I Want To Publish More Stuff

Really, I want to do more writing. It seems though that every time I bring up a post window in Educer to start pounding away at the keyboard, I justify myself away from the post because it’s (a) not long enough, (b) doesn’t fit the normal subject matter, or (c) just doesn’t come out the way I want it to.

In order to get around that, I hope, I’m starting to establish more places for material to be published. I can get my quick thought, RT, slow chat, whatever done on Twitter. As of today, I can hopefully get the quick thought, but a little longer than 140 done at A Little Longer. I’m soon to setup a Tumblr blog that I can use to share media and other random bits. And I already have a Posterous site setup that I love to use when capturing pictures on my phone as kind of a mobile flow thing.

The end goal with all of this is to establish some kind of place for all of this published content to flow through. My own personal aggregator of sorts. The thought right now is that I can take what I learned from building My Status Cloud over the summer and apply it to a real time river of me at some central location.

Could all be very interesting. We’ll see.

Format and Delivery Are Alive And Well (RSS, Twitter, and Newspapers)

Depending on which source you choose, it was a day in September of 1833, possibly this one, that the first newspaper delivery boy responded to an advertisement in the New York Sun:

To the Unemployed – – A number of steady men can find employment by vending this paper. A liberal discount is allowed to those who buy to sell again.

For at least a thousand years, people have been able to receive news through some kind of bulletin or newspaper format. In a printed format.

RSS is a web feed format used by publishers on the internet to make their material available to others somewhat like the print on paper. In an electronic format.

Twitter is a web application that allows users to publish material in a proprietary format using the service as a delivery method.

Google Reader is a web application that delivers material that has been published in the RSS format to users. It uses it’s own delivery method in which it checks with the publisher every so often to see if new content is available.

Now I will switch from definitions to analogies, because analogies help me understand things.

If I visit RSS formatted feeds manually using my browser as the delivery method– I go on a walk through town whenever I have time,  and visit all of the newspaper press buildings to see new content has been printed since I was last there. This takes a while because I need to travel to New York for the Times, DC for the Post, Chicago for the Tribune, etc…

If I use Google Reader (or another aggregator) as the delivery method for my RSS formatted news– I go on a walk every once and a while to my favorite news stand to see if they have any changes in content available from the newspapers I like.

If I use Twitter as the delivery method and format for my news– I go on a walk to the building in San Francisco which Twitter uses to publish content as it happens. This is great because it’s available as soon as somebody submits it. Every once and a while, I even choose a building in another city to look at content delivered by Twitter. These buildings have agreements to be notified of any news coming out of Twitter headquarters as soon as it happens. There are some other buildings that don’t have agreements, but they still check with Twitter headquarters every once and a while, and I can check new material from them when I go to the newspaper stand.

If I’m using rssCloud as the delivery method for my news that is in the RSS format– I stop going for walks. Instead, I have finally decided to sign up for delivery with all of the newspapers that I love to read. I am only required to open my door and read what’s sitting on my porch. I even have access to content that comes from Twitter, because one of the newspapers that I love to read has an agreement to be told of any news from the Twitter system.

Both delivery and format have been around for a while, nobody’s going anywhere. Thanks, Barney Flaherty. 🙂

If Users Could Choose How They Publish

I mentioned something briefly the other day that I’ve been rolling in my head a bit ever since. A perfect topic for #blogpostfriday. 🙂

We have a bunch of fun new tech coming out of the web right now. At least two of those things, pubsubhubbub and rssCloud, deal with adding elements to feeds that tell subscribers how to sign up for quick update notification.

The painful part of this new tech is that not everybody who wants to enable it has a choice.

Sure, we could all publish our material directly and be responsible for the structure of our feeds, but that isn’t reality. We rely on Twitter to publish our Tweets, Google to publish our Shared Items, WordPress.com to publish our Blogs– the list goes on and on.

Example. I’m aching to try rssCloud concepts out on every feed that I can get my hands on. But I can’t. The only feed I can immediately provide the cloud element in is the one generated from the application that I wrote specifically for the purpose.

In a perfect world (ha), Twitter, Reader, WordPress would say – “Hi User – here are the optional elements available in ..insert publishing spec.. that we aren’t using. Would you like to fill them in?” – Then bam, I get to test cloud support on several different feeds immediately. There would still be a little manual work in notifying the cloud server when things are updated, but everyone who subscribes to the feed would know what server they should subscribe through for instant updates.

Now, spread the concept out a bit — if I can choose where the material is published, which specification is used, as well as what’s included in it, then I as a user have a wonderful amount of freedom in being able to do what I want to with my data. That is what publishing tools should be focused on.