Loose ends

First off, yes I know that basically since I mentioned the support forums, THC’s site has been unreachable. It figures, like anything, the second you tell other people about it, it’s gone. 🙂

In other news, it’s an exciting time online, last night the email-to-blog feature for Blogger Pro went live, the Google API was announced and I discovered a bit of old news, but something very useful for me about YACCS. I’ll discuss them further in order:

The “email-to-blog” feature is cool. Why, you ask? For a couple of different reasons, first there’s the ability to post and publish to your blog from a handheld device, on the go. Secondly, for non-handheld users, like me, it’s cool that I’ll be able to write entries using Outlook instead of a browser, because Outlook is a more natural, feature rich environment to write in than the blogger web interface. It’s still in beta, so we’ll see how it improves over the next few weeks..

The Google API is cool, but not necessarily for the reasons Dave Winer and others think it is. Yes it’ll be cool that we can put up live search results on the website, but 90% of browsers would just go to Google and use their own search terms if they wanted search results. Honestly, the Google Box has been live on weblogs.com for a couple of days now, it gives you the top ten search results for “weblogs”. Does it tell you anything useful? The search term is too generic, which it has to be to appeal to the widest audience possible, but by being generic in your search results, they have no meaning for someone looking for specific information. However, the cool thing about Google making it’s search results available to web applications is the trend that it starts. How long before we have a MSN, AOL or Jabber API that will allow other people to not only link to your website, but list your current online status on their page? For example, I’m going to be in Boston next weekend, how cool would it be if I could push out that message using an IM client, which pushes out to my website the message “Mike’s in Boston”, which is then picked up through an API to every site that links to my website, so the link would look something like “Mike’s Blog (Mike’s in Boston)” where the Mike’s Blog link takes you to my blog, and the “Mike’s in Boston” part takes you to an IM API page where you can see more details about my status, send me an instant message, or I can leave other details about how to reach me, or not reach me while I’m in Boston. Call it the ultimate in “presence”, people can know your online status without ever having to come to your site, or look you up on the IM client. I can also leave in my information a message that says “Won’t be updating the blog until I return.” so everyone who spots a link to my site will know that until the “Mike’s in Boston” status changes, there’s nothing new on the site. It saves them clicks. And just think of the corporate application of such an API! You could publish everyone’s status to an intranet page and the status could be updated as often as it needed to be by using any available internet connection and an IM client.

Of course that’s just my opinion on what would be cool. Someone should get Dave or whomever working on doing something like that. Perhaps someone will come up with a way to use Google search results that will blow my mind, but thus far, it ain’t happening.

Lastly, I use my YACCS account to run comments for my wife’s blog, my brother-in-law’s blog, and my child abuse blog, (because I’m such a nice guy *L*) and I was lamenting the fact that it does not have an email feature, like the comments here do. I have cgi and asp ability here that allow me to use a comments sytem that emails each comment to me, so I always know when someone has left a comment. YACCS doesn’t do that, so those sites that didn’t have that same ability (The child abuse one does now because I’ve moved it here during the geocities changes last month, but I haven’t had time to setup a new system yet.) can’t get an email when they get comments. However, YACCS does publish your comments in an XML feed, so I fire up Newzcrawler, enter in the YACCS XML feed URLs for all three and bang, I’ve got the feeds to tell me when someone’s left a comment on any of those blogs. Very cool.

That’s enough coolness for this morning,. I’ve got work to do!

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