Category: "Blog Tools"
Trackbacks are a great way to allow comments on your blog. Since interlinking is at the heart of blogging, what has created the blogosphere, I think it is great the some bloggers have chosen to allow tracbacks, even if they don't support comments.
I ran into an example of this at jra's thoughts.
Unfortunately, not all wiki(blogware) supports wiki(trackback), or the "same thing only different" wiki(pingback) protocol. That's a shame. Keeping your opinions on your own blog, while automagically interlinking to the source that triggered those thoughts is the perfect example of why blogs are important to everything from collaboration to "keeping in touch".
There are many tools on the web and for our desktops to help us find and read blogs. Some of these tools are based on the RSSv1, RSSv2 or Atom syndication protocols, some are blog search engines and some are listing services. I won't try to evaluate any of the tools out there, but I'm posting this as a convenient list of links to reviews and sources available on the web.
- From Wired, we have "A Scan of the Headline Scanners", which reviews four products.
- PCWorld looked at 18 readers and published reviews on five plus some blog listing sites and search engines in "News on Demand".
- About.com has a review of bloglines and articles on five aggregators.
- Robert Teeter has a very good article on RSS and Aggregators at Interleaves.org.
- And no list would be complete without looking at the Wikipedia entry on wiki(News_aggregator,Aggregators).
I use the following in various situations.
- NewsGator provides an online news aggregator service for free, a variety of premium services, and a $29 Outlook add-on that allows you to read feeds in Outlook, arrange the feeds into Outlook folders and even post to your blog from within Outlook. I particularly like the fact that I can synchronize my subscriptions between the online services and the Outlook version, and that I can read my feeds on my Palm via the mobile and wireless Webpro browser and Newsgator's mobile version of the feeds. I also use the browser toolbar that allows me to subscribe in Newsgator to any site using RSS or Atom. Mostly I use the NewsGator Outlook add-on when I want to quickly scan headlines and briefs from news articles and blogs. But it is also useful in that I can forward the article or brief as though the post were an email. Very handy. And, since the Outlook add-on has plug-ins for many popular wiki(blogware) APIs, it allows you to blog about something you just read, using a very familiar interface.
- Blogrolling.com is a great service. They have free and paid versions. I really like the Blogroll Panel that I can activate in Firefox, IE, or whatever browser I'm using. Again, I can subscribe via a browser toolbar plugin. One advantage to this service is that you can subscribe to a site even if the site doesn't use a XML syndication protocol. From that aspect, I guess that Blogrolling.com isn't strictly a news aggregator or RSS reader, just like a wiki(bookmarklet) only different. You can arrange your links/feeds by category - essentially, in the premium version, creating multiple blogrolls. I generally use my blogrolling panel in Firefox when I really want to read the blog and get it the way the author intended.
- I've also been using the beta RSS feed reader addition to My!Yahoo. More of a matter of convenience, really. 'Tis a great addition to your My!Yahoo pages.
Many aggregators allow you to export your list of feeds and links in a variety of ways. So, you can easily add a list of RSS or Atom powered links, headlines or a blogroll to a web site or blog. All-in-all, these tools are a great addition to the collaboration kit of anyone living the TeleInterActive Lifestlye.