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

Khan: Health minister caused swine flu panic - Trinidad News

Khan: Health minister caused swine flu panic    Trinidad News FORMER health minister Dr Fuad Khan has accused Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh of unnecessarily alarming the population ...

Grady’s ER trailer returns to combat flu - Atlanta Journal Constitution

Grady’s ER trailer returns to combat flu    Atlanta Journal Constitution The flu is back in Georgia, and so is Grady Memorial Hospital's emergency room trailer. Lab tests have confirmed f...

High-level meeting on Swine flu held - Daily Pioneer

High-level meeting on Swine flu held    Daily Pioneer To take stock of the Swine flu alarm, the additional secretary Yugal Kishore Pant and DG Health convened a meeting with the experts t...

BJP president Amit Shah admitted to AIIMS for swine flu treatment - Economic Times

BJP president Amit Shah admitted to AIIMS for swine flu treatment    Economic Times BJP chief Amit Shah suffering from swine flu, admitted to AIIMS    Times of India ...

50-yr-old woman dies of swine flu in Amritsar - Business Standard

50-yr-old woman dies of swine flu in Amritsar    Business Standard Read more about 50-yr-old woman dies of swine flu in Amritsar on Business Standard. A 50-year-old woman has died of swin...

3 swine flu deaths, 10 confirmed cases in January cause scare in Ambala division - Times of India

3 swine flu deaths, 10 confirmed cases in January cause scare in Ambala division    Times of India AMBALA: As many as seven patients have been tested positive for swine flu while three de...

Trinidad run low on swine flu vaccine - St. Lucia News Online

Trinidad run low on swine flu vaccine    St. Lucia News Online January 16, 2019. Share This On: Share3 · Tweet · Pin · +1 · Share. 3 Shares. District Medical Officer Dr Clement Ragobar pr...

Swine Flu worry resurfaces in Vizag as three members get hospitalised - YoVizag

Swine Flu worry resurfaces in Vizag as three members get hospitalised    YoVizag The worries of swine flu seem to be resurfacing in Vizag with three members of a family being diagnosed wi...

Mass administration of Swine Flu vaccine too expensive – Minister Cummings - Stabroek News

Mass administration of Swine Flu vaccine too expensive – Minister Cummings    Stabroek News Guyana's fight against the H1N1 Virus also known as Swine Flu will be primarily focused on non-...

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:

Google News about Captain Sullenberger

10 Years After His Hudson Landing, 'Sully' Sullenberger Asks People To Share Their Own #MiracleMoment - Comic Sands

10 Years After His Hudson Landing, 'Sully' Sullenberger Asks People To Share Their Own #MiracleMoment   Comic Sands

Legendary pilot, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his miracle landing by asking people to share their own ...

Passengers from Hudson River crash take flight again - CNN

Passengers from Hudson River crash take flight again   CNN

Ten years after US Airways Flight 1549 was forced to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River, passengers on board the flight reunited to celebrate the ...

Mark Patinkin: R.I. boat captain recalls his role in Miracle on the Hudson rescue - The Providence Journal

Mark Patinkin: R.I. boat captain recalls his role in Miracle on the Hudson rescue   The Providence Journal

Carl Lucas, who lives in South Kingstown but was working on the Hudson River when a US Airways flight ditched in the river, says training was key to success.


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

10 Years After His Hudson Landing, 'Sully' Sullenberger Asks People To Share Their Own #MiracleMoment - Comic Sands

10 Years After His Hudson Landing, 'Sully' Sullenberger Asks People To Share Their Own #MiracleMoment    Comic Sands Legendary pilot, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his miracle landing by asking people to share their own ...

Passengers from Hudson River crash take flight again - CNN

Passengers from Hudson River crash take flight again    CNN Ten years after US Airways Flight 1549 was forced to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River, passengers on board the flight reunited to celebrate the ...

Mark Patinkin: R.I. boat captain recalls his role in Miracle on the Hudson rescue - The Providence Journal

Mark Patinkin: R.I. boat captain recalls his role in Miracle on the Hudson rescue    The Providence Journal Carl Lucas, who lives in South Kingstown but was working on the Hudson River when a US Airways flight ditched in the river, says training was key to success.

US Airways Flight 1549, Miracle on the Hudson, Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, Sully, Hudson River - Charlotte Observer

US Airways Flight 1549, Miracle on the Hudson, Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, Sully, Hudson River    Charlotte Observer The flight crew and passengers of US Airways Flight 1549, the Miracle on the Hudson, gathered in Charlotte to remember and celebrate the 10th anniversary of ...

Complaint: Coach told abuse victims no one would believe them - ABC27

Complaint: Coach told abuse victims no one would believe them    ABC27 A Carlisle softball coach accused of sexually or indecently assaulting four girls during private hitting lessons told his victims to keep quiet about the abuse ...

Preventing another 'Miracle on the Hudson' emergency as 10th anniversary of rescue nears - WVTM13

Preventing another 'Miracle on the Hudson' emergency as 10th anniversary of rescue nears    WVTM13 Ten years after what came to be known as the "Miracle on the Hudson," it's still amazing that everyone aboard US Airways Flight 1549 survived. This week marks ...

It's the 10th anniversary of the 'Miracle on the Hudson.' Here's what we've learned since. - Popular Science

It's the 10th anniversary of the 'Miracle on the Hudson.' Here's what we've learned since.    Popular Science A new documentary from the Smithsonian Channel will show how wildlife biologists pieced together the events leading up to the “Miracle on the Hudson,” and ...

10 questions for Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger on 10th anniversary of emergency landing on Hudson River - WTNH.com

10 questions for Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger on 10th anniversary of emergency landing on Hudson River    WTNH.com A decade after successfully landing a crippled US Airways jet on an icy slice of the Hudson River straddling New York and New Jersey, Capt. Chesley ...

N.Y. Today: New Doubts About That Plan to Save the L Train - The New York Times

N.Y. Today: New Doubts About That Plan to Save the L Train    The New York Times [Want to get New York Today by email? Here's the sign-up.] It's Tuesday. The old Tappan Zee Bridge will be partially blown up around 10 a.m. The demolition ...


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

How to: Back-to-top button without scroll events

Web developers: here’s an alternative way to build UI features that rely on scroll position without actually observing scroll events. Using the Intersection Observer API we can know when an element enters or leaves the viewport and respond in a way that’s much more performant. It’s a very, very, bad idea to attach handlers to the […]

Why I ignore the design industry on purpose

I’ve been a designer for nearly twenty years now (😮), with the last seven years spent happily at Basecamp. I enjoy my work and I care about it a lot. Since I’ve been doing this for a long time, occasionally people ask me to predict next year’s big trends, or reflect on some industry controversy […]


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

How to: Back-to-top ...

Web developers: here’s an alternative way to build UI features that rely on scroll position without ...

Why I ignore the des...

I’ve been a designer for nearly twenty years now (😮), with the last seven years spent happily at Bas...

Signal v Noise exits...

Three years ago we embraced an exciting new publishing platform called Medium. It felt like a new st...

Big Integer

On Thursday, November 8, Basecamp 3 went down for almost five hours. It was the worst outage to hit ...

Every little bit hel...

Quitting Facebook. Renouncing Uber. Avoiding Amazon. There have never been more or greater reasons f...

Down in front!

Doug gets it, most don’t. Look around YouTube at car reviews, and you’ll see a lot of people st...

True brand awareness

It’s been said that your name is your favorite word. Likewise, a brand’s name is its favorite word. ...

Become A Facebook-Fr...

If Facebook’s endless privacy scandals have shown one thing, it’s that the company has far too much ...

How about fixing the...

Oh those superhuman CEOs who get up at 4am for that killer start to the day! Aren’t they just amazin...

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.