A Dream Come True

– Posted in: Recommended Links
4 comments

Well, that title is a bit overdramatic. But I’ve just come across a new start-up site that does something I’ve wanted to do (but didn’t know how) for a long time. It allows you to create a webpage where the latest entries from RSS feeds are all gathered together. This makes it possible for technophobes (and I think there are a lot of gardening technophobes) to take advantage of the latest information available on the web. To see what I mean, point your browser to http://rollup.org/rollup/rollup.php?id=43 and take a look.

The organization behind this is called Rollup. I had never come across the term before, but apparently “a rollup is an automated blog that aggregates (rolls up) a number of different sources.” While this is a very exciting start, there are some downers. One, it can’t parse Atom feeds yet, which means no feeds from Blogger blogs. Two, it limits you to twenty feeds. I’ve already bumped up to the limit, without entering any Blogger gardening blogs. Three, it doesn’t work with Safari, or, in my experience, Opera 7. But they freely admit it’s in beta.
I hope you’ll go over and take a look, and if you don’t use a feed reader, please stop by often. They say any rollup that isn’t visited in fourteen days will be presumed abandoned and dropped.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

What differentiates a bulb from a perennial plant is that the nourishment for the flower is stored within the bulb itself.…There is something miraculous about the way that a little grenade of dried up tissue can explode into a complete flower.

~Monty Don in The Complete Gardener pp. 142

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Charles February 23, 2004, 3:23 am

Kathy,

Thanks very much for the feedback…I have just posted a collated list of the various issues that have emerged after a few days of pubic beta, and thought you’d be interested.

This addresses the issues you’ve raised, and the ones about Opera and the system choking on certain feeds specifically are the top priority.

Kind regards

Charles

Kathy February 22, 2004, 3:48 pm

I’ve been having trouble myself. Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don’t. It’s obviously still pretty buggy, but that particular bug has already been reported.

But I have to say, Bill, that RSS feeds were made for lazy browsers. If you can set up a Moveable Type blog, setting up a Bloglines account will be no trouble at all for you. Go to http://www.bloglines.com and set it up. Then go to http://www.bloglines.com/public/ColdClimateGardening, export my gardening feeds as an opml file, and then import them into your bloglines account. On the Bloglines homepage they have several ways to add non-gardening feeds to your account: Top Blogs, New Blogs, My Recommendations, and Blog Directory. You may find some of your other “haunts” already here, and so it will be a cinch to add them. (I’m assuming I already have all the gardening feeds out there; let me know if I’m wrong.) The rollup I’m trying to set up is aimed at the technologically challenged, not the technologically lazy. The lazy people already have Bloglines.

bill February 21, 2004, 10:33 am

It never would load anything for me except the banner and a “fatal error” message. I’ll try it again sometime.

I am technologically lazy. I haven’t tried anything with RSS feeds yet. It does sound like a good idea though.

Chan S. February 20, 2004, 10:57 pm

Very cool! This will be a great tool once the bugs get worked out. Three cheers for innovation.