FeedGrowler update: Custom icons

I’ve just updated the code for FeedGrowler so that it supports custom icons for each feed that you are monitoring. All you need to do is include the full path to an icon/image file as the second argument when you call feedgrowler.php (or in your crontab).

Custom icons for a WordPress feed, and a Twitter search.

Custom icons for a WordPress feed, and a Twitter search.

This version also supports Atom feeds (in addition to previous RSS 2.0 support).

Check out the latest FeedGrowler.

What is Web 2.0?

My brother recently emailed me with the relatively simple question, “what exactly is Web 2.0?” I know a lot of other people out there have taken a stab at defining the damn thing, but I thought I’d take a shot as well. Here’s what I replied with:

It’s kind of a “catch-all” expression for a lot of the things that are going on online now. It generally refers to things like blogs and wikis and sites where the user is actually doing all the work (thus the common term “User-Generated Content” or UCG).

Just to confuse things, a lot of people have started referring to a specific design style and set of technologies as being “Web 2.0” as well. This tends to include:

  • anything mobile
  • anything including mapping/geo
  • AJAX (a JavaScript technique to avoid page-refreshes and make things more responsive)
  • widgets (which are a whole other confusing mess of their own)
  • anything that uses RSS/Atom feeds

So yeah… it’s not easy to give a simple one-line answer, because it’s kinda all of those things and more. Some people argue that it’s a “revolution” of the way the web works, because “Web 1.0” was all about companies or bigger groups publishing information online, whereas 2.0 is more about “the little guy” out there (users) controlling and publishing their own content (think YouTube, Flickr, etc). To me, it’s actually just an evolution though, a logical progression that just took a while because we had to figure out and refine the technologies to allow things to be easy enough for everyone to be involved.

That’s my take on it anyway 🙂

FeedBlendr Rocking Along

I haven’t posted actively here about it, but FeedBlendr is the first of a series of “feed power-tools” that I’m developing and will eventually tie together. There is a version live and actively being used already, and I’ve just put out a beta version for testing with some major upgrades to the core feed engine. People are really loving this sort of thing, and I’ve got some great plans for more additions to the family soon.

Keep an eye out for more here and also over at the Blendr Blog.