You've got mail!

2009-06-19 | Category: General (47)

Now that our systems gives me some additional insight into user behaviour and statistics I started to send out mails to various users asking for their feedback (and I took the chance to beg for some recommendations in their favourite social networks :).

I was stunned about the amount of replies and luckily most of them were positive. Some people also contacted us on Twitter.

Here is some of the feedback (I skipped personal insults and MLM guys trying to sell us "I made $11.567,78 the last week and you can too!" e-books. Tweets are linked back, e-mails are mostly anonymized):

"Took me awhile to find the perfect fit for my site & your code is both easy to use and designer-customizable" - jasoncarpio (via Twitter)

"thank you very much! You provide a great service." - RayBeckerman (via Twitter, yes THE Ray Beckerman from http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/)

"I got your email and i really like rssinclude... fits in rather nicely seeing as im using wordpress and a traditional cms" - mattatobin (via Twitter)

"I got that sucker! And I will get you too if you don't stop buzzing around here." - BarackObama (via Twitter) (No, really, I didn't make this up. Believe me! I hope PETA comes to save me... *bzzzz*)

"I love your site. I sent you a message about how your feed generator can also embed video players right in the feed! Awesome! You should tell that to your sites visitors." - via e-mail

"Have created a site for a friend who has a farm in Italy and she's loving tweeting to the site and cant wait for it to go live. Cant in all honesty suggest any improvements/enhancements - it's great as is." - via e-mail

"It is great to see such customer service, even for free users." - via e-mail (Hey! This should not prevent you from upgrading to a Premium account!)

"Thank you for following up on my use of the Twitter rssbox. Firstly, I absolutely love it! Secondly, I love all the current customizations to the skin that can be created. If you haven't already seen it in action check out my site" - via e-mail

"Actually, I'd love to be able to mix up to three feeds in one box, being a small blog I can't really afford the premium package for it. Other than that, great service." - via e-mail

"Hey man, I think the service you offer is awesome! I have it on 2 sites, and will use it everytime I need to display my clients feeds in a structured manner. If I was gonna give you one thing to work it might be making a public plugin for wordpress so all the wordpress users out there could just plugin the mod. That would probably increase your traffic ten fold." - via e-mail (Nice idea, but our admin's afraid the server will burst into flames if our traffic ten-folds!)



If you would like to find your statement added here, please use our contact form our simply reply to the signup confirmation mail you got from us. Or you could just sit back and wait till I write you a mail...

Some limitations for free user accounts

2009-05-20 | Category: General (47)

About 6 weeks after launching this service we are still in the process of finding a good balance between free and paid services. Following the recommended book "What Would Google Do" by Jeff Jarvis our basic strategy is to offer as much as possible for free to gain  an ever growing user base.

But since we also offer paid services it is important for us to ensure continuous availability of our system for our Premium accounts. So we took a closer look into the data that we collected during the past weeks and decided to impose some additional limits to free user accounts to avoid a leech of system resources through individual users. This will only affect a very small percentage of current power users with an extraordinary (or should I say extreme) usage behavior.

Count your fingers! With immediate effect...
- 10 is the maximum number of RSSboxes in a free account
- 10 is the maximum number of news items in a free RSSbox

There is a simple and affordable way to get rid of this limitations: Upgrade your account to our Premium plan.

RSSbox optimized for Twitter

2009-05-14 | Category: General (47), Features (19)

Looks like Twitter is the biggest thing since growing your own vegetables in your garden. We thought it is time for some tribute and built an RSSbox especially for this service. Go forward, put this birdie in a cage and place it on your website.

The RSSbox for Twitter is optimized for user profile feeds but runs with search result feeds too. There are some improvements we have to add during the coming weeks but right now it works quite well.

One of the downsides is our systems average feed cache time of up to 60 minutes. So if your life depends on publishing your pacemaker malfunction on your website in real real-time you should probably go for another tool (e.g. Twitters own widgets).

Some examples:


BTW, you can use the box for any other feed too. May look a bit strange, but experiment and decide for yourself!

Before I forget: If you use and like our service, please twitter about us!
http://twitter.com/rssinclude_com

Twitter optimized RSSbox is coming!

2009-05-02 | Category: General (47), Features (19)

We are beta-testing a bunch of new RSSbox templates that will be available next weeks. Among them is an optimized template for the popular Twitter service.

Here is a preview:


Recent update and faster RSSbox delivery

2009-05-01 | Category: General (47), Features (19)

We updated the website to version 1.0.3 on Thursday to get rid of one of the biggest performance problems: the (partially) slow server response for RSSbox requests.

Before the update each RSSbox updated its feed content on request if it was older than 60 minutes. If the RSSbox contained multiple feeds or a feed on a slower server this could take several seconds, thus slowing down the loading speed of the embedding website.

Slow loading is history now. With a new caching system we fetch and prepare the content of all feeds in a continous background process. The rate of cache misses on box request decreased dramatically from around 4000 per day before the update to only 56 in total on Friday, the first full day after the update. This equates to about 0,06% of all requests.

So, if speed issues detained you from using an RSSbox for your live website - give it another try!

Swine Flu News - Humans get swine flu, too

2009-04-28 | Category: General (47), Case Studies (5)

I just discovered on of our RSSboxes on www.swine-flu.com.

This is a good example for the usage of our service for short-time, up-to-date information. swine-flu.com uses pheed.me to combine several feeds into one (pheed.me offers this service for free while we require a Premium account for multiple feeds in one RSSbox) and displays the resulting feed in an RSSbox.


I tried the same for a bunch of news feeds (using our own feed mix feature) and created the following, fondly colored RSSbox (color scheme inspired by Miss Piggy) with the extended tabloid template:

Swine Flu News - from various sources

Swine Flu Prevention Moves to the Slaughterhouse - Caixin Global

Swine Flu Prevention Moves to the Slaughterhouse    Caixin Global Swine Flu Prevention Moves to the Slaughterhouse.

H1N1 (swine flu) Vaccination Market is expected to grow exponentially in forecast period 2018- 2025 - Operanewsnow

H1N1 (swine flu) Vaccination Market is expected to grow exponentially in forecast period 2018- 2025    Operanewsnow Advance Market Analytics recently introduced Global H1N1 (swine flu) Va...

How a Measles Quarantine Can Lead to Eviction - The Atlantic

How a Measles Quarantine Can Lead to Eviction    The Atlantic In June 2014, Rex Archer, the director of health in Kansas City, Missouri, quarantined five families during a measles outbrea...

March reports more H1N1 cases, deaths than January - Times of India

March reports more H1N1 cases, deaths than January    Times of India AHMEDABAD: Even as summer has set in, the flow of swine flu cases have remained unabated in Gujarat. With 118 deaths t...

Indore: Three more die of H1N1, toll touches 40 - Times of India

Indore: Three more die of H1N1, toll touches 40    Times of India INDORE: Swine flu claimed three more lives raising death toll to 40 in last two and a half months.

With two more swine flu cases, number touches 54 in Bareilly - Times of India

With two more swine flu cases, number touches 54 in Bareilly    Times of India Bareilly: The swine flu cases continue to be reported in the district with 54 people being tested positive s...

Swine flu toll reaches 40 in Madhya Pradesh - indiablooms

Swine flu toll reaches 40 in Madhya Pradesh    indiablooms Indore, Mar 18 (UNI): With three more persons succumbing to swine flu in the past 24 hours, the toll – since Jan 1 – touched 40 ...

The R-M Archives: 2009: Obama era creates new hopes - Galesburg Register-Mail

The R-M Archives: 2009: Obama era creates new hopes    Galesburg Register-Mail About this column: The Register-Mail published its first edition April 1, 1927, after the merger of the Repu...

THE BORDER - Madison.com

THE BORDER    Madison.com TRUMP: "Since 1976, presidents have declared 59 national emergencies. ... The only emergency Congress voted to revoke was the one to protect our own ...

More playing: Google News feeds

2009-04-24 | Category: General (47), Case Studies (5)

After tinkering with Twitter yesterday I try to setup a nice RSSbox containing a Google News feed today. My keyword for the news search was "sullenberger", the first term that came into my mind - perhaps because I saw a documentary yesterday in austrian TV.

Google News feeds by default come with lots of overload. The description is built using tables, sometimes there is an image to the left of the news and often there are several links to related news beneath the article.

Without much formatting it looks like this:


Informative, but not very pretty. We are working on a special Google News Box which should fix most of this formatting problems.

Right now an option would be to remove HTML tags completely and limit the number of characters for the article to a fixed amount.

The result, using the Extended Table (Premium accounts only), could look like this:

Captain Chesley Sullenberger - Up-to-date Google News

The FAA responds to Capt. Sullenberger and what Kool-Aid and cigarettes have in common - MarketWatch

The FAA responds to Capt. Sullenberger and what Kool-Aid and cigarettes have in common    MarketWatch Happy Tuesday, MarketWatchers! Don't miss these top stories: Personal Finance. The physical and financial costs of extracurricular sports — and the potential ...

Capt. Sullenberger on the FAA and Boeing: ‘Our credibility as leaders in aviation is being damaged’ - MarketWatch

Capt. Sullenberger on the FAA and Boeing: ‘Our credibility as leaders in aviation is being damaged’    MarketWatch Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger: Where Boeing and the FAA Went Wrong in This 'Ugly Saga'    Barron's Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger Blames Boeing, FAA for 737 M...

FAA on Sullenberger criticisms of Boeing 737 Max: Certification process 'consistently produced safe aircraft designs' - Market Digest

FAA on Sullenberger criticisms of Boeing 737 Max: Certification process 'consistently produced safe aircraft designs'    Market Digest The Federal Aviation Administration responded to a MarketWatch article by Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger, which said Boeing and the FAA 'have been found wan...

VIDEO | The future of aviation according to Captain "Sully" Sullenberger - Fast Company

VIDEO | The future of aviation according to Captain "Sully" Sullenberger    Fast Company Better technology doesn't necessarily mean a better flying experience. The former airline captain shares his thoughts on the unpleasant parts of air travel, and ...

Letter: Vote American | Letters to the Editor - Virginian-Pilot

Letter: Vote American | Letters to the Editor    Virginian-Pilot Re: “Term limits needed” (letter, March 14): I want to suggest that we the people do not need a law to exercise term limits. If moderate bipartisan voters were ...

Boeing Upgrades Software on Crisis-Hit 737 MAX After Deadly Crash - INQUIRER.net

Boeing Upgrades Software on Crisis-Hit 737 MAX After Deadly Crash    INQUIRER.net Boeing is upgrading software on its 737 MAX, as French investigators scoured black box data from the latest of two deadly crashes involving the aircraft.

Sully Sullenberger Just Made Chilling Statements About the Boeing 737 MAX Crash. Other Pilots Disagree - Inc.

Sully Sullenberger Just Made Chilling Statements About the Boeing 737 MAX Crash. Other Pilots Disagree    Inc. Everyone is speculating what happened in the Ethiopian Airlines crash. That includes pilots.

There’s a reason why bad things happen to good airplanes - Miami Herald

There’s a reason why bad things happen to good airplanes    Miami Herald In the almost 10 years since Air France 447, a state-of-the-art Airbus crashed into the South Atlantic, there have been 52 fatal airline crashes that have taken ...

Hero 'Miracle on the Hudson' pilot blasts 'absurd' lack of training in wake of fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash - Fox News

Hero 'Miracle on the Hudson' pilot blasts 'absurd' lack of training in wake of fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash    Fox News The hero "Miracle on the Hudson" pilot who a decade ago shot to fame when he was able to safely land US Airways Flight 1549 following a bird strike on the ...


Less media, more content. Still not really good, but looks more consistent.


Testing around with Twitter feeds

2009-04-23 | Category: General (47)

i just played around with Twitter again but I guess I am just not the kind of person who pushes his life online every few minutes.

Nevertheless I tried to create an RSSbox displaying my Twitter feed. This is where two weak points met. On the one hand we have the Twitter feed which doubles every message by repeating the same text in the item title and description.

On the other side our RSSbox templates can not hide the description text right now. This leads to a strange result that looks kind of buggy to me. See for yourself:

Twitter / rssinclude_com

RT @DavidBlueW: Loving embedding RSS into my website and blogs using @rssinclude_com totally coool!

RT @DavidBlueW: Loving embedding RSS into my website and blogs using @rssinclude_com totally coool!

40% of our output servers are transferred into the Amazon cloud now - already delivering up to 70 RSSboxes per second. http://t.co/4pW0U1LS

40% of our output servers are transferred into the Amazon cloud now - already delivering up to 70 RSSboxes per second. http://t.co/4pW0U1LS

We just switched our output servers http://t.co/cInnOYVL to http://t.co/nwk881Kk into the Amazon cloud. Everything up and running fine...

We just switched our output servers http://t.co/cInnOYVL to http://t.co/nwk881Kk into the Amazon cloud. Everything up and running fine...

@mr_omneo the $59.88 includes 20% VAT. If you have a EU VAT ID (or are outside the EU) the annual fee is only $49.90 #rssinclude

@mr_omneo the $59.88 includes 20% VAT. If you have a EU VAT ID (or are outside the EU) the annual fee is only $49.90 #rssinclude

RT @codemakit: Thanks to http://www.rssinclude.com/ now simultaneous feeds on our blogs will be available to our homepage http://www.cod ...

RT @codemakit: Thanks to http://www.rssinclude.com/ now simultaneous feeds on our blogs will be available to our homepage http://www.cod ...


Looks like the RSSbox knows that my brain needs everything repeated twice before understanding it. Ask my wife!

This is a definite flaw. Options to show/hide title, description, date and author of each item will be added next week.

if you want to follow my tweets:
http://twitter.com/rssinclude_com

Signal vs. Noise - 37signals.com

2009-04-21 | Category: Feeds we like (3)

A weblog by 37signals about design, business, experience, simplicity, the web, culture, and more. An inspiring feed I read daily.

The box below was created with the Extended Tabloid template, set to 1 column and 3 rows.

Signal vs. Noise

Basecamp outage: When it rains, it pours

From 2:13am GMT March 13 / 9:13pm Central March 12 until around 4:10am GMT / 11:10pm Central, Basecamp 3 was mostly offline and Basecamp 2 unable to process file uploads and downloads, as our cloud storage provider had a severe, sustained outage.  We continued to have minor disruptions in service from 4:10am GMT / 11:10pm […]

The 3 most effective ways to build trust as a leader

Based on data from 597 people, the best ways to build trust as a leader aren’t what you think they are. How do you build trust as a leader? The answer seems intuitive enough. For many of us, we hold company off-sites and run team-building activities. Informal lunches, monthly social get-togethers, and one-on-one meetings are part of […]

Hiring Is Not Hazing

Why are manhole covers round? How many golf balls can fit in a 747? Why are job interviews so terrible? In the latest episode of the Rework podcast, Aja Hammerly, a developer advocate at Google, talks about the drawbacks of common tech interview techniques like whiteboard coding and trivia questions, and shares her tips for […]


And here the same feed in a more compact form. Extended tabloid, 4x4 cells, title and description shortened and all HTML stripped.

Signal vs. Noise

Basecamp outage: Whe...

From 2:13am GMT March 13 / 9:13pm Central March 12 until around 4:10am GMT / 11:10pm Central, Baseca...

The 3 most effective...

Based on data from 597 people, the best ways to build trust as a leader aren’t what you think they a...

Hiring Is Not Hazing

Why are manhole covers round? How many golf balls can fit in a 747? Why are job interviews so terrib...

Basecamp 2 and Basec...

From 4:30am GMT March 7 / 10:30pm Central March 6 until 1:02pm GMT / 7:02am Central, Basecamp 2...

Design lesson: Consi...

CONSISTENCY When looking at a single screen, the button shape and centering is consistent. Further, ...

Delegate outcomes, n...

When it comes to delegating, invite your team into both the thinking and the doing. Do you cons...

New in Basecamp: Get...

Basecamp 3’s to-do lists keep you in the loop when you’re working closely with other members of your...

Remote Work: Extreme...

In the latest episode of the Rework podcast, we place a long-distance phone call to Antarctica to ch...

The Anti-Mentor

A bad boss shapes our leadership style more than we realize. Who’s the worst boss you ever had? Your...

Protecting Basecamp ...

Did you receive this email from us today? Subject: Basecamp 3 security alert: You must set a new pas...

Feed caching & loading time

2009-04-19 | Category: General (47), Features (19)


ATTENTION: The information below is outdated! Caching has been improved big times and box delivery is fast as lightning in 99,9% percent of all requests! (This note added on 27th May, 2009)


It's the question most asked by mail or through our contact form:

Why does my RSSbox sometimes need longer to load than usually?

The answer can be found in the way our system stores feed content in its internal cache. If you create a RSSbox and add a feed, the system first fetches this feed, dumps all unneeded ballast, converts RSS or Atom XML into its own format and stores the result in cache.

Cache time is usually about 60 minutes. So while most of the time a requested RSSbox is delivered within 1/20 of a second, every once in an hour the new feed content has to be fetched from the feed URL. And this can take some time, depending on the speed of the server hosting the feed, it's connection speed, the route between our and the other server and so on.

Most of time it takes only about 1 second to update the feed, store it in cache and return the new RSSbox. But if the other servers reaction is extremly slow or you mix several feeds into one RSSbox (Premium feature) this time can sum up to some seconds.

We are working on a new caching algorithm which updates the feed cache independent from the actual request for a RSSbox. This will eliminate the feed fetch waiting time before the box can be returned. It will  take some more testing till we can put this new feature cache online, but it will reduce delivery time significantly.