Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Deja vu, courtesy of Feedster

For those of you who have not yet swung by Feedster, you should give it a look. It’s a powerful new addition to the searcher’s arsenal.

Many weblogs provide XML feeds. These feeds are in one of two popular formats – RSS or RDF. (Though the flame wars between the two camps are legendary, and, after a beer or three, kind of fun to read, it doesn’t really matter which for purposes of this discussion.) Feedster monitors those XML feeds (as of this writing, it’s monitoring over 14,000 feeds), and gives you a centralized place to go to search across those 14,000 weblogs. Where Google searches the entire web, Feedster is looking just at current posts in those 14,000 weblogs.

To get the most out of Feedster, you can subscribe to searches via RSS. (Try to get your head around that one.) Once you do a search at Feedster, just look for the orange XML button at the bottom of the page. Copy that URL into your news aggregator – and every time your aggregator updates, it runs the query at Feedster and you’ll get any new posts made by anyone in the blogosphere (at least, anyone monitored by Feedster, which seems to be about everybody) since the last time you ran the query. Way cool.

Now for the deja vu part – I posted a piece on my Howard Dean weblog this evening at 10:48pm titled “Watch Howard Dean”. When my aggregator ran at 11:30, one of the items that showed up was a new post (from my Feedster saved search for “Howard Dean”) pointing back to my weblog.


Cool, but eerie.

(Of course, this post will show up in that same search too.)

Practical use of this? Set up Feedster queries for you, your clients, your competitors, your friends… you get the idea. If anyone is talking about things that matter to you on a weblog somewhere, you’ll know about it. Within the hour.

Anyone want to predict how long before Feedster gets bought?

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