General, Technology

Syncing my online life – New Blog Domain and Blog Bling

https://blog.kischuk.com/ is the new web address, http://feeds.feedburner.com/rkischuk is the new Feed URL. Existing links and feed subscriptions should work fine for the foreseeable future.

I’ve been on a mission lately to sync my online presences, initiated when I started using Twitter. I didn’t like maintaining different statuses on Facebook and Twitter, so I started using TwitterSync to push my Twitter status into Facebook – works like a champ. I wanted to bring my blog and flickr activity in too, so I fired up FriendFeed, and that worked and let me bring in my GTalk status, Google Reader, last.fm, and LinkedIn activity as well. Added the FriendFeed app and now all of that activity is pulled into Facebook. They need better controls so I can tell FF not to push my twitter activity into my feed (TwitterSync already updates my status directly), but I suspect this feature is coming.

Rhapsody listening history proved to be an interesting challenge, since Rhapsody’s plugin support is pretty sparse – Last.fm doesn’t have a Rhapsody scrobbler. I had to make my Rhapsody listening history feed public on Rhapsody.com, and am using RhapsodyScrobbler to push my listening activity to Last.fm. It’s a bit of a hack, but works nicely.
Giving this blog a facelift proved challenging. I’ve been happy using a wordpress.com hosted blog, except for the theme selection, domain name, and poor widget support. But there are no hosting, scaling, or software upgrade headaches. I paid $10 each for the Custom CSS and custom domain upgrades, and was able to tweak a new theme to something I’m pretty happy with (still some room for improvement). I’ve had kischuk.com registered for a while, free DNS with ZoneEdit, and finally added a CNAME for blog.kischuk.com to point to wordpress. The most unfortunate thing about hosted WordPress blogs is that they don’t support widgets of any variety (iFrame or embed). The best tool available for this is the RSS widget – I was able to point this to my twitter and Last.fm RSS feed to provide the pseudo-widgets you see in the right column. I also see this as the best hope for adding some semblance of Skribit support.

I am looking to add a good Flickr app to Facebook – any suggestions?

Atlanta, Technology

Skribit Reloaded

Andrew Hyde notes that Skribit is now publicly available.  We had been in private beta as we stabilized the product and environment, and are now open to anyone with a blog who’s interested in collecting reader feedback on what they should blog about.  We also added some nice features along the way, and cleaned up some gaps on the Skribit site.

One key focus for this release was closing the feedback loop.  We notify bloggers when they get new suggestions, give them weekly activity summaries, and notify suggestors when a blogger writes about their suggestion.  Simple, but critical in keeping the conversation going.

Startup South is showcasing the Skribit widget as it now renders correctly when the width is narrowed.  Narrow-sidebar-bloggers rejoice!

Lastly, my contribution (with gratitude to acts_as_commentable) – you can now comment on a suggestion.  Because the meaning of a suggestion isn’t always clear.

Major cred goes out to Calvin (the feature machine), Paul, Jason, Lance, Alan, Josh, and anyone else I’m missing who made this latest release possible.  These guys make burning free time on a second startup a pleasure.

P.S. – You may note that I don’t have Skribit on this blog.  It’s not that I don’t want to use it (I REALLY do), it’s that hosted WordPress blogs such as this can’t handle iFrame widgets.  Boo.