Development Stream

How I use Stream

I created Stream because I wanted a simple reverse chronological timeline of feeds. Dave Winer calls it a River of News. That’s also how Stream got its name. A stream is just a small version of a river – yes, that’s an oversimplification, but you get the idea.

Anywho, I just wanted to share how I use Stream. There is, of course, no wrong way to use it. Just use it your way.

When I announced Stream 1.0 was shipping I mentioned it was a complement to your existing feed reader. That’s why I want to talk about how I use it.

I use Stream for feeds that only update a few times a day. I don’t use it for feeds, like say, the New York Times. It’s just too much to consume without the folder organization system of other feed readers.

When I decided I should trim out feeds that published many, many, articles a day I exported my feeds list as OPML, removed the busy feeds from Stream, manually removed the lightweight feeds from the OPML I’d exported, imported the trimmed OPML into Feedbin, connected Unread to my Feedbin account on iOS and connected it to NetNewsWire on the Mac.

Wow. That sounds like a lot of work, but it wasn’t. Now I have my very casual list of bloggers I love to read. It’s still 162 feeds, but most of those feeds post rarely and the ones that post most often, like Kottke and Daring Fireball, only post a few times a day. It makes using Stream a real joy.

If you’re curious about my feeds feel free to checkout my OPML file.

Apple Podcast

Apple is not the Gatekeeper of Podcasting

New York Times: “Late last month, Apple brought seven leading podcast professionals to the company’s campus in Cupertino, Calif., to air their case to a room full of employees, according to two people who were there. The people would speak only on the condition of anonymity because they had signed nondisclosure agreements. The company made no promises, the people said, but several pressing issues for podcasters were discussed in frank terms.”

Here’s the thing, Apple did not invent Podcasting — Dave Winer and Adam Curry did — Apple just has a really good Podcast directory. Anyone could do the same thing. In fact you don’t need to be part of Apple’s Podcast Directory to have a Podcast. All you need is a place to put your audio files so people can download them. Yes, that’s it.

One other note. I know there are services to help with podcasting, and I’m not going to advise against using one, especially if you are not a technical person. Just understand you don’t need a large corporation like Apple to publish your podcast on the internet.

Also note. I’m not bagging on Apple. They can’t help it if they created something really useful and people believe they own the gateway to podcasting. It just kind of happened that way.


OPML as Open Graph?

Transformed Visio VDX from OPMLIn 2002 I did a little experiment. With a little help from Dave Winer I generated a Visio VDX file from OPML. It was pretty straight forward. The idea at the time was to create a web service that could create a pretty picture of your connections to other weblogs and crawl those connections to create, you guessed it, a graph representing all your connections. Obviously I never finished it.

The reason I mention it is Facebook has done it, but it’s behind closed doors. It’s a Facebook thing. This is something the entire web could benefit from. What would it take for someone to create Open Graph as an open standard for showing relationships between sites? Facebook has an Open Graph spec. How can that be opened up?