July 16, 2023

RSS scrape of the McKinsey Quarterly

It’s ironic that the website of The McKinsey Quarterly, which has for years had the most well-formed and readable XHTML I’ve seen for a major website, doesn’t have an RSS feed. It’s a great business magazine that’s up there with Harvard Working Knowledge. So I made an RSS scrape of the site that didn’t turn out too shabby.

RSS scrape of The McKinsey Quarterly

Notifyr.com - get emails on new Flickr photos

This site lets you subscribe to a Flickr.com photo page, getting email notifications whenever new images are added. The main reason I really like this site is because the makers had spent some time dwelling on who will use it, why they will use it and how they will use it. It is clear from this quote:

Notifyr is built so that users don’t need to register in order to use it. You can subscribe anyone to your photo page by sending them a Notifyr link containing your Flickr page address and their email, like: http://notifyr.com/add?url=http://flickr.com/photos/baby_maggie

More often than not, I see ideas for websites that focus more on the features of the site than on the users and they lose a key opportunity for relevancy by that negligence.

Notifyr.com - get emails on new Flickr photos

The Spam weblog is hiring

The Spam weblog by Weblogs Inc is looking for people who want to be paid contributors. Their criteria:

Are you passionate about spam, viruses, worms, and all things unsolicited and electronic? Do you keep files of all your spam subject lines so you can create haikus to amuse your friends? Do you wish you could make a little money off your obsessions?

Just send in a couple of samples on the topic (100-400 words).


CIO.com has new RSS feed

As far as I’m concerned there’s no better magazine for internet businesses and IT department management than CIO.com. Until recently, CIO.com had the policy of driving traffic via RSS by offering multiple feeds for each category of articles that they had. All in, they had about two dozen such feeds. But there wasn’t a feed for the latest articles across all the categories. So CIO.com fans like myself had to subscribe to as many as 10 different CIO.com feeds to get articles on topics that interested me. It was a hard decision to say No, that’s not good enough. And I unsubscribed to all of them.

Just recently, on a re-visit to CIO.com, I found that the policy has changed dramatically. Now, all the two dozen feeds are gone. What was left is a single Latest Articles feed which is available at http://www.cio.com/rss/.

So do look into CIO.com. They have meaty articles like Wikis, Weblogs and RSS: What Does the New Internet Mean for Business? and What leaders look like — a study of the traits of top CIOs.

Selling spamerang.net

I’m selling spamerang.net which I’ve had for about four years to cover some unforseen costs that have occured recently. It’s a website that I used to explain an idea for exacting a kind of justice against spammers — by discovering their email addresses and exposing them to spambots (Google cache of spamerang.net).

(Yes, I know that doesn’t work with the most devious spammers, but it does against the regular cottage industry spammers that make up the vast majority of their industry.) Spamerang.net has already achieved a Pagerank of 5 and is listed in Dmoz. So it will be a pretty good start for anyone who wants to create a website about spam or a weblog about spamming and email security.

Goodbye to Agonus.com

Agonus.com was a hosting idea that was before its time but has quickly become out-moded. I started it about four years ago when hosting in Malaysia was under the stranglehold of hosting companies that were out of touch with their customers. They were selling 20mb of space for USD7 per month when hosting companies in the US were selling four times the space for half the price. They were also selling domains for USD18 whereas I thought it ought to be half that price. And the industry had sustained that price for several years without waver.

My core competency is consumer analysis and brand creation. So it was obvious to me that hosting in Malaysia needed to catch up with the rest of world and the market was demanding it. I was buying space on American servers for my blog and it seemed that I wasn’t the only one. So I decided to get my own server and bring prices inline with the Americans.

However my competency is not in server management nor is it in business management. So I wasn’t able to adapt to the market as fast as Professors John Hagel III and John Seely Brown advise in their new book The Only Sustainable Edge. The other local server companies saw what I was doing and were soon matching me. Although it made it harder for me to gain new customers, I was exceptionally glad — I was making headway in forcing the industry to change. Last year Exabytes.com.my started offering 2gb of space for under USD5 per month. With a strong burst in advertising, they were able to change the direction of the market and now their 2gb offer is the industry standard.

So now it’s time to pack up Agonus.com. Mission accomplished.

Got flushed

My hosting account got flushed again. Happened around the same time last year. This time for completely different reasons. But it just feels the same — it’s been a crappy few days. Lost all my archives and I’m completely exhausted from fighting fires. But the good thing is, I have no excuse not to switch from Pmachine Pro to Wordpress. It will take some time to rebuild this blog again, so please excuse the mess. I’ll probably be posting a few more Wordpress related posts than I did before while I learn this new system.