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

This RSS feed URL is deprecated

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

40-year-old woman tests positive for swine flu - The Tribune

The Tribune 40-year-old woman tests positive for swine flu The Tribune The district recorded the season's third case of swine flu on Monday. A 40-yea...

Swine flu alert in Vizag - Telangana Today

Swine flu alert in Vizag Telangana Today Visakhapatnam: District Collector Pravin Kumar, on Monday urged private hospitals in the district to take all measures to...

Three die of suspected swine flu in Kanniyakumari district - The Hindu

Three die of suspected swine flu in Kanniyakumari district The Hindu NAGERCOIL. Three persons from Kanniyakumari district, who had been admitted to different hosp...

HC seeks report on dengue, swine flu - The Hindu - The Hindu

Business Standard HC seeks report on dengue, swine flu - The Hindu The Hindu MADURAI The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday directed the...

Actor Saravanan admitted in hospital with swine flu - Times of India

Times of India Actor Saravanan admitted in hospital with swine flu Times of India Actor Saravanan, who was recently seen in Nayanthara's Kolamaavu Kok...

Don't worry about swine flu spread, says official - The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express Don't worry about swine flu spread, says official The New Indian Express VIJAYAWADA: “People of Andhra Pradesh need not worry...

With 11-yr-old's death, swine flu toll touches 12 at Madurai GRH - The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express With 11-yr-old's death, swine flu toll touches 12 at Madurai GRH The New Indian Express MADURAI/THENI/VIRUDHUNAGAR: Swine flu ...

Swine flu outbreak: Tamil Nadu well-stocked on medicine - The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express Swine flu outbreak: Tamil Nadu well-stocked on medicine The New Indian Express CHENNAI: Oseltamivir, the drug of choice for tre...

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

This RSS feed URL is deprecated

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Those Legendary Republicans of Yore, Beloved of the Media - The Weekly Standard


The Weekly Standard

Those Legendary Republicans of Yore, Beloved of the Media
The Weekly Standard
Sullenberger may have genuinely believed that his account of awakening, conversion, and repentance was a novelty—that is certainly the way it was reported in the press and disseminated on social media—but in the pages of the Post, especially, this is ...

'Sully' Sullenberger: We saved 155 lives on the Hudson Rivers. Now let's vote for leaders who'll protect us all. - Salisbury Post


Salisbury Post

'Sully' Sullenberger: We saved 155 lives on the Hudson Rivers. Now let's vote for leaders who'll protect us all.
Salisbury Post
By Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III. Special to The Washington Post. Nearly 10 years ago, I led 154 people to safety as the captain of US Airways Flight 1549, which suffered bird strikes, lost thrust in the engines and was forced to make an ...
Talk of the Town: Heed the words of 'Sully': Today, vote as an American The Daily Courier

all 3 news articles »


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

This RSS feed URL is deprecated

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Those Legendary Republicans of Yore, Beloved of the Media - The Weekly Standard

The Weekly Standard Those Legendary Republicans of Yore, Beloved of the Media The Weekly Standard Sullenberger may have genuinely believed that his account of awakening, conversion, and repentance was a novelty—that is certainly the way it was rep...

'Sully' Sullenberger: We saved 155 lives on the Hudson Rivers. Now let's vote for leaders who'll protect us all. - Salisbury Post

Salisbury Post 'Sully' Sullenberger: We saved 155 lives on the Hudson Rivers. Now let's vote for leaders who'll protect us all. Salisbury Post By Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III. Special to The Washington Post. Nearly 10 years ago, I led 154...

Capt. Sullenberger: I've never been more concerned about this country's future - MarketWatch

MarketWatch Capt. Sullenberger: I've never been more concerned about this country's future MarketWatch That's how Sullenberger, a Republican for almost his entire life, responded when asked over the weekend what he would say to President Donald Trum...

Capt. Sullenberger: Vote against Republican control - Yahoo News

Yahoo News Capt. Sullenberger: Vote against Republican control Yahoo News Capt. Sully Sullenberger has a message for the American people: "everyone, everywhere must vote." Capt. Sully urges voters to save our democracy from a President that is not c...

Thanks for the reminder, Mr. Sullenberger - Washington Post

Thanks for the reminder, Mr. Sullenberger Washington Post Thanks to Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III for his Oct. 30 op-ed, “This is not the America I know.” Mr. Sullenberger reminded us that “when we project anger, fear and hatred, people will re...

'Miracle on the Hudson' pilot: 'The fabric of our nation is under attack' - CNN

CNN 'Miracle on the Hudson' pilot: 'The fabric of our nation is under attack' CNN "The fabric of our nation is under attack, while shame — a timeless beacon of right and wrong — seems dead," Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, whose "Miracle on the Hu...

Pilot 'Sully' Sullenberger: 'This is not the America I know and love' - The Hill (blog)

The Hill (blog) Pilot 'Sully' Sullenberger: 'This is not the America I know and love' The Hill (blog) Retired airline pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who landed the famous "Miracle on the Hudson," said Monday that “this is not the America I kn...

We saved 155 lives on the Hudson. Now let's vote for leaders who'll protect us all. - Washington Post

Washington Post We saved 155 lives on the Hudson. Now let's vote for leaders who'll protect us all. Washington Post Nearly 10 years ago, I led 154 people to safety as the captain of US Airways Flight 1549, which suffered bird strikes, lost thrust in ...


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.


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

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.