read on.

Yet Another Centraliser: LinkRiver

February 13, 2008

Louisgray is very quickly becoming one of my top “must reads” whenever something comes from his RSS feed. Late January he alerted the blogosphere about AssetBar, and now he has the latest on LinkRiver.

So we already use Google Reader or some other RSS reader, why LinkRiver? Without trying it out yet, the biggest draw for me is that is aggregates everything from your RSS feeds to Twitter to Del.icio.us bookmarks into one central location. As Louis says:

harnesses your RSS streams from multiple services, including Google Reader shared items, Twitter, del.icio.us, Yahoo! Bookmarks and others, and posts them to a single “Stream”. As your friends join the service, or you choose to subscribed to other LinkRiver users, these small streams become a “River” of shared links, hence the name.

 

To get a real good idea, check out Louis’s stream right here. I for one am already sold and have sent in my beta application.

The one negative that I can see coming out of it is if someone is pushing similar feeds on social bookmarks, Google Reader and Twitter, and then it could get very tiresome to deal with. I suppose we’ll find out soon won’t we?

Do you keep your feeds/updates central? Or is there some other way you keep on top of everything? Let me know.

Social Media At It’s Best In The US Presidential Race

February 8, 2008

I just got home and was clearing my Google Reader feeds, and Garr Reynolds over at Presentation Zen highlights words, music, images and the power of inspiration with this video featuring Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas with a video mashup with a Barack Obama speech. You might also recognise Common, Harrold Perrineau, Kate Walsh, Eric Balfour, Shoshannah Stern and Amaury Nolasco among others.

Now I don’t claim to be following US politics, and the political flavour of the video is not what gets me. It’s the fact that if you ignore the fact that people in the video are celebrities, we’re living in a world where a group of friends can get together, record a simple video like this on an issue they’re passionate about, upload it on youtube, and get it watched 2 million times in less than a week.

And let’s not forget that this transcends all geographical boundaries. Garr Reynolds was alerted to it by people in Japan, and of course, this post comes from Singapore. I just think it’s amazing we can do all this right now, which would’ve been close to impossible just a few years ago.

Edit: in case anyone thinks this is limited to celebrities, here is another example:

Twenty One. Thousand. Views. In just four days.

Alerts On Readburner, Social Alternative To Google Reader

January 29, 2008

I woke to four comments today from Mike Reynolds from SquirrelNet and was curious how he stumbled upon the site. He forwarded me an email from a Google Alert on Readburner, which was a feature I hadn’t used before, but I’m definitely going to now. Yet another reason why Readburner is just awesome.

I’ve been up for about an hour, and I’ve already added three new additions to my Google Reader feeds, namely SquirrelNet, MediaShift (thanks to a Feedhead post by Prof. Netzley who shared a great post on How Google & Wiki have changed our lives) and Louisgray.com, referred to by Mike. No wonder it’s taking me longer and longer to check my feeds every day!

Anyway, on Louisgray, there’s an interesting article about AssetBar, which looks like a competitor to Google Reader, with a social element built in. Basically while you can share feeds in Google Reader, you don’t know what someone else might be thinking about it, other than the person liked it enough to share it. AssetBar changes that by allowing users to rate articles and comment on them as well. I haven’t had the time to try it yet, but hopefully I will soon and see if the whole commenting thing turns up anything interesting.

Twitter 101

January 29, 2008

I’m a relative newcomer to Twitter, but I’ve been looking for ways to use it better than just a Facebook status updater. Lo and behold, out comes a post on my Del.icio.us feed (actually I think it could’ve been my Readburner feed) on 17 Ways To Use Twitter.

Another article that got pushed to my feed is Newbie’s Guide To Twitter from Webware, which has guides to Facebook, Flickr and Google Reader too. Definitely a must-visit for newcomers to Web2.0 like myself

In other news, I’m really upset about the bandwidth limitation for Flickr. (100mb a month, and that’s not space, that’s bandwidth). I’m not annoyed enough to stop using it because I really like the sharing options, but I’m doing some research on other sites like Photobucket, Webshots, Picasa and maybe even Shutterfly. Let me know if you have opinions on these or any other photo-hosting sites.

Alternatives To Digg & Del.icio.us (No, Technorati Isn’t One Of Them)

January 26, 2008

Google Operating System posted this earlier this week about yet another aggregator called Readburner, which simply tallies up what’s most shared on Google Reader, and publishes them on it’s website. I’ve already subscribed to the feed, and so far, I like what I’m getting.

If Digg and Del.icio.us are a little to complicated and/or daunting for you (as I must admit, Del.icio.us still is for me), then this will probably be perfect.

And no, you can probably skip Technorati entirely, because not only it is really chaotic to navigate, but according to Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion, 99% of pings on Technorati are spam. Observing the amount of spam pingbacks I’ve been getting on this very tiny blog alone, I’m inclined to agree. This, coupled with the fact that Technorati’s layout needs some serious work, definitely would suggest that you give it a miss, at least for now. There are other, easier ways to get into the whole social media scene, for observer and participant alike.

Google Reader Trends

January 24, 2008

Google Reader Trends 

I thought this was pretty interesting, so I thought I’d share it with you.Isn’t it insane? 671 items over 30 days. And for the last 2 weeks it’s been upwards of 40 items each day. It’s probably more when you count the sites that don’t have feeds (like the blogspot blogs and such) 

Edit: sorry I really wish I could put that full size and avoid clicking on it, but I ran into some sizing problems and this is the best I could do without installing Photoshop!!