Posts in Category "Weblogs"

Adobe Feeds Data Problem

I just wanted to let everyone know that we had a little problem the other day with Adobe Feeds and ended up losing some data. Most of the post data has been recovered, but we lost some site submissions. If you submitted your blog after 2/12/09, it’s likely that it was lost and you will need to resubmit it. Sorry for the goof up.

On a related note, how many of you out there are still using Adobe Feeds? I talked to a few people recently who just use the RSS that Adobe Feeds generates rather than using the site itself. How are people getting their Adobe developer news these days, and/or technology news in general?

Replacing Trackbacks with Google References

You may have discovered by now that Google recently released their new Blog Search beta. So far, as always, I’ve been impressed. I’m experimenting with replacing the concept of trackbacks on my blog with Google References (see the "References" link in the post footer). This should use Google Blog Search to find all the blogs that link to specific posts of mine. Maybe a few people will link to this post as a good test case. I wonder how long it will take Google to index the references.

If you’re interested in doing the same thing, just check out how the link URL is constructed, and it should be pretty clear. If you’re using Movable Type, here’s the code:

<a href="http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?q=link%3A<$MTEntryPermalink archive_type="Individual"$>">References</a>

Macromedia Product RSS Feeds Restored

A little over a year ago, the Macromedia Developer Relations team introduced the Macromedia Product RSS feeds to help our community keep up with product updates, security bulletins, tech notes, and Developer Center articles. We took them down for about a week as we began migrating community services from the old markme.com server to the new Macromedia weblogs server. I’ve been getting several emails a day from people wondering what happened to the feeds, so I decided my priority for the day was to get them fully migrated (it wasn’t just a matter of copying the files over — we also switched to a new system for generating and maintaining them). Anyway, I got it all done, so all the product feeds should be working again. Please let me know if you notice anything screwy.

Developer Relations Podcast in iTunes

I finally got the Macromedia Developer Relations Podcast submitted to iTunes. The documentation Apple provides for the special iTunes meta-data tags has some inconsistencies, and I found at least one major bug in their submission process, so it took several hours for me to finally get it submitted. In case you’re having problems, as well, it seems you can’t add iTunes category tags at the channel level (even though the docs say you can). For some reason, if you use bogus or incorrect categories, the feed is accepted (but the categories ignored), but if you use real and current categories, you get back an error saying that the iTunes Store is experiencing technical difficulties, and to try again later. The work around seems to be to remove the category tags at the channel level altogether (they seem to work at the item level), and just pick a category and sub-category through the feed submission interface.

Anyway, the feed hasn’t shown up yet. After you submit your feed, it tells you that it may not show up right away, and it might need to be reviewed or something, so I’m not sure how long that will take. If anyone notices that it has been added, please drop me a comment. It’s in the category "Technology" under the subcategory "Developers".

In other news, I’m about to move yet again, so I’m going to be offline most likely until next week. This is the third time I’ve blogged about moving in about 2.5 years, which isn’t a good sign. I’m staying in San Francisco, but moving from a rental into a house that I bought, so hopefully I’ll actually plant some roots and stay in one place for a while.

Off to finish packing…

Introducing MXNA Flash Services

MXNA web services have been around for a long time, but they won’t work everywhere. For instance, Flash Lite applications can’t use web services. And sometimes web services can be overkill for small amounts of information that you want to retrieve, parse, and render very quickly. The answer is the new MXNA Flash Services.

Flash Services are very much in alpha, but they seem mature enough to start playing around with. Rather than using XML, Flash Services return data as query strings, or application/x-www-form-urlencoded which means they work perfectly with the Flash loadVariables function, and with the LoadVars object. Flash Services are primarily intended for Flash Lite applications, but can be used by any client preferring a more streamlined data service.

Check out the Flash Services documentation for more information, and let me know if you have any questions or comments. And keep in mind that I will be making changes to the APIs based on feedback, so anything you build could get temporarily broken.

Google to Place Ads in Feeds

Google AdSense is now offering authors of syndicated content a way to monetize their feeds through the new AdSense for Feeds program (in beta, of course). So if you use an aggregator to help you get away from the clutter of internet advertising, sorry, but you’ll have to think of something else.

I’m not criticizing the program, though. Nobody has to put ads in their feeds, and nobody has to aggregate feeds with ads. And I’m all for website owners generating a little revenue (or a lot) from the sites they put so much time and energy into. I just think it’s a little humorous how whenever something starts to take off, it’s only a matter of time before it is infused with advertisements. I predict in six to nine months, the majority of feeds you aggregate will be showing ads, just like Slashdot is already doing, and I further predict that the majority of those ads will be served by Google.

So how many of you will put ads in your feeds? Will you continue to aggregate feeds with ads in them? And what impact will this have on web-based aggregators like MXNA? I’m going to have to give this some serious thought.

NewsGator Acquires FeedDemon

Nick Bradbury is reporting that his FeedDemon and TopStyle applications have been acquired by NewsGator. Congratulations, Nick! Sounds like a good opportunity for him, and for FeedDemon users.

Blogging (and blog aggregating) is becoming big business. First, Ask Jeeves acquired Bloglines, and now this. Let the mergers and acquisitions begin!

My New Weblog

I haven’t posted for a couple of days because I’ve been in the process of migrating my weblog. In fact, all the markme.com weblogs are eventually migrating over to weblogs.macromedia.com, and to a new version of Movable Type. I wanted to migrate mine first to get some experience with the process, and to get any issues/bugs worked out. If you see any problems, let me know.

The biggest challenge has been redirecting from old post URLs to the new ones (since the new version of MT generates different types of URLs). Anil Dash set me up with some MT code to generate an .htaccess file to make Apache do most of the work, but there are tons of other things to consider when migrating a two-year-old weblog (images, feeds, go URLs, and other files).

Over the next couple of months, I intend to update my templates, but for now, I’m using only a slightly modified version of the MT default. My stylesheet is pretty standard, as well, with only a couple customizations. In fact, I’ve heard it referred to as “nice, but unoriginal.” True. I’m not much of a designer, though, so if you have any suggestions, let me know.

Technical details first, aesthetics later.

Use MXNA Reports to Optimize Your Posts

Note: It looks like the What’s
New contest
is over now, so I
can go ahead give away one of the answers. Mike and I will be announcing the winners
shortly.

As a blogger in the Macromedia community, how do you know what kinds of posts
are more likely to get people’s attention? How do you know how your post on the
object oriented nature of ColdFusion components compares with your post examining
the merits of crunchy peanut butter versus smooth?

The new MXNA 2.0 Click Reports chart the popularity of your last 50 posts. Take
mine
,
for instance. I can see that my post on Internet Explorer 7 was the most popular
in recent memory with a couple of posts on JavaScript and AJAX close behind.
It looks like I should clearly be spending more time blogging about web technologies
rather than new search engine features, or talking about PDAs. And apparently
only about 8 people care that I’ve returned from TODCON. Thanks a lot, everyone!

The blue bars on the chart indicate clicks (along the Y axis), the red line is
a moving average based on your last five posts, and the green line is your overall
average. To find your feed’s Click Report, go the the MXNA 2.0 list
of feeds
, and click on the "Click
Report" link next to your feed’s name.

You might also want to check out the new views we’ve added to the "Most Popular"
pod. Now you can view the most popular posts of the last day, week, month, year,
and of all time (and get them in RSS).

MXNA 2.0 Feature Contest

As Mike Chambers recently
posted
, we did a new MXNA 2.0 installation
last night with a few cool new features. If you can find them quickly, you can
win a nice Macromedia Timbuk2 bag. Check out Mike’s
post
for details.