a polite and unassuming lego blog

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Free Cookies, Details Inside.

King Kong smash! Hulk no match!

Justin Ramsden has made a neato King Kong, who cannot be stopped.

Which brings me to RSS. It seems it cannot be stopped, like King Kong. But is it good and kind like the King, or is it terrible, like the Empire State Building? It brings content to people easier, but it seems to strip the unique character of each site away, in favor of a mundane feed of information.

I speak of course of ILENN, the new RSS feed gatherer site for all things LEGO that have RSS feeds. Golden Shpleem is on it, but it strips away all our witty banter and just shows the title and the thumbnail/link combo to the model we are discussing. What to do?

Clearly, the answer is outrageous titles.

8 Comments:

Blogger Andrew B. said...

I think a better approach to keeping abreast of LEGO news is to set up an RSS reader yourself. It's a built-in feature of Safari on Mac OS X "Tiger," and I know there are good RSS readers out there for PC as well (probably open-source, and therefore free). I can control how much of the text I see (I set it so I can see all of the words, as well as the pics). But you're right -- it kind of strips away the character of each site and makes them all look the same.

11/08/2005 1:58 AM

 
Blogger Marc said...

Indeed, I read this blog almost exclusively through RSS (using the Sage extension for Firefox). I see a list of posts in the sidebar, with a big chunk of the text when I mouse over the title - no pics, though.

If I see something interesting, then I click through to the post; or, if there are 3 or 4 new posts, then I'll just load the site. So RSS is shiny, like the Chrysler Building.

11/08/2005 10:54 AM

 
Anonymous Kelly said...

Outrageous titles got me. I wanted the cookies.

It's a fair point, of course. How much content is too little, how much is too much? Right now story descriptions are truncated at 255 characters, although the "Free Cookies" story is 1,170 characters in the RSS feed. Initially, ILENN pulled in the entire feed, but with some RSS containing kilobytes worth of content (Lugnet, for example), it was clogging things up something fierce, so I set it down to 255.

Now, though, it looks like that's too small. Whaddaya think, 1000 characters? 500? I hate to snip wit short, but at the same time I'd also like to avoid drowning in detailed description.

What's the sweet point?

Oh, and psst... still working on it...

11/08/2005 11:13 AM

 
Blogger Bruce said...

Hey,

I do agree that a feed gatherer like ILENN does strip away the character of each individual site. But it works great as a heads-up of which sites have new content. Rather than click on six different bookmarks to see if there is something new on Jake's blog, this blog, Nate's blog, Duney's blog, etc, I can click ILENN. If there is a new story linked there, I can quickly click over to the blog of interest rather than read it on ILENN.

To me the more interesting thing about ILENN is how it can grab news off of other non-AFOL sources. That's already led me to some interesting things.

11/08/2005 3:07 PM

 
Anonymous Kelly said...

If I expand the display on ILENN, do I get a cookie? :)

One other thing that I thought I'd mention was plans to publish an aggregated RSS feed through ILENN that's customizable... so people can either subscribe to a custom ILENN RSS feed (with proper links back to the original content), or go directly to the source's RSS feed.

Bruce, I'm glad you're finding other content through ILENN that's interesting to you... that was my #1 goal!

11/08/2005 4:47 PM

 
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