Official Second Life blog picks up RSS NewsScreens and blogHUD!

So, there I was last night,hanging around on the ‘RSS Platform’ in Nooribeom, watching the fearsome news of the ‘Real World’ fly by, when none other than Hamlet Au, the ‘embedded journalist’ in Second Life (though not at Linden Lab any more) on New World Notes dropped by to check out the BBC NewsScreens I set up here. There’s a CNN one nearby too, by the way – next to the ‘River of News’ :) The screens read a list of feeds and loop through them, 10 stories at a time.
The good thing about the BBC News ones are the feed content has specific limits in the text entries. I happen to know that this is due to the journalists having to write stories which can run across many platforms. They have strict limits to the amount of characters for the headline and description text. This increases their value. On platforms with different text and size/resolution constraints, Flash is excellent at dealing with this, as you can embed fonts and that it is a ‘vector-based’ format, meaning you can stretch it any way you like and you will not lose resolution. At any size, if you do it right.

Second Life and the LSL scripting language presents many opportunities for an old skool web hack createc like myself. I frequently tell people that SL makes me feel as excited as I did when I first saw the web over 10 years ago. ;) And no, it wasn’t for all the adult content (though be aware that most technology developed for the adult industry ends up revolutionising the mainstream in some way) it was for the ability to communicate with other people all around the world. Connect them. Network with them. And even meet them sometimes. (I’m still great friends with a couple in New Jersey who were the first people I met through the internet 12 years ago, through a mutual appreciation of the band ‘The Stone Roses‘. I met my partner online too. 8 years ago!)

With easy tools to publish content, media, whatever you want to call it, along with easy ways do consume, organise, filter and rate it it, there you have it. Bingo moment. Democratisation of media. Open mashable consumption by an constantly evolving , iterative audience.

I heart feeds. ;) Thanks Dave.

Want to build an ‘OPML Tree’?

How Microsoft could win the portable player game

I think this looks like a great product.

I hope it can read an RSS feed directly over that WiFi (like a PSP can)! So I can download podcasts too, over the connection (like PSP can).

As well as wifi connectivity (for download) the killer app, for me, would be the ability to record AND upload too. This could be based on something like Nokias old uploader api (which was very easy to implement in any scripting language). Or a simple/simplified ftp client.

If they (MS) offered storage too, along with their desktop client/shop/aggregator based on the account, then they would have it all wrapped up.

Location agnostic consuming and publishing – desktop or mobile device – listening, viewing, subscribing etc. All synced up the next time the device links to the desktop. Full of real statistics, linkage and relevance.

Bingo! You’d have it all.

THEN if your reading AND writing/publishing tools support the core content and organisation XML standards for podcasts of RSS and OPML, PLUS additional support for microformats such as FOAF etc AND OTHER community APIS (though this could be done by any developer community or group of widgetwelders)

If Microsoft did this, they would win – imho

By ‘closing the content loop’ (by effectively flipping one end and connecting it to the other) – publish to receive : AND discover/navigate : subscribe , it would be like APple where things ‘seem’ to be locked in, they wuold have the opportunity to turn the whole network inside out, exposing all the data needed – all the ‘neural’ connections – all the paths, all the people and all the content.

This would ‘connect’ the owners of such devices to eachother, creating the community feel, but also prove they are not going to create a ‘walled garden’ of content – for devices that don’t know (much) about anything else.

[given that i am talking about ‘open’ podcasts here – user generated (argh) – as opposed to music/video/protected shopping/purchases with their own DRM.]

You don’t have to be able to read the ZUNESTONES to see it. Do you?
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ps: When are Google or Yahoo! going to produce a device? They should! ;)

pps: people who know me personally, will know that I am a huge love love and passionate user of gadgets. I have been on this crusade for a while. ;)