NevOn NevOn is the archive weblog of Neville Hobson, a British business communicator based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a record of commentary and conversations from December 2002 until 22 February 2006. This site is no longer updated - please visit www.nevillehobson.com.
Beta 2 of FeedDemon 2, the RSS aggregator for Windows, was released this week. If you've been testing FD's development versions since release 1.5, this latest beta is worth getting.
I've just installed it and the first thing I notice is how much faster the application seems to be overall compared to beta 1. The release notes outline a long list of additions, changes and fixes since that first beta.
The latest beta 3.0.0-b1 reflects some serious development work over previous betas - they do listen to the testers - and shows a strong commitment by Qumana to produce a reliable tool for blogging that will stand up well against the competition.
One thing I'm very pleased (and relieved) to see is that a major issue with posting to TypePad blogs has been resolved with this latest beta. Until now, if you posted to your TypePad blog, any category you'd set in your post would not carry through to final publish. This for me was a complete show-stopper for QumanaXP. From my email conversations with the developers, it appeared that this was a TypePad issue, not a QumanaXP one. Either was, they've fixed it.
I also tried QumanaXP with my WordPress blog - works perfectly including with categories.
Today QumanaXP goes into public beta, meaning anyone can download the beta and take it for a spin. It will be formally launched at the Northern Voice 2006 community-based blogging and personal publishing conference taking place today and tomorrow in Vancouver, Canada.
But don't wait - download the beta now! Try it for yourself. You might also want to take a look at the contest Qumana has launched as part of their incentivizing bloggers to use their tool ;)
I'll be posting more detailed commentary about QumanaXP soon.
While I'm still having a bit of difficulty figuring out whether the 30Boxes calendaring service is worth spending any time with or not, I'm having no such difficulty in seeing the value of a service like coComment.
The concept of this is brilliantly simple - provide a means through which any comment you make on any blog (anyone's blog, including your own) are aggregated in a single place so that you can clearly see all those comments from different places and thus get the broad picture of all the online conversations you are taking part in, anywhere. Read more about how it works here.
Not only that, you can then add a bit of code to your own site which displays your latest comments, wherever you make them. I'm trying that out which you can see in the right-hand column.
It gets even better as you can also share your aggregated place on the coComment website so anyone else can also see what you say and where you say it. A sort of shared personal place for all your conversations. A great way to stimulate more conversation with and by others. Take a look - here's my place.
And more! You - and anyone else - can also subscribe to an RSS feed of your comment place so you can get all the comments you've made to a particular post. That RSS feed will also deliver anyone else's comments to a particular post you've commented on.
Now that's a conversation. It makes redundant anyone's notion of where you comment is an important thing. It's not. Who cares where the conversations take place when you can track them, wherever they happen?
coComment is in beta (of course) and you need an invitation to participate. If my experience is any indicator, just go to the home page, fill in the details there and you may get an email invite from coComments directly. That's what I did a few days ago.
If you're a TypePad customer, be aware that the hosted blog service will be in maintenance mode this weekend. From a note on the Six Apart Status blog last night:
We have a scheduled maintenance window on Saturday evening from 11:00 PM through Sunday morning at approximately 4:00 AM to upgrade our database server. Upgrading the database server will enable us to further scale our operations and deliver stronger, more reliable performance.
Those times are equivalent to 8:00am to 1:00pm Central European Time (GMT +1) tomorrow Sunday. And here's the most important news for customers:
Weblogs will be accessible to your readers during this time, however you will not be able to publish posts, leave comments or receive TrackBacks.
In other words, people can visit your blog but you'll not be able to do any publishing, editing, comment/trackback approvals or otherwise interact with your blog, only visit it.
Further service maintenance will take place this coming Tuesday. From a post in the Everything TypePad news blog:
[...] As of 9:00 am PST on Tuesday, February 7th, We will no longer be accepting weblog traffic on IP addresses 184.108.40.206 (old IP) or 220.127.116.11 (temporary IP used during data center move)
The vast majority of our customers and readers of their blogs will not be impacted by this change.
There are a small number of customers (less than 100, based on our analysis) who are currently using the Domain Mapping feature on TypePad and have hardcoded their domain to either of these IP. As of 9:00 am on Tuesday, their weblogs will be inaccessible at their mapped domain name. Viewers of these domain mapped weblogs will be presented with information explaining this service change and steps necessary to remap their domains.
In preparation for this event, we have emailed these customers on nearly a weekly basis, informing them about this change, and encouraging them to modify their settings at their domain registrar.
With such things going on, now is a good time to back up your blog. Do it today if you can, before the maintenance starts. Here's how:
Backup your blog
Log in to your TypePad account.
Click on the name of one of your blog accounts (or the only one). You should now be at this location: TypePad home > Your Weblogs > [Blog name].
Above the blog name towards the top of the page, you'll see a row of links. The one you're looking for says "Import/Export."Click on that.
Location: TypePad home > Your Weblogs > [Blog name] > Post > Import/Export.
Scroll to the very bottom of the page, where you'll see a link called "Export Posts from your TypePad Weblog: [blog name]."
In Windows, right click on that link and choose "Save link as..." (Firefox) or "Save target as..." (Internet Explorer).
Choose a place on your compouter to save the file.
The file downloads, and you're done.
A couple of things to note.
I've just backed up this blog; the default filename the backup has is post.htm. If you get a similar name, you'll need to do at least one thing - change the file extension to .txt as it's not an HTML file, just plain text. Then you'll likely want to give the file a more meaningful name.
Charlene Li: My definition of a blogging solution is a software or service that enables the online publication and management of a blog. At a minimum, the solution should allow the user to set up a Web page, write posts, and manage them. Blog support services like FeedBurner or aggregators like NewsGator don't fall into this category.
Forrester Research analyst Charlene is looking for comment, opinion and suggestions for an evaluation/review of blogging software and services specifically targeted at corporate solutions.
She'd like to know what you have to say to these questions:
What features and functionality are most important to you when selecting a corporate blogging solution?
What corporate blogging solutions did you/are you considering?
Why did these solutions make it on to your short list?
And in the end, why did you pick your solution over the others?
I was adding a comment to a post on my own blog in reply to a previous commenter and hit the 'submit' button. What I got next was a pleasant surprise:
This is a captcha, a technique that tests whether a human being is on the other end of the connection, so to speak, rather than a (spam) robot. TypePad has been testing this authentication procedure and this is the first time I've seen it in action on my own blog.
I've decided to start over with a brand new WordPress blog, leaving this one on TypePad as the record of my blogging experience (and existence), thoughts and conversations here since July 2004. The domain www.nevon.net will stay here, too, so that no links will break - the major show-stopper so far that's prevented the move. Actually, I've been totally hung up about that for the past three months. Apache redirects, htaccess files, Technorati ratings, etc... Too many headaches.
It's more than just concerns about links and ratings, though. This blog has become bloated. The categories no longer really reflect how I see the relationships between what I write here and what people join in conversation about. The design is too clunky now, at least to my eye. Too many badges and graphical whizz-bangs. I want to do things here that I can't with my TypePad service level. I also have a big confidence gap with TypePad after the latest service screw-up. And the name of this blog: NevOn. That seemed fine when I first started blogging back in 2002, but it doesn't really reflect how I see me on the web in 2006.
While I'll still be writing about that intersection where business, communication and technology meet - with a stronger focus on where those things collide - I'll be starting afresh with a different domain www.nevillehobson.com which I've had for some time yet not used for anything (that domain currently redirects to my existing WP experiment which I'll archive once the new blog is up and running).
What accelerated this train of thought about making a fresh start was after I read Stowe Boyd's post a couple of weeks ago on starting from zero and his subsequent progress.
So a Spring clean for moving house very soon to rebuild and rebrand. Yep, that'll be me, too.
Conversation points: The joining together of Intelliseek and Buzzmetrics; VNU and being acquired; developments in tracking and analysis of consumer-generated media; continuing support and development for BlogPulse and other Intelliseek offerings; the growing impact of video on consumer-generated media; the future of podcasting; Pete's observations about Naked Conversations.
Some readers of this blog have left some great comments to my post last week about offline blog editors. In that post, I talked about ecto for Windows, BlogJet and Qumana as examples of popular editors for Windows (and for the Mac, in some cases) which enable you to write your blog posts offline, on your own computer.
On just a first quick look after install, I am impressed with this tool. It's the closest I've seen yet to a solution to what I believe is a yawning gap in the market for a robust and reliable blog editing application for Windows that's easy to use yet with powerful features. A sort of Microsoft Word for blogs. Could this be the one?
RocketPost offers a 30-day free trial which I'm on. Then it's $100 for the license for the professional version (there are three versions including a free one).
I'm writing this post with this app. Very easy and intuitive to use.More later once I've played a bit with RocketPost.
[Edit] Hmm. It didn't publish without my going into TypePad directly and publishing it. The post was in the list of posts and shown as published, but it hadn't been. I'll hold judgment on the reason as I suspect it's more to do with Typepad - the server response back to RocketPost from posting took a very long time (4+ minutes) and logging in to my account simply took ages.
Two of the leading companies in tracking and analysing what consumers are talking about online have joined forces to create, in the words of the formal press release, the new global standard for measuring and understanding word-of-mouth behavior and influence.
Market intelligence firm Intelliseek has been acquired by word-of-mouth research and planning company Buzzmetrics. The new combination will be known as Buzzmetrics Inc and operate under the Neilsen Buzzmetrics brand, backed by Dutch media group VNU who will own a majority stake in the new company.
Of additional interest to this deal is news today that VNU itself is in the final stages of being acquired by a consortium including some of the world's biggest private equity groups who made a non-binding offer for VNU yesterday, valuing the company at up to €7.3 billion ($8.8 billion).
The Financial Times reports that the bid comes from a group comprising Blackstone, Carlyle, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Permira, Hellman & Friedman, Alpinvest and Thomas H. Lee.
The FT said that a sale of VNU may prompt trade buyers to express interest in parts of the business. VNU comprises AC Nielsen, the market researcher, Nielsen Media Research, which monitors television ratings, and a smaller trade show and magazine division publishing titles including Hollywood Reporter and Billboard.
VNU said it expects to provide more information within three to four weeks, the FT reported.