BBC opens RSS feeds to commercial websites

The BBC has made its RSS feeds available to commercial Web sites to use on their pages without any contractual obligations, according to a report from Digital Lifestyles. According to Pete Clifton, editor of the BBC’s news website,

“Liberating the availability of our content for re-use is an important step for the BBC. We’ve been a bit cautious about it up to now but there’s a real demand for us to provide this service. If we are to build public value it’s important that we respond to this demand.”

Should an avatar read your blog? Not yet

The multimedia advances on the Web are great. I’m a daily devotee of Rocketboom. I download jam band concerts (legally) using BitTorrent. The way I feel about podcasting should be pretty obvious. But not every multimedia development is a good idea.

I tried a NewsBot today. The creation of UK-based Advanced Chatbot Solutions (ACS), NewsBots are virtual newscasters, animated avitars that read a RSS feeds using text-to-voice capabilities. The result is in effective and somewhat disturbing. More to the point, though, it defeats the benefits of reading text on a web page.

When I get to a web page—whether it’s a blog or a news site—I scan… Read More »

RSS directory opens

RSS Network is open for business. From NotePage, Inc.—the company behind the RSS feed creation tool FeedForAll—RSS Network is a directory of feeds combined with an RSS feed search engine. The directory isn’t complete—would you expect it to be, given the ballooning number of feeds available? I did a vanity search and found “For Immediate Release,” the podcast I produce with Neville Hobson, but not this blog. Still, the idea of a directory is a good one and the categories are broad, covering topics from animals (cats, dogs, horses, livestock, etc.) and law enforcement to health and art. Of course, as you’d expect, categories for business,… Read More »

The Hobson & Holtz Report - Podcast #31: May 9, 2005

Content summary: Listeners’ comments (on being talked about at the New York geek dinner, sound clip joke, URL misdirecting to Microsoft home page, making PR accessible, podcasts and Podscope); what Paris Hilton could have done with her podcast; the occasional conflict between corporate communications and marketing; political podcast interviews at the UK general election; retrofitting blogs and podcasts into communication strategies; how to measure internal communication; Rocketboom and attitude.

Show notes for May 9, 2005

download mp3 podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 66-minute conversation recorded live from… Read More »

Beware the Google Web Accelerator

If you or your company have a Web site, you need to read this thread on the Google Web Accelerator and the havoc it can cause to you and anyone using your site, particularly if your site incorporates any Web applications. Here’s the heart of the matter:

The accelerator scours a page and prefetches the content behind each link. This gives the illusion of pages loading faster (since they???ve already been pre-loaded behind the scenes). Here???s the problem: Google is essentially clicking every link on the page ??? including links like ???delete this??? or ???cancel that.??? And to make matters worse, Google ignores the Javascript…

Read More »

A new approach to cell phone text

Being a proud and dedicated early adopter, I read a couple books on my Palm when Palm-enabled books first became available. I didn’t like it. The constant scrolling was particularly troublesome; it was sometimes downright nauseating. (I guess that could have been the book making me queasy, but I don’t think so.) The text was tiny; if I enlarged it, I had to scroll even more. I finally dismissed the idea of reading lengthy text on the Palm, and now that my Palm is integrated with my cell phone, the screen is even smaller and the notion of reading long articles or books even less appealing.

But I just finished reading about BuddyBuzz,… Read More »

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