30 June 2005

Rmail and Gmail, or how to collect the world

Rmail was puzzling me for a while. It’s a free service which allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds and it will email you the latest entries. Now this is cool, but why would anyone want this? If you want to read your feeds offline any Feedreader will do without cluttering your inbox. If you are online anyways Bloglines or Rojo probably do a better job.

But throw in Gmail with its advanced search possibilities into the mix, and what you get is a personalized and searchable repository of your favorite ressources.

Two things are good to know:

(1) Gmail supports the “+” addressing scheme which gives you unlimited unique addresses (yourname+whatever@gmail.com) for a single Gmail account (yourname@gmail.com).

(2) Gmail allows you to create filters based on rules you can define.

So if you subscribe to how to save the world in Rmail using the email address yourname+howtosavetheworld@gmail.com and you define a filter in Gmail labeling it correspondingly and archiving it immediately, you start to collect one of the finest ressources around without further intervention. Subscribe to 50 or 1000 more feeds and wait for a year or two, and you’ll have built a handselected pool of interesting stuff…

26 June 2005


This posting by Jon Udell inspired me to take a look at which del.icio.us users share a similar bookmarking space with me. It’s quite a few (1 or more: 35000, 10 or more: 6300, 50 or more: 290).

Here’s a list of deliciens who point to their blogs who have 75 or more bookmarks in common with me:

43 Folders
actual size
Angus Fraser
Bibi’s Box
Korean Jurist
Kevin Wen
Lisa McMillan
marc’s non-blog…
Neuromancer in Savannah
Peter Cooper
Stu’s Weblog
the institute of hybernautics
Tournez les boutons
Triple Entendre

24 June 2005

How a wiki makes me fat

Over the last couple of days I find myself preparing (and eating) peanut butter sandwiches all the time. OK, that’s not really newsworthy, but usually I never ever buy peanut butter. Yet a few days ago I subcounsciously headed for the peanut butter in the supermarket, and I’m hooked ever since. I didn’t give this sudden addiction any second thought, even if my regular diet is basically a rotation within a kind of limited subset of dishes I cook or junk-food I like or cafes I visit – tastes do change over time and sometimes I add something to my food portfolio or kick something out.

Then I stumbled upon a treemap of the most popular links in del.icio.us and spotted the Peanut Butter Wiki at the bottom of the map:

I use this (free and really easy to set up and use) wiki for about three weeks now, but after registration you are never confronted with the term peanut butter any more (it’s pbwiki then), so I missed this obvious trigger for my peanut gusto. But there is this little icon at the top of each page, staring at you all the time:

I wonder if this subliminal manipulation would work too, if the wiki would be called garbage soup wiki?

24 June 2005

Dead Man Blogging

How lovely: the diaries of Austrian writer Franz Kafka (written between 1910 and 1923) are now republished as blog (both in German and English).

(via Spreeblick)

23 June 2005

How to Browse Your Furl Archive Locally

One of the nicest features of Furl (if you don’t use it you might want to check it out – in a nutshell: it allows you to save and annotate any webpage keeping it accessible even when the original is gone) is that you can download the archive of your furled pages.

The only problem is that the filenames of your pages are rather insignificant (80000/1/1/80000_1761411.html).

Here is one easy way to create a locally browsable view of your Furl archive:

(1) grab and extract the Zip archive of your saved documents
(2) grab the Furl XML format for saved documents and change two lines
(3) grab a XSLT stylesheet (don’t worry)
(4) open in browser

in Furl go to My Tools – Export (see the pic above);
right click Zip archive of your saved documents and save it to your disk;
extract the files;

still in My Tools – Export (left-) click on Furl XML format and save the result (which will look odd) as furl.xml to your disk;
open it and change the first two lines from

<?xml version="1.0" standalone="no" ?>
<!DOCTYPE archive SYSTEM "http://www.furl.net/archive.dtd">


<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<?xml-stylesheet href="furl2html.xsl" type="text/xsl" ?>

right click this XSLT stylesheet and save it as furl2html.xsl;

open furl.xml in your browser (there is one caveat: the browser should be able to handle XSLT. Firefox does, Safari doesn’t, I’m not sure with IE.)

you should see a beautiful list of all your furled pages which you can take on the road or wherever you go ;)

23 June 2005

Burn Holy Feed Burn

I’m testdriving Feedburner for the RSS feed of this blog, I hope I didn’t break anything. Please let me know if you experience any problems.

22 June 2005

Tagged Jobs and other Things

Final post on tagged somethings (see sounds, feeds, coffee shops, code, news) – del.icio.us is just merciless in popping up new webbased services utilizing the metaphor tagging every day, it really doesn’t make any sense replicating them all here again… (see http://del.icio.us/tag/tagging+application):

Jobazaar: tagged jobs
CommonTunes: free tagged music
CommonBits: free tagged multimedia content
Dailymotion: tagged home-made videos

20 June 2005

Free Tagged Sounds

Gee, given the number of tag-based applications I mentioned here recently, I really should consider renaming this blog to something like Tag before you Think!, anyway:

the freesound project, which aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, ... released under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus License, also provides tags as one channel for assigning (meta-)information or associations to the individual samples (and browse all samples by tag respectively). Flickr for sounds.

19 June 2005


Good ideas are usually pretty obvious, yet no one had thought about it (or acted upon it) before. yubnub from Jon Aquino is the result of one of those shiny moments. It’s a (social) command-line for the web, which means that you don’t click your way through the various webservices you might use anymore, but learn a few commands and trigger the services by typing the corresponding command withing your browser (and hit enter).

This is really fun (and a great timesafer), and there are tons of commands available already (the golden eggs are the most popular ones), but if you are missing something you also can generate your own.

16 June 2005

Next Action Balls 13

current snapshot of my next action balls basket

Well, after quite some time taking an almost exclusively paper based / analog approach for organizing my work-, info-, and data flows, the more toolish parts of my brain started feeling itchy and scratchy, and I started to use a few applications again (Basecamp, local Wikis, and most enjoyably Edward Vielmetti’s shuffle theory of management suite.) Hence the basket was closed for a while.

10 June 2005

Tagged Coffee Shops

Speaking of Tagged Code Snippets… – just spotted at O’Reilly Radar: CafeSpot (a social guide to independent cafes, coffee shops, restaurants and more).

Here’s a (somehow symptomatic) snapshot of the current tags applied:

acoustic american art atmosphere australia bakery bar bbq beans beautiful beef beer beergeek blues books brazilian breakfast burgers burrito cafe cajun canberra cheap chill chinese christian cityscape coffe coffee coffeehouse cool corona cosy couches creole dayold dessert desserts dimsum diner dodon donmono eastvillage espresso ethiopian events fair fairtrade family film food free freewifi french friendly games german gourmet greek heineken henninger hippy hotspot icecream inside italian japanese jazz juice kaffe kierland knitting korean_bbq lattemachiato livemusic lobster lounge lunch magazines meals mexican mic microbrew music noodles nowifi ochaduke open organic outside panini pastries patio peking_duck persian pizza poetry portland pub salad sandwich sandwiches secret shambhala singlemalt slow small smoking smokingroom smoothie soup soy speech steak students style suiryumon sushi taiwanese thai trade travel trident tv used vegan vegetarian vietnamese whiskey wifi wine zone

9 June 2005

Technorati Makeover

Technorati obviously took a good look at the webapps from 37signals and the like and released a fresh new Public Beta.

One great improvement is that you are now able to access not only the very latest results for any (keyword, URL, or tag-based) query you’ve made, but to specify an offset or to page back within the results. E.g. http://beta.technorati.com/tag/Technorati and http://beta.technorati.com/tag/Technorati?start=200 – see the bottom of the page (this feature actually was available before, but only if you used the Technorati API.)

Another cool new feature is the extented Option Panel you can access here or whenever you click on ‘> Options’.

9 June 2005

Tagged Feed Items

Part Three of an unwanted triptych on tagged things (see Tagged Code Snippets and Tagged Coffee Shops) but too good to be true (if you are infected by the tagging virus): Gregarius.

Gregarius is a web-based RSS/RDF/ATOM feed aggregator (...) designed to run on your web server, allowing you to access your news sources from wherever you want, the installation is painless (you need the usual Apache/PHP/MySQL setup), and what you get is a beautiful looking Newsreader with a few goodies:

9 June 2005

Tagged Code Snippets

Another webapp leveraging the power of tags: (Code) Snippets

Snippets is a public code repository. You can easily add code to your personal collection of code snippets, categorize your code snippets with keywords (known as ‘tags’), and share your snippets via this site.

6 June 2005

delicious again

del.icio.us moved to new servers and seems to be back to glorious old speed. It’s a free (and insanely great) service, and it’s run on limited resources, so I try to resist any demands (for speed,...) and make the best of the features available, but waiting for 10 or 20 seconds for del.icio.us to respond was an exercise in patience and zen lately.

Some fresh features:

4 June 2005

Movable Typed

Checking out webapps kind of weekend:

I can’t recall why, but for whatever reason I had the preconception that the blog publishing system Movable Type is both complicated and costly. A friend asked me to evaluate it, and its actually free for personal use and really easy to set up and use. Textpattern remains to be my favorite, but if you are looking for a more fully fledged and one click control panel, Movable Type is definitively worth a look.

Also signed up for Backpack and Basecamp, two web based applications from the user interface and webflow wizards from 37signals. There’s tons of coverage in the blogo sphere.

And there is the PeanutButterWiki (Make a free, password protected wiki as easily as a peanut butter sandwich.) – getting a Wiki never has been easier before. Really.

3 June 2005

Unique Information Proposition

Amazon started to display SIPs (Statistically Improbable Phrases) for books. In a nutshell: the SIPs for a book is a collection of terms or phrases within this book which are most unique in comparison to all other books (see Amazons definition here).

The SIPs for Getting Things Done for instance are: your open loops, nonactionable items, natural planning model, next physical action, defining your work, your action lists, reference filing, action reminders, organizing you, collection buckets, daily files, tickler file, mind like water, project thinking

- which actually isn’t that bad and would make a great reference for picking essential but not utterly obvious tags for various resources, if this service would be available for them as well. (SIPs for e.g. Blogs would be great.)

via del.icio.us/plasticbag