Category Archives: web2.0


When will Google+ allow people to add their own feeds?
Google+ for Mobile
My Snapshot
Yahoo! MyBlogLog Closing 24th May 2011
I Declare Google Reader Bankruptcy
Location Independent Working
Best UK Web Hosting

When will Google+ allow people to add their own feeds?

When if at all, will Google+ allow people to add their own RSS feeds?

Friendfeed took off when rooms were added, harnessing the power of the so-called social interest graph, but it started to lose appeal again when they allowed the automated inclusion of rss feeds into those rooms by the room owners, slowly drowning out the interesting and genuine conversations.

Facebook allows the automated inclusion of feeds via 3rd party apps, but between the Facebook users and Facebook themselves, they have managed to deprecate content from feeds so that original content and human shares take priority over feeds.

Now some Google+ users are clamouring for the ability to be able to add their own streams from elsewhere directly into their own circles, which would amount to the same mistake as Friendfeed made. But Google+ hasn’t even enabled some kind of groups, rooms or interests yet, either because they still don’t understand the dynamics of social networks, or because they are rolling out such features in waves, and this one hasn’t arrived yet.

Google’s record with groups isn’t a good one. They bought Dejanews, the web interface for usenet newsgroups, one of the original computer facilitated social networks, and did nothing much with it for nearly a decade.

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Google+ for Mobile

I’m liking what I’ve seen so far of Google+ or Google plus, particularly the mobile version  which seems like a good place to quickly catch up on a lot of stuff all in one place. roll on the iPad app for it. The “nearby” feature should be really interesting on occasion, but not until a few more people are on there in my local area, which ought to be teeming really.

The big questions are who what and why

Who is going to settle in at Google+ not just to take a look around but to make it a home page that is checked often? Just the early adopter drive-by users or a more stable community of normal people?

What are we going to do or talk about on Google+ that’s innovative and original?

Why would anybody try to migrate all of their friends over to Google+ if they are already ensconced at other social networks?

The thing is, it’s all going to change anyway.

Add me as or possibly “+Andy Roberts

Photos - Google+

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My Snapshot


Here’s a snapshot of my Instagram stats.


You’re on your iPhone right now?
– Save the image in your library
– Open your Instagram app and share your snapshot with your community
(You can even give it your favorite filtering option! 😉 )

See you soon on





via posterous

Posted in Flickr, social objects, Tools, web2.0 | Comments Off on My Snapshot

Yahoo! MyBlogLog Closing 24th May 2011

It’s a shame, I found the stats facility in MyBlogLog a nice and quick alternative to Google Analytics.

We will officially discontinue Yahoo! MyBlogLog effective May 24, 2011.

  We recommend Yahoo! Pulse as a service for you to see all your social updates from your favorite networks in one place.

Andy Roberts - MyBlogLog

Andy Roberts - MyBlogLog

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Posted in Blogs and community, web2.0 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Declare Google Reader Bankruptcy

I’ve just gone and done it, I’ve declared Google Reader bankruptcy. That means not only that I’ve marked hundreds of unread items as read (I do that regularly anyway) but that I’ve unsubscribed from everything and deleted all tags and folders  as well. Here’s the screenshot to prove it:

Google Reader

Google Reader

I’m sure it’s not difficult to guess why I did this, because of the technological pseudo-complaint they call “information overload”. It’s simple to subscribe to newly discovered feeds, all too easy to accumulate hundreds of unread items, and satisfyingly tempting to hit the big “Mark As Read” button, thus rendering the whole exercise pointless.

By having so many feeds in my feed reader that I could only scan through the headlines in “List View” I had become victim to the copywriters’ ploy of adding stand-out, shocking, intriguing or provocative titles – only to be disappointed so often by the substance of the article. Now I want to go back to the old method of choosing top quality feeds that I wish to follow properly, bringing up the full text of the article in front of me before deciding whether I need to read it fully, take action as a result, or skip to the next post.

So here I am at day one, with an empty feed reader open to suggestions from my own readers here.

Are there any RSS feeds you would like to recommend to me for the purpose of subscribing, reading regularly and inwardly digesting?

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Location Independent Working

This year I shall be conducting at least two experiments in location independent working and this post is about the first episode, so far.

Location independent working has been a long term goal of mine for many years. I’d like to be able to enjoy an optimum climate by migrating in tune with the seasons, do a lot of continuous touring, and be able to take advantage of property letting opportunities.

I’m in the middle of my first week long experiment working from a location independent from my usual home and workplace. It’s supposed to be a gentle introduction to the practice, but has turned out to be considerably harder than I anticipated. I’m actually at my mother’s house in a small village with no facilities, and with only intermittent and slow internet access. I don’t have my main workstation computer either, but I do have a fairly recent second computer and an EeePC notebook.

The lack of internet is a temporary obstacle, but not the only one. It should be possible to get a USB dongle that supplies some kind of dialup/3G access in most places, albeit much slower than landline broadband in London. At present there are two of us sharing one dongle that only works when the weather is perfect, and even then seems to drop back from so called 3G broadband to an ordinary mobile phone 2G connection which is barely usable. We’ve tried different rooms, orientations, and using the dongle with and without an extension cable. Upstairs and downstairs reception seem to be about the same. But like I say, that’s only one aspect of struggling with getting stuff done from another location.

It took the first few days just to get used to not being able to work online constantly. I’ve developed some alternative tasks I can get one with, but it’s surprising how when one is writing something, creating rich media content, that in theory sounds like it could be done offline, how frequently you do need to access online services. It’s been a habit built up over many years.

Tired of ISP based pop3 email accounts, I shifted to gmail almost as soon as the beta service became available. I maintain working information on private wikis and online documents. My Flickr photostream is more extensive than the iphoto library on any single machine. Reacting to interruptions has been a major stimulus to tackle the tasklist.

But the first thing I learned really, was that the physical workspace is so important. I’m not much of a laptop worker so I got set up at a desk with a borrowed monitor which ought to provide a workstation similar to what I have at home. But of course the room just doesn’t feel the same. Things like relative postion to the window and door, and the height of the desk and chair are obvious factors that need to be set up as close as optimum as possible, but things like acoustics, lighting and proximity to whatever else may be going on in the house can become determining issues as to whether it’s possible to get on with productive work or not.

I found it better for any kind of writing task that needs a bit of flow, for example, to venture up into the back garden and sit in the shed – sorry, ‘summer house’. I used to laugh at the ‘shed workers’ who built themselves a cubicle in their own grounds but now I think I can see what makes the idea seem tempting.

On the plus side, without the usual online distractions this has provided an opportunity to create some different kinds of content that I might not normallly get around to. I thought I’d do some Screencasts because this is a good way to create video content but then realised that most screencast require an active internet connection, because they are usually demonstrating online tools and techniques. I did manage to think of some functions that are better done by installed offline applications, and image editing is one. Video editing and music production would be others, so there are plenty of tutorial ‘how to’ screencasts that can be created in these circumstances.

The other thing is to write lengthy pieces of narrative that depend mainly on previous experience and life history – autobiographical storytelling. I don’t seem to have done much of that yet though.

So the internet connection, such as it is, can be used just to keep reassured that there is nothing untoward going on out there with my websites that might need urgent attention. Once I’ve got used to that, the compulsion to keep checking stuff should subside and I’ll be able to concentrate for longer periods on the offline tasks that can be progressed in between real world distractions.

Location Independent living is a promise that has been enabled through new technologies but is a practice that requires a lot more than technical skills to get right.

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Posted in Action Log, web2.0 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Best UK Web Hosting

I seem to be constantly looking for the best UK web hosting service, either to try out new projects or else when an existing host becomes insufferably bad.

I’ve had various recommendations over the months and compiled most of them onto a wiki page: Web Hosting but it’s hard to do any kind of comparison so I usually have several in a state of trial at any one time. Moving stuff over from one web host to another is not exactly trivial so it’s a bit like the home utilities companies, you get stuck with a service you know isn’t necessarily the best value – inertia I think they call it. Then there’s the whole question of whether ti use UK web hosting at all or take advantage of some very cheap US hosting deals. Overselling is another thorny topic.

Maybe someone out there knows better, what’s the best web hosting you’ve used so far?

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Posted in Internet, UK, web2.0 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Thanks for reading Andy Roberts articles about web2.0 on the DARnet Blog