Saturday, December 18, 2004

OPML and XSLT and JavaScript

In looking a writing XBletter, I’m going to need to use OPML, XSLT and JavaScript. Luckily someone else got to this part first.

Friday, December 17, 2004

XBletter: First Notes

I’ve said for a while now that I wanted to write my own blogging software. Here’s my latest thinking.

All content is stored in RSS 2.0 files. Each category has its own directory with its own RSS content file. Even main is in a directory, perhaps /main. All content is displayed from an HTML file which is created from a XSLT file. The XSLT file is contains what is the HTML skin.

I still have not found/stolen a simple HTML entry form that unlike HTMLjive is built into the browser – so to speak. Blogger and many other sites have something. This posting component act just like an external blog editor like BlogJet in that I would want to support API/Web Services or something.

The software would also support non-blog item content. This would allow an image, pdf or other enclosure (podcast speak) to be uploaded into a directory. Also standard HTML files could be upload.

One of the components of many blogs are lists. They should really be outlines, so lists like blogrolls will be stored as OMPL files. The XSLT transformation of these files will create JavaScript/DHTML lists. So a dependence on CSS. While content will generally be stored in a “top level” (a directory off the root), navigation would support different structure. Using OMPL files, this should follow the same process.

The lifecyle of an article – or is it the flow – would be to post new content into the RSS file in /main and every other category directory. (Note: two different blogs could post into the same category directory. This collaborative blogs.) The item would also be put into the archive directory. This archive directory would be the PermaLink for the item. So posting would touch many different RSS files which in turn would invoke XSLT files creating new HTML files.

There would have to be some configuration file for each blog. What is the home directory for the blog? Where is the OMPL file for navigation? Which What are the categories? Which XSLT file is used in the directory? (More than one?) So some program would have to create/edit this XML file.

Still have to figure out TrackBacks. And pinging.

There would be a comment module. Comments would probably be stored in a RSS file with some extensions. Much more to think through here.

Maybe this is too ambitious of a plan. Maybe it has been done before. But I think the backend code would not be rather simple to maintaining the content. I’ll post more here if I make any progress.


BlogJet 1.2 build 33 Release Candidate

There is now a Properties tab in BlogJet. This is for metadata about your blog item. Stuff like trackback, time, date, keywords, comments, etc. It will be interesting to explore.

It does not support relative links. This is GREAT. Now I can use BlogJet as my everyday HTML editor. This will really help me with my new forms project.

Also, this is tabs done right.

Friday, December 10, 2004

HELP: Programming Language of the Year

Having watched the computer world since grade school in the 1960's, it seemed that each year there was a new computer language to learn. Somehow I thought that this process had slowed down with Java. I was wrong. Flash is one example. Processing may be another.

So do you have a nomination for a particular year? Here are only a few:

1979 - MicroSoft Basic
1980 - VisiCalc (qualify as a language?)
1995 - JavaScript

I still need to match Forth, APL, Java, Flash, Structured Basic, Visual Basic, Fortran, Cobol, and Logo.

Interactive Zip Code

The web provides some interactivity with hyperlinks. How about using numbers for interactivity? Try this zipdecode map that zooms as you type numbers. Do you know your neighbors by zip code? Try finding a town you know but not the zip code? Interesting and irrelevant relationships emerge.

Built with Processing which look to be an interesting programming language.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Podcasting with FeedDemon

As you are probably aware, I'm a big supporter of podcasting (see ipodder logo). Nick Bradbury is now supporting podcasting in the beta of FeedDemon, also a favorite of mine. Great stuff Nick!

Atom Winning Marketshare with Marketers

For what it is worth, I just subscribed to all of the blogs in the Ries Book Tour. Almost all of these blogs are hosted on TypePad and thus provide syndication using Atom and not RSS. Though RSS may be winning the overall war, as Origin of Brands says, there is a place for second or what I consider the Not Leader Brand.

A Con of Branding

I love branding. For example, I'm certainly going to buy Origin of Brand by Ries and Ries. Branding is a powerful meme. But sometimes I get a gut reaction that marketing can be unethical. Then I'm torn to rationally say that the world is changing. "Education is War" - Marshall McLuhan.

The Washington Post yesterday had an excellent article about A Rough Ride for Schwinn Bicycle. While the end result is a Sting Ray for "about a third of the original's price in today's dollars," it is the destruction of the entire supply chain and those jobs that requires notice. Now when you buy a Schwinn part of your dollar goes to Wal-Mart, to their internal distribution, to the importer and brander of Schwinn and to the manufacturing in China and their suppliers. No longer in the business model are jobs that include pensions and healthcare for the now unemployed American workers that built the String Ray, the suppliers, the distributors or the hundreds of independent, mom and pop, bike shops. That is the way it is.

The reason I get the gut reaction is that the Schwinn Sting Ray brand evokes the product of 40 years ago for many of the parents buying a bike for their kids. The product has changed yet the branding is in some ways saying that it has not. For the consumer it is not the same "made in America" product as they rode in the 1970's though it has the same name. And the dollar goes to an entirely different business model. The branding is disguising the fact that business model is entirely different and that I think is a con of branding.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Blogs Beyond the Chasm: Blog Book Tour

This is yet another indication that blogs are mainstream now: a blog book tour. (I know I missed this during the election PR overload.) Book tours are the bread and butter of many talk shows both on radio and television. There is big promotional money and big PR behind these tours. (Same with movies.) Expect to see more and more PR efforts poured into blogs and feeds. Some blog/feed will master this and become the next "Entertainment Tonight."

PS. This is also a nice list of brand related blogs.

Business Blog Book Tour

Al and I have an exciting two weeks of blogging ahead. We are going to be taking part in 800-CEO-READ's Business Blog Book Tour. Over the next two weeks we will be making stops at the following top branding blogs to discuss our new book The Origin of Brands. I hope you will all join us at the various blogs to read our interviews and post your comments.

Tour Stops:

October 11th - 800-CEO-READ

October 12th - John Porcaro

October 13th - David Paull - Dial.Log

October 14th - BusinessPundit

October 15th - CrossRoads Dispatches

October 18th - Learned on Women

October 19th - What's Your Brand Mantra

October 20th - WonderBranding

Where Technology Always Existed Results in Cultural Differences

"Does a fish know there is water?" -McLuhan

For the young, they don't know life before .... (Fill in the technology of your choice.) I think that this is a big cultural difference that I'm trying to put my arms around. For example, I think the transformation that the baby boomers made to our culture is in large part because they did not know life before television. This caused the "generation gap" with their establishment parents.

Above was triggered by reading A life where TiVo has always existed which Shifted Librarian blogged.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004