Friday, May 30, 2008

Bloglines VS Google Reader, Show Me The TOPDOG

I came across a post by Heather Hopkins of Hitwise about how Blogline doing it's deeds against Google Reader. I use both bloglines and Google Reader and so does my collegues. So who is the top dog? Who does the best fetching? (TOPDOG is the best hotdog around where I live and where we get our midnight snacks, usually two dogs! Calabrese and Hot Link, eaten on the street, leaning against the car! So this dog fetches me, time to time)

According the analysis done by the lady and her firm Hitwise, Bloglines is still running in the front but Google Reader is steadily closing in.

I am more of a numbers guy than a word guy, so I am going to grab some graphs and let you go and digest the words of Heather later. The graph above is how they stood in August of last year and the one below is how they are doing now. Both are heavy climbers and Google Reader seem to be doing some catch up. There are other players as well but these two dominate the scene now. (until Feedotopia shakes the ground!)

But the gem of the analysis was the graph below!. These are the downstream visits to publishers from both Bloglines and Google reader. This makes me want to have Google Reader be my traffic cop. Because except shopping, Photography and personal blogs, Google Reader seem to be doing wonders. I think Photo attributes to the new Flickr feed module in Bloglines Beta. I use the feature a lot and I like it. Further more if you are a Shopping or Retail site, it is better to have Bloglines behind you!.Following is Heather's view of it;
  • The top downstream category for both feed readers was News and Media. However, Google Reader sent 61% more visits to News and Media websites than Bloglines.
  • Bloglines sent almost as much traffic to Blogs and Personal Websites as to News and Media (9.98% and 9.95% respectively). By contrast, Google Reader sent more than twice as much traffic to News and Media websites. This indicates that Google Reader users are more inclined toward mainstream media - using the reader as a front page of a newspaper - while Bloglines seems to be used more for following blogs.
  • Bloglines users are also more inclined toward Photography websites, while Google Reader users are more inclined to visit Television websites.
  • And the last difference I'll highlight is that Bloglines users are 24% more likely to continue on to a retail (Shopping & Classifieds) website.
You can see more data and Heathers analysis at her Blog, here is the post.
Bloglines Beta.
Google Reader

Sunday, May 18, 2008

RNews 0.91 With a bunch of new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements.

Rnews has released a new version, 0.91, at the beginning of this month. I have tested RNews in many test settings but yet to deploy in a production environment. Perhaps this new release will convince me to do so. I have just downloaded and soon will replace one of my test setups of old version.

This release has a raft of new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements. It's definitely the best Rnews, yet. Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas and bug reports!

  • Feeds are scored using personalized statistics, one- and two-column block views are more flexible, keyword search is supported, heuristics try to fix broken feeds, and feeds may be added using bookmarklets or a Firefox extension.
  • New user options were added for keeping stats, expanding articles in single-feed view, and opening links in a new window.
  • Rnews received a styling upgrade, with rollover icons and more AJAX interaction.
  • IP-locked cookies are now optional (though recommended).
  • Many bug fixes, in caching, IE presentation, redirects, and elsewhere.

Database structure has changed, but there is now an automatic upgrade process (from 0.8x only). See the instructions on the download page.

Update: minor bug in 0.90 is fixed in 0.91, which is drop-in compatible.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Shorten your Net Time With RSS Subscriptions.

I always use my Google reader to go through my favorite blogs. I also have a bloglines account setup for blogs that I read infrequently, like once or twice a week. You take it for granted, just like email, I read it a few times a day. But you assume everyone knows about it. But today I read an article by The Net Fool, (A young guy but by reading his posts you never guess. You have to visit his about page and I think you will say great!)
But the reason for this writing is that the net fool is out to tell teach others about making money online and his lesson on RSS, simple but very informative. He explains virtues of RSS feeds as we do here but never wrote actually how to use it. So without my rumblings, here is the article;Five Reasons Why Subscribing to RSS Feeds Is Worth Your While.

Friday, May 02, 2008

VisualRank, A Pagerank For Your Logos, Photos Or Any Image On The Internet!

Google has unveiled a new tools and plans to rank images on the internet better. Today most image search engines rank images based on text description of the image. But this might not bring out the best image! The researchers have sighted two searches on Google image search for "Eiffel Tower" and "McDonalds", as examples. The Eiffel images were relevant but McDonalds were not exactly what you want if you were looking for "McDonalds"
Image search has always fascinated me, from large database pattern matching, (You draw a doodle of the image you are searching for with your mouse on a slate) to face recognizing for security purposes. Both the subjects are bordering each other as well as my latest fascination with medical imaging with pattern matching. But the Google researchers may look at it from another angle.
So how does this work?
The algorithm, (which is also presented in very technical and theoretical paper, which is very interesting if your field is image processing.) is to collect a bunch of images based on the search and then analyze the results to select best possible image among them.
I will be reading both the papers that were presented by Official Google Blog article, Visualrank,
Pagerank for product image search and YouTube datamining (which I have read before).
The see the Google blog, click on the link below.

Official Google Research Blog: VisualRank