The simplest RSS feed reader you could create

UsefulCode have published two small php classes that allow us to have a RSS feed reader in our web site. Actually, I have been testing it and indeed it has several deficiencies and many if we compare it with a powerful class, as Magpie RSS.

Nevertheless, it’s so simple to put it in execution that is ideal to do practices and to learn more about RSS’s managing with PHP.

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Ten Firefox’s best extensions for Web development

This one is a brief summary of what in my opinion are the best firefox extensions for Web development. But careful, it’s not a closed Top Ten there are still several extensions that we can keep for another moment.


A magnificent HTML editor, has three views: Code, WYSIWYG and a Firefox preview. Also it allows you to open theses previews in other browsers, has a file bar to surf easily between directories. It has an embed JavaScript console. Facilitates the code validation according to the W3C and has an advanced panel of search/replacement/result. For those who use Dreamweaver, this extension turns out to be very familiar. Download.


DevBoi offers a quick lateral access to documentation and manuals about XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby on Rails and others. Obviously it requires an Internet connection. Between the information it provides, for example in CSS indicates you the support of every attribute in multiples browsers IE5 Mac, IE 5, IE 5.5, IE 6, Mozilla, Opera 5, Opera 6, Opera 7, Konqueror 2.2, Safari 1. It is configurable. Download.

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Subscribe to YouTube Tags easily

In our last post we mention that when you want to be updated on certain topics you can choose between several solutions; one of them is to subscribe to YouTube Video Tags.

Mostly if someday we need to realize a follow-up to certain type of videos in YouTube, we can do it in a very easy way subscribing to YouTube’s specific tags via RSS.

For example, if we want to follow the new Skakira videos we use this URL: “http: //“. Besides, when we want to subscribe to a tag with several words, we must use the plus sign (+) to relate them, for example “http: //” for “Criss Angel”.

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SMO, Rules of Social Media Optimization

A new phrase starts taking force in the world of Internet marketing. As well as it is common to talk about the importance of the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in a web life; with the emergence of increasingly dynamical social applications and sites, there arises also the importance of optimizing the web social communication, this optimization is known as SMO (Social Media Optimization).

The appearance of social communities, web portals 2.0, mashups, RSS and millions of blogs interacting, are changing the classic Internet traffic distribution. Before, traffic was provided almost only by the portals – seekers, now on the other hand many visits come for references. To close our eyes before this change, would be a great mistake.

For it, Rohit Bhargava started outlining the first directives to optimize the Web social communication, which they have been increasing and here I summarize.

Rules of Social Media Optimization

1. Increase your linkability: The first one and more important. The web has to stop being “static” as possible.

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Media Report: Blog, Podcast and RSS Advertising Outlook

Combined blog, podcast and RSS ad spend by the end of 2005 totaled $20.4 million, a 198.4 percent increase over the 2004 levels for user-generated online media – and is projected to climb 144.9 percent in 2006, reaching $49.8 million, according to a new report, “Blog, Podcast & RSS Advertising Outlook,” from PQ Media. Total spending on user-generated online media is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 106.1 percent from 2005 to 2010, reaching $757.0 million in 2010.

The blog ad market is the largest of the three, at $16.6 million accounting for 81.4 percent of total advertising in 2005, followed by podcast advertising at $3.1 million and RSS at $650,000.
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Finding Profits In Podcasting

Its origin is in Web radio and audio blogs, but companies like IBM, Oracle, and Purina view podcasting as a new medium for hawking their wares.

It wasn’t long ago that podcasting was a fringe medium known only to aficionados of Web radio and audio blogs. But in just a few months, podcasting has jumped onto the leading edge of tech pop culture. Its advancement isn’t lost on businesses, which are rapidly morphing podcasting into a vehicle for marketing and communications.

Podcasting can reach very targeted audiences or large masses of people, without costing them a penny to listen. Oracle is among the latest companies to embrace podcasting, which is the act of publishing digital-audio broadcasts to MP3 players such as Apple Computer’s iPod and the Dell Jukebox via the Internet. Oracle, which began offering podcasts from its Web site in May, now envisions technologists donning earphones as they traverse its Oracle OpenWorld conference next month. Oracle will publish two 10- to 20-minute podcasts daily during its user conference on subjects such as middleware, applications, databases, and grid technologies, designed for the ears of the software developers and database administrators who buy its products.

The podcasts will be available via Oracle Technology Network TechCasts on the vendor’s Web site and through online podcast directories, including iTunes and Podcast Alley. “If you’re a developer or database administrator interested in new technologies, then podcasting is an excellent resource,” says Justin Kestelyn, editor in chief of Oracle Technology Network. “You’re going to hear directly from the people involved in the project what the technology has to offer.”

Podcasting’s origin is decidedly less business-oriented–those involved in its evolution include former MTV video jockey Adam Curry and Dave Winer, developer of the RSS 2.0 specification. To get podcasts, listeners can go to sites directly publishing them, like Oracle, or to sites that host directories of podcasts. Podcasts are delivered via RSS feeds, and those feeds provide information about the audio files that’s read by desktop podcatching software, which downloads the desired content to users’ MP3 players. Apple helped propel podcasting into the mainstream two months ago with the release of its free iTunes 4.9 software, which offers podcatching capabilities and also makes it easy for podcasters to publish content at iTunes.

Earlier this month, IBM began offering podcasts from the investor section of its Web site on the use of its technologies in automotive, retail, health care, and other industries. Podcasting isn’t limited to tech vendors: Purina, a subsidiary of Nestle S.A., is supplementing its traditional advertising with podcasts published every other week for veterinarians and pet lovers. They include interviews with vets and other experts on animal training, pet surgery, medical insurance, and behavioral issues.

Technology-oriented podcasts are proving to be among the most successful. Los Angeles radio station KFI podcasts Leo Laporte’s This Week In Tech, and it now has 41,000 subscribers, up from 360 in May, according to Rick Klau, VP of business development at FeedBurner, which manages RSS feeds for the radio station and thousands of other podcasters. Tech-oriented podcasts consistently rank among FeedBurner’s top feeds, Klau says.

Some podcasters are starting to insert paid advertising into content. No standard model has emerged for the practice, but the Yankee Group predicts that podcast ad insertion will be based on a cost-per-impression model, an ad-industry measurement for every 1,000 people who see or hear an ad. It’s suggesting podcasters charge advertisers $15 per 1,000 podcast clicks or downloads.

PodSafe Music, created by PodShow Inc., sells ad placements in its podcasts to Absolut Spirits Co. “We mention vodka at the start of a podcast,” PodSafe site manager C.C. Chapman says. “Absolut lets us do our own thing.”

But is anyone listening? That will be a huge measure of success–or failure–by businesses sinking resources and time into podcasts. For one, businesses know their target audience, but it’s difficult to figure out if the right people–meaning those most likely to purchase their products–are listening. “Demographics are difficult to determine because trying to track personally identifiable information doesn’t work in RSS,” Klau says. By comparison, Web sites can collect information from willing visitors through online registration and questionnaires, and use cookies to track user behavior. With podcasts, “there’s no reliable way to match downloads to unique visitors,” Oracle’s Kestelyn says.

And there are drawbacks to the audio-only approach. While Oracle hopes technologists will find its podcasts useful, “there’s no visual sample code or screen shots to accompany the MP3 files,” Kestelyn says.

One of the best things podcasting has going for it is that it’s free–even though some listeners might be willing to pay for the right content. A recent study conducted among young European consumers by Forrester Research found that 46% of 16- and 17-year-olds would consider paying for podcast content. However, only 33% of the teens surveyed said they would accept advertising as a necessary evil to subsidize content.

For all the buzz podcasts have created among the tech savvy, the technology is still relatively unknown. The Yankee Group estimates that by the end of the year, 41.6 million consumers will own a digital audio player, and there will be more than 10,000 businesses and individuals publishing podcasts. Currently, however, less than 1% of digital audio player owners actively download and listen to podcasts, the Yankee Group says.

Momentum is building. About 600 subscribers download Oracle’s podcasts every 24 hours, Kestelyn says. FeedBurner offers more than 15,000 podcast RSS feeds, up from less than 1,000 in January. It now has 450,000 podcast RSS feed subscribers, up from 150,000 in June.

Podcasting soon won’t be limited to MP3 players. Melodeo Inc., which gives cell-phones users the tools to download music, says it will make it possible to get podcasts from cell phones starting in September. Melodeo will offer software called Mobilcast that signs onto and searches Podcast directories using search criteria set by the user to find new content. Mobilcast will download and store podcasts on phones to be listened to when the user chooses. The software converts the MP3 format, unreadable by the mobile phone, into files created in aacPlus, an audio-compression technology. Mobilcast initially will support the Symbian operating system, followed by a Java operating system version.

Meanwhile, more and more people are learning about podcasting from a variety of sources outside of IT and music. Many major media outlets deliver news podcasts. Purdue University says it began making replays of class lectures available in podcasts last week. Earlier this month an astronaut with NASA sent the first podcast from a test flight on the space shuttle Discovery. And religious groups are using podcasting as a virtual pulpit. One of the more successful examples is Tim Hohm, a senior pastor at Central Assembly in El Sobrante, Calif., who delivers a 15-minute inspirational message twice weekly called RevTim. Subscriptions to RevTim have grown to 6,000 since the podcast was launched in December, ranking it among the top 50 most popular podcasts on Podcast Alley. Forrester Research estimates that by 2010, more than 12.3 million listeners will synchronize podcasts to their MP3 players.

Such huge loads of information, however, can amount to mounds of garbage unless listeners can find things they actually want to hear. For those looking to advertise through podcasting, the Yankee Group advises that podcasts should be built around focused topics that appeal to specific demographic groups. Subscription-based models have been considered by some podcasters, but in the near future, it’s likely that advertising will be the principal revenue stream for those looking to profit from podcasting.

How to create a podcast

Podcasts are like radio broadcasts for MP3 players, but that’s about where the similarity ends.

So let me say right off that I’m not trying to “sell” anything. “Podcasting” is becoming a bit of an overused buzzword in some circles, while others haven’t heard the first thing about it. It is a movement worth watching, but I’m more of a critical early adopter than a “trend of the week” bandwagon-type.
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Big day for RSS on Windows

Talk about a one-two punch. NewsGator launched new versions of both their Outlook add-in, now called NewsGator Inbox, and FeedDemon, a desktop RSS client. The company has also completely redesigned their pricing to address customer concerns about the subscription model they adopted in the previous release. NewsGator founder Greg Reinacker, announcing the new releases on his blog yesterday wrote:

“And finally, as of these releases we’ve made good on our promise to abolish the subscription model as you used to know it. Now, you can buy FeedDemon or NewsGator Inbox (and soon NetNewsWire) for $29.95, and you’ll get a free year subscription which includes value-added services such as synchronization (and lots more to come). At the end of that year, you can choose to renew your subscription if you wish for $19.95. But if you choose not to renew, your software will continue to work forever – just without the online-specific features.”

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