The RSS Advisory Board has two new members: Jason Shellen, the product manager of Google Reader and a former strategist for the company that created Blogger, and Jake Savin, the lead developer at UserLand Software. Jason Shellen has spent three years at Google since the company acquired Blogger developer Pyra Labs. First launched in October 2005, Google Reader is a free web-based aggregator that reads Really Simple Syndication and all of the other syndication formats, supporting item sharing, tagging, an ... read more

Google Calendar can import and export calendars created as Atom feeds but does not support RSS, according to Byrne Reese: Only a small minority of people will care about this obscure technology fact, but in the syndication community I think this is tremendously significant. To an engineer, adding RSS support is trivial, so the syndication industry must ask themselves, and the RSS folks especially, why did Google only support Atom? Google also introduced their own proprietary Atom elements or what I could only call ... read more

Wired News is running my story today about the center of the world: the Shamrock "K" Horse Center near Coffeyville, Kansas. Maggie Dew, the geocacher who journeyed to the center and brought back photos, has planted a cache not far from the city at a '60s landmark called Peace Point: Some friends and I had a little shop in downtown Coffeyville called the Hobbit Hole. We had a peace flag in the front window, and it wasn't long before someone decided to lob a brick through it. During the same period, some of my ... read more

Earlier this week, Mozilla Firefox developer Darin Fisher announced that test builds of the browser include support for click pings, an experimental new HTML feature that makes it easier for web sites to track clicks on outgoing links: I'm sure this may raise some eye-brows among privacy conscious folks, but please know that this change is being considered with the utmost regard for user privacy. The point of this feature is to enable link tracking mechanisms commonly employed on the web to get out of the critical ... read more

The American Dialect Society has declared that pope-squatting is the new term least likely to succeed for 2005, rating it ahead of the acronym GSAVE (global struggle against violent extremism) and Brangelina, the nickname given to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The society defines the term as a verb that means "registering a domain name that is the same of a new pope before the pope chooses his new name in order to profit from it." This would exclude me, since I donated BenedictXVI.Com to the charity Modest Needs, ... read more

I've been tracking the Google page rank of my web sites for the past year, trying to learn about effective, non-abusive techniques that improve their positions in search engines. You can really see a difference in a site's traffic when it goes up in rank. SportsFilter jumped to PR 7 in the last three months, and the site's membership is booming as a result. A lot of publishers are losing page rank because they use two different domains -- one that begins with www and one that doesn't -- for the same site. Most ... read more

Jim Minatel, an acquisitions editor at Wiley for one of my books, believes that Google's plan to turn web-crawling googlebots loose on print libraries is a clear violation of copyright. I'm not so sure. If I had a copy of the world's most useful computer book (let's call it Movable Type 3 Bible Desktop Edition), and I made a practice of sending one page of the book to people who asked a question answered by that page, would I be violating Wiley's copyright? Selective quotation of a book is fair use. Is repeated ... read more