Friday, December 30, 2005

New RSS Case Studies Blog Now Live

My new RSS Cases (case studies) blog has been live for about 2 months now, but it's officially live for about a week. The blog covers reviews of hardware and software related to content syndication, as well as case studies targeted at content marketers/ publishers and feed developers, as well studies of RSS Metrics (traffic analysis). As I've previously mentioned, the blog is a combination of my three older RSS blogs. Comments are enabled over there, so please feel free to comment.

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

New RSS Multi-Blog About To Go Live

Just a heads up. My new RSS multi-blog that combines RSS Developer (this blog), RSS Marketer, and Net Metrics is about to go live soon. Head on over to RSS Diary to watch for an announcement. (I'll post a link here, too, but if you are interested in RSS, you should go over there.)

Please note that the more technical aspects (i.e, actual web programming) of the above three blogs will be handled over at my WebGuru multi-blog, which is still being set up. Watch geekSchool/Math Gurus Online for information.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Back From Vacation

Hello everyone. I'm back from vacation. (Hey, I still worked 16-20 hours a day on my blogs and websites, so it wasn't really a vacation). I apologize for the batch posting of this message to all of my blogs, but I'm still madly reorganizing my blogs and this is the fastest way for me to communicate with readers... (The most current links to most of my blogs and website projects can always be found at my main website,

This is a somewhat lengthy post, but if you read any of my blogs with any frequency, my recommendation is that you read it. Otherwise, just visit keep visiting the blog(s) you're interested in :D.

I have several new websites, including a social awareness site, that I launched during the last two weeks. Some of them are still being tweaked (design and architecture). I'm also in the processing of moving some blogs, amalgamating other blogs, and creating a few new ones. I have nearly 200 blog posts sketched out across all of my blogs, but not all of these posts are in publishable format. So I do have tons of content planned, including some free ebooks, tutorials, and more. I'm just one person doing all of this, so please bear with me while I'm reorganizing.

By the way, I do try to check what people are searching for and then try to write a post relating to such topics (if I don't already have some such posts). I don't consider myself a blog network per se. I'll be straight out honest and say that I want to provide free information about several topics (food, technology, entertainment, and more), and then hope that (legitimate) ad revenue supports my writing and blogging habit. I'm a former print magazine publisher and editor, so blogs are my transition into the digital realm. My experience as a former search engine webmaster and as a programmer rounds my skills out. So blogging and websites are my ideal way to spend the day. So I'm making it my business to write about what you are looking for information on, provided it falls within my areas of interest or expertise. That said, there are a few blogs on my books that I'll be collaborating on with others, including family members, friends, and acquaintances.

So the scope of the "Chameleon Integration Systems" (CIS) blogs is expanding. I just have to keep it manageable so I can increase quality. The blog page templates I'm using will be changing on many of my blogs as I changing blogging platforms. For those that are curious, I currently use, WordPress and MovableType. I'll be trying out Mambo, bMachine, and others as well. Why all the platforms? Well, I have close to a decade of experience evaluating very high end ($500,000-$2,000,000) CMSes (Content Management Systems) for many large companies. Now I'm focusing on OpenSource solutions, specifically on software that can help bloggers set up both blogs and regular websites, plus online shopping. My "Chameleon Integration" motto is "Making the Internet Easy". So I'll be writing about my findings, for those that are interested.

Finally, just a note about blog posting schedules. I will not be posting on Sundays (I live in North America, time zone -0500., same zone as New York and Toronto). Sundays will be a day that I analyze stats, design new web pages, and sketch out the next week's worth of posts, and basically unwind. While I am aiming at posting daily to most blogs, I am still doing a lot of infrastructure work, so I won't be up to speed right away. I'll be posting some entries later today, but I probably won't be posting to every blog (new and old) until next week or the next. So I'll try to keep "current events" information posted at my main website, I hope you'll visit again, and drop off comments about what you'd like to see information on.


raj kumar dash

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Recent Experiences - What the Heck Is RSS - Reprise

My brother and his business partner run an advertising agency that also does award-winning web design. I handle a lot of the technical aspects of their web site contracts. Recently, a client for whom we just site did a site redesign for asked about RSS and how it could help their business. They are a medium-sized recruiting agency that have clients from across North America. To give our client contact a run-down of what RSS was and how it could be used, I wrote up both a one page summary as well as a 4-page, more detailed description with a few workflow scenarios: I.e., how they would post their job listings so that they would minimize data entry. (They currently post their jobs to a third-party database server that they have a license to use. Depending on licensing terms, they may have had to enter job info twice if they set up an RSS feed.)

As this is their busy season, it took a few weeks for our client contact to get back to us, but when he did, my impression was that he was more confused than before. Let me clarify; our contact is an intelligent, friendly, open-minded guy. For some reason, he was under the impression that RSS was a push technology despite my summary indicating otherwise. What's more, when I told him that you could use a web browser to read RSS, but for a full experience, subscribers would want to download an install an RSS Reader, he made his decision. He was uncomfortable with having potential job candidates downloading yet another application, even though most RSS Readers resemble email readers such as MS-Outlook. He also had to make a choice between implementing RSS on his company's site, or listing jobs with a very large, popular Canadian job board (which incidentally actually offers its job postings in RSS). Their budget didn't allow for both.

Here's the lowdown: Our client is not alone in not understanding RSS. He seemed, however, to fully grasp its value, but not the how of it, which confused him in comparison to email usage. Recent research shows that while many "influential" people are using RSS, most people are not. What's more, of the people that are using RSS, many do not even know it. These statistics are confusing because they seem somewhat contradictory, but they are the result of different studies conducted by diferent groups. So there is no real consensus on usage of RSS. The net result is that RSS has a ways to go before it achieves popular acceptance.

RSS will, I strongly believe, achieve a larger user base, both by Internet content publishers and readers, whether it goes by the name RSS, or "web feeds" as Microsoft hopes, or whether RSS's cousin format, Atom takes hold. But it will take good online examples, easy-to-follow articles, and patience to educate users on "content syndication" . Consider how long it took for people to realize that they didn't need to understand HTML to know the value and use of a website. The same is true of RSS: don't get caught up in the technology; try to understand the functionality. As such, I'm hoping to present real RSS case studies in order to give readers a chance to understand the functionality and the many uses of content syndication for Internet marketing and publishing.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash,

Friday, August 26, 2005

Who Loves Ya, RSS? Or RSS vs Atom

Last week, I came across two postings about RSS and Atom that I find quite interesting. RSS-Specifications has a post that says RSS won the syndication formats war over Atom because Microsoft has adopted RSS wholesale in the IE 7.0 browser and in their upcoming Longhorn operating system. But RSS Weblog says that Micrsoft wants to use another name for RSS, possibly "web feeds". This is possibly a limiting name. The same post says that Atom 1.0 just became an IETF standard. (Note, Atom 1.0 does not, at the time of this writing, have an IETF number yet.) Neither, however, is a W3C standard. And as I mentioned in my last post, an RSS3.0 Lite spec has just been released.

My official feeling about all this is: uggghhh. While competition in the marketplace is the key to improvement of products, software and technology formats are funny things. For widespread acceptance of a technology, history has shown that people prefer a single format for data for each technology. Do you remember what happened with the "VHS vs BETA" videotape format war? Experts would have a us believe that VHS won despite that it was not the better format. Similarily, with RSS, some experts feel that RSS is lacking in some areas. If you were to check the names that are behind the Atom standard, they may mean nothing to you. However, at least one of them co-authored the XML specification, which is a W3C standard. My experience says that that alone means Atom is probably the more robust format for syndication. But while that may be so, RSS already has a much wider acceptance. What's more, RSS also already has a much wider implementation. And that's the bottom line for most Feed publishers.

Nevertheless, for those of you who are now confused as to how to build your feeds, I'd like to be a fencesitter here, but I won't be. Simply because of RSS's wider implementation, I'd say that if you are not already of a strong opinion, then choose RSS. If you have a talented tech team, do both. And if one web syndication format later keels over, remove the corresponding feed from your web site.

(c) Copyright 2005, Raj Kumar Dash,