Monday, June 11, 2007

RSS updates, LiveJournal and Google

Google 0wns my LiveJournal friends page right now. They do so unfairly. Google hasn't posted a whole wave of new blog posts (sadly). Nevertheless, all but one of the posts on my friends page is from Google. The graphic on the left is a shot of my friends page summary.

LiveJournal has decided that old posts are new. This is an easy trap to fall into in Blogger - just add a label to an old post and it'll get a new timestamp and you'll find it in people's RSS readers. Sometimes webmasters tweak things so that the whole RSS feed updates (or seems to be updated; republished for example) and the whole whack of 'recent' entries get re-posted.

I like LiveJournal. Okay. It's not cool. I was on LiveJournal went MySpace wasn't coo l and Facebook was for kids - so it's been around for a while

I really like LiveJournal's "friends" function. My friends page is an collection of the most recent posts from my friends (as marked in the LiveJournal network) and as you can see I've Google as a friend. Or rather; you can also add RSS feeds to your friends page.

Recently, both Vanessa Fox (naked) and Adam Lasnik (clothed) have posted about their wish for a social network that lets you filter friends/interest appropriately. Okay; this may be a clue for us.... but let's come back to LiveJournal for a moment. LiveJournal lets you set up filters on your friends page. I've my friends tagged as "people" and Google tagged as "newsfeeds". My default friends page shows both - but I can filter out "newsfeeds" if I just want to see what actual people are doing.

I could (but haven't) also create different levels of friend filters - so I could stay up to date with what close friends are doing but tune down the twitter scribblings of a less well known associate. Better still; these contacts can't see my internal friend filters and so they'll never know.

LiveJournal was bought by SixApart (Movable Type) a few years ago and now uses "nofollow" on the friends page (to stop spamming). I do think they are a "buy" for a search engine or large company looking to move into the social space. However, LiveJournal is very large and hard to earn revenue from (though a good internal search engine would be great!) and I'm sure this is one of the obstacles in any further acquisition.

Update: Techcrunch as some reasons to as to why Google may have republishing feeds and battling with RSS.