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Discontinuing FeedBurner – Time To Update Your RSS Feed
|| 2/12/2010 || 12:27 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

No More FeedBurner

Back in September of 2009 I decided to try using FeedBurner for my blog’s RSS feed. For the most part I thought it worked fine, but that was until I posted the 1910 Newspaper Publication Calendars. Due to their size, they completely clogged up my blog RSS feed to the point where only two blog entries were syndicated during the entire month of January. Instead of arbitrarily limiting the size of my future blog entries, I’ve decided to just get rid of FeedBurner and go back to my original RSS feed system. Granted I might change this again sometime in the future, but for now you can resubscribe to:

http://www.nikolasschiller.com/blog/wp-rss2.php


I use Google Reader to read most blogs RSS feeds.



Did you notice? I switched over to FeedBurner. Eh.
|| 9/16/2009 || 9:03 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

FeedBurner is a blog feed management provider that was originally launched in 2004 and purchased by Google in 2007. It provides custom RSS feeds and management tools to bloggers, podcasters, and other web-based content publishers. Unlike the old system of scattered RSS feeds emanating from this website, by switching over to FeedBurner I can accurately see more information about who is reading my blog entries and possibly make a couple bucks by having Google AdSense ads served alongside my content.

I had thought about switching over to FeedBurner last year, but at the time I hadn’t signed up for AdSense and thought it was just a waste of time fooling with my RSS feeds. However, I was really curious to see exactly how many readers I had obtained over the years and this was the only option that I was aware of that provided this information. I know, for example, that my website receives hundreds and sometimes thousands of visitors each day and most of them simply transverse the archives and go on their merry way. But what about those who currently view my newest content through RSS and never visit my website? That is where FeedBurner comes in….

Last week I spent about 5 hours one evening trying to figure out a way to synch ALL of the feeds on this blog (each category used to have its own feed) with FeedBurner. After reading various blog entries about how other webmasters were able to manually edit their .htaccess code to redirect all of their RSS feeds to FeedBurner and was unable to get my mod rewrite to synch ALL the feeds properly, I gave up. But, alas, I didn’t fully give up, instead I just went with the basic WordPress Plugin that FeedBurner offers and it appears to have done the trick. I should have just gone the plugin route from the beginning, but eh, I wanted to see my own coding capabilities.

By testing the different available feeds in Google Reader, it appears that no matter what format readers were already subscribed to (RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, ATOM etc.) the feeds have properly synched with FeedBurner. This just means that if some day in the future I decide to not use FeedBurner, there will be little overall change to the current subscribers. Instead, only those who subscribed to FeedBurner itself will need to change their subscription method and all others will not really see much of a change (probably just no ads).

Nonetheless, if you haven’t yet, please adjust your RSS reader to be subscribed to:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/thedailyrender
Or you can just keep your subscription the same…..



Google Reader’s Featured Reading Lists: Where are the rest of the newspaper journalists?
|| 8/27/2009 || 7:51 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

After logging into Google Reader this afternoon, I was presented with a link that brought me to the page above. It features lists of blogs that journalists, foodies, and tech bloggers read. I decided to go through the entire listing and was struck by the fact that so many of the journalists are from the New York Times….


News:

  • Thomas Friedman, NY Times
  • Paul Krugman, NY Times
  • Nicholas Kristof, NY Times
  • Dexter Filkins, NY Times
  • Charles Blow, NY Times
  • Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post
  • Michelle Malkin, Hot Air
  • Patrick Ruffini, The Next Right
  • John Dickerson, Slate
  • Markos Moulitsas, Daily Kos

Tech and Web:

  • Chris Anderson, Wired
  • Adam Pash, Lifehacker
  • Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing
  • Alex Papadimoulis, The Daily WTF
  • Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land
  • Jason Kottke, Kottke.org
  • Annalee Newitz, io9
  • Meaghan O’Neill, TreeHugger.com & PlanetGreen.com
  • Ben Popken, The Consumerist

Food and Health:

  • Mark Bittman, NY Times
  • Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times
  • Béatrice Peltre, La Tartine Gourmande
  • Faith Durand, The Kitchn

Trends and Fashion:

  • Cathy Horyn, NY Times
  • Abby Gardner, Fashionista
  • Danielle de Lange, The Style Files
  • Carrie Leber, Bloomacious

I think the overall listing is decent, but what about journalists from other newspapers? Most of the journalists & bloggers listed above do not have a daily printed edition of their reporting. Only the New York Times has a daily printed edition. So what about the reporters from the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, etc., who have their writings published each day? I bet they read blogs too. The New York Times might be one of the best & largest daily newspapers in the country, but Google should have reached out for a wider range of journalists from other cities around America.



Analyzing my Facebook friends social behavior through Google Reader
|| 6/17/2009 || 3:16 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I haven’t written about Facebook since I created the group “Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro” back in February. Previous to that, the entries were related to my experiments using their internal advertising system (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) and prior to that, I briefly wrote about the Nexus application that shows the relationships & commonalities of my Facebook friends. Back in March of 2008, I had a little under 400 friends and since then I have gained over 600 new friends and now have a little more than 1,000 Facebook friends and they share a lot links.

A few months ago I discovered that I could subscribe to my friend’s shared links on Facebook through an RSS reader. I was attempting develop a means to synch up what I shared on Facebook with what I shared on this website and found that I could subscribe to what all my friends were sharing on Facebook. I had come to the conclusion that it was easier to share information through the Facebook platform than through this blog and I wanted to find a way that my shared links would show up here using my Daily Links concept. While I ultimately abandoned the effort (as well as the Daily Links concept), I kept my subscription active in Google Reader.

Today I decided to check out the statistics related to my Facebook friends shared link RSS feed. What I found was quite interesting….


The average links shared per week is a little over 574 “posts” (posts are technically individually shared links) and with a little over 1,000 friends, this would statistically translate to half of my friends share one link a week. However, from my experience, I would say that its probably 10% to 25% of my friends are active users who share links often and the rest are passive users or don’t use Facebook that much. To reach the number of 574 shared links per week, then in the last 30 days there was roughly 2300 links shared during the month (574 posts per week x 4 weeks = 2296.8 links per month), which translates to a little over 2 links per person per month. As far as the shape of the graph goes, like the traffic on this website, there is a seemingly up & down flow that I’ve found to correlate to how most people use the internet during the week and not using it during the weekend.

This screen grab shows something I wasn’t expecting. The time of day in which my friends share their links does not completely correlate to my initial notion that most people share links on Facebook only while at work. Instead the times in which my friends share the most links are around 10pm & 11pm at night; probably before they go to bed. However, judging by the 4pm & 5pm spikes in the number of shared links, I can deduce that people are sharing links more at the end of the work day than at the beginning. The spike at around 11am in the morning might indicate that people are using Facebook during their lunch break. In all, I think this graph is the most telling of the Facebook usage of my friends on-line social behavior.

Finally, this screen grab also shows shows the which day of the week my friends share the most links. This graph mimics the undulation shown on the Last 30 Days graphic above. Interestingly, Thursday edges out Wednesday as the most popular day and Tuesday is more popular than Friday. I personally expected Friday to be the day that the most links are share because in my experience it was the day of the week that required the least amount of work. At below 200 links, nearly half the amount for the other five days of the week, I was not surprised by the low number of links shared on the weekends. As I stated before, this mimics the traffic this website.


In summary, I find this type of information very interesting. I don’t think its that useful information for everyone because it only shows the on-line social behavior of my friends. Moreover, this information does not fully paint the entire picture of my friends Facebook usage. Status updates, uploaded photos, uploaded videos, and those stupid quizzes are not shown in these graphs; only the number of links that are being shared. However, I believe there are some general concepts that can possibly be extrapolated if you were to subscribe to your friend’s shared links.





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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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