Why No RSS Feeds for Amazon Wish Lists?

Maybe I’m just out here on the cutting edge and no one else in the universe would find this useful, but I’m always amazed that Amazon doesn’t have RSS/Atom feeds for wishlists. I could subscribe to all of my relatives/friends wish lists in Google Reader and give Amazon yet another opportunity to suck up my hard earned cash.

But, alas, no. I gave up on Amazon Wish Lists awhile ago and was using TheThingsIWant.Com which pretty much sucked except that it had RSS feeds. But now it appears to be down for the count (offline the past few days).

Companies seem to omit services like this because the knock is that the average user has no idea what RSS is, much less why they’d want to use it. Which is true enough, I guess, but there are plenty of Amazon-related sites geared to non-technical users that at the moment are forced to scrap wish list information from Amazon. Why hamper the development of such services by not offering native RSS/Atom feeds?

Complex Life WordPress Plugin

Complex Life is a plugin for WordPress designed to import information from social networking and other web applications and then output a page that integrates in one place all of the things you’re doing online.

Take a look, for example, at my lifestream which could be prettier, but you’ll get the basic idea. Complex Life is importing my Facebook feed and my Google Reader shared feed (which includes the title and links to comments I’ve made on the web as well as links to my latest Spore creations — well my kids’ latest creations since they hijacked it after seeing all that Spore goodness). You could also import your Twitter updates and information from other sites as well as any site that offers plain old RSS feeds of your data.

Very nice. One improvement I’d like to see is the ability to store the data in the WordPress database. At the moment the plugin is retrieving each feed, parsing it and then caching it for about an hour and a half, at which point it goes out and retrieves the feed again. I’d like to store that data in MySQL which could add some interesting options.

Boing! Boing! Has the Right Approach to RSS Feed Ads

I think Boing! Boing! has exactly the right approach to ads in RSS feeds. Their feed has the full text of their blog entries, and they’re putting ads in about 1/3rd of those in the RSS feed.

Frankly, I think it’d be perfectly reasonable to put them in each entry. What I can’t stand and unsubscribe from immediately are the folks who have a headline from their blog, followed by an ad, followed by another headline, followed by an ad.

Creating RSS Feed with Slogger

Ever since I discovered it a few months ago, I’ve been plugging the Slogger extension for Firefox. Slogger allows the user to automate saving a local copy of every web page he or she visits. Doing so takes up 100-150mb a day, at least for me, but storage is cheap so why not?

Slogger also produces a daily page listing all of the pages you’ve logged, linking both to the local and web versions. In early versions of Slogger you could control the look, feel and content of that daily page by altering the template. The latest version of Slogger takes that one step further and allows you to define multiple profiles, so you could have an HTML version of that list as well as an ASCII-text version.

Or you could do what this user’s done and create an RSS feed of all the pages Slogger has logged and then read that in your news reader.

Why would you want to do so? Well, not everyone is like me and wants to save every web page they visit. Some people, instead, configure Slogger so that it only logs a page if they push a button that Slogger installs on the Navigation toolbar.

So you could use Slogger to archive pages that you want to go back and read at a later date, for example, and then maintain a list of those in an RSS channel on your local newsreader.

Full RSS Feed of This Site

I’ve been reading a lot of the back-and-forth lately over whether RSS will be/should be used to replace e-mail newsletters. All I know is that for all of the e-mail newsletters that I subscribe to, when the proprietors have offered RSS feeds that duplicate the content of the newsletter, I’ve unsubscribed from the e-mail version and subscribed to the RSS feed.

And, in that spirt, the RSS feed below offers the full text of all entries on this weblog: