RSS and me.

I’m a news addict and as such RSS is just it for me. Get all sorts of news feeds into my Outlook (with Attensa – nice beta btw) and follow up on them at least once a day. I also have a lot of queries on MSN Search – especially in the news search – that i turned into RSS, which also delivers some nice results.

Still I’m bothered by how some of the news sources threat this RSS feature and how they seem to see the advantage of it to get information in, but are afraid to use it in a decent way to get information out. One of the biggest newssites in Belgium (De Standaard) did a restyling of their website and used RSS feeds from international newssources to get short international news in their website. If you wanted fast news from them, you needed to install the ‘news clicker’… absurd. It took about two weeks, before they realised this was not done – too much complaints? – and started offering RSS again for their users. On the other hand, the biggest newspaper in Belgium (Het Laatste Nieuws) actually offers RSS for a quite long time, but only with the headers… yes, I do hate that.

But what I’m wondering most about is why it almost always stops at bringing news through RSS, and so why we don’t see much more of those dynamic feed options, like MSN Search is using for example. Why can’t I create my own RSS feed from a query on eBay for instance or a classifieds website. And why almost anybody seems to be exploring the advertising possibilities with those feeds. Might be I’m missing out on something, but show it to me then…

Richard Burns: 1971 – 2005

Yesterday I heard that Richard Burns, WRC 2001 champion, has died as a result of a brain tumor. I still remember how – in 2003 – Richard Burns passed out during a rally and a brain tumor was the diagnosis. Shocking news as he was only 32 years old at the time. Still, I sort of forgot about all of this until yesterday with this announcement. Rest in peace Richard, and maybe I’ll do a quick run in your Subaru WRC on my PS2 in your honour.

Digital Fender

Fender IntelcasterFender has a great history in electrical guitars and is probably known most for the Stratocaster and Telecaster models. Two recent blogposts about Fender products give the impressions they’re going digital. Check out the Intelcaster, a project of Fender & Intel. They figure any musician whilst creating a song has a need for information, so he can now just flip his Telecaster and surf the web.

Another nice plaything is the Speed-e that is basically a keychain tuner for your guitar. You can tune the basic E and then it’s up to you to do the rest by ear.

Hotlist (1)

As probably the most of you are still looking for nice christmas presents these days – as am I – the internet again can offer us some great help. Find good ideas for original presents on the web, now almost every website is creating their Top 10 2005 list. This is a first overview of some of those hotlists, which I will follow up on the coming days.

As far as gadgets are concerned, there are the Ten to Avoid or Hottest Gadgets for 2005. But the more creative lists are the ones that really get my attention. The guys at MSN have some neat examples, like the Top 10 No-Fail Gift Ideas For Your Boss or the Top 10 Funky Hostess Gifts.

 Happy shopping.

Interactive Advertising

Yesterday I went to a round table on interactive advertising (focus on online) with Joseph Jaffe as main guest, together with local agency responsibles. A few sidenotes: 

  • It’s was really good content, but why are the people in the room always the same… namely the ones that already know about the power & importance of online? 
  • It’s always nice to see some examples of incredible interactive advertising. Jaffe showed some cool banners, websites, user created content like blogs & movies, … This however makes you think about nice creatives you’ve seen even years ago and that are still beyond what most advertisers think about. 
  • The agencies that took part in the round table all have created innovative & superb interactive advertising. I did a quick research on them this last hour and it’s fun to see none of them use keyword buying in search engines, almost any use blogs themselves. Only few have a good website for themselves… 
  • It’s strange to be in a discussion with people that all want advertisers to aknowledge the importance of interactive advertising. To see ow they are all trying to prove the fact that internet has become part of a lot of people’s every day life… and still refer to the internet as New Media. 

I strongly believe the interactive advertising business is one of the most interesting businesses to be part of, and I enjoy every second of it, but boy do we have a long way to go ;-)

The Search Engine Experiment

I’ve been testing a while on all sorts of search engines to find out which one(s) work best for me, and I’m especially amased about the new Local Search of MSN (with VE), but also special search engines to kids or for blogsearches get my attention. Still, which search engine is the best one? How would you measure the quality when the brand wasn’t visible? Interested? Then you must for sure try The Search Engine Experiment and see some of the results. It will be especially interesting to see evolution month over month, with all major engines investing so much in getting it 100% right. 

This also shows the evolution in how people qualify search engines these days. Where it used to be all about the number of results each keyword and search engine could generate, it’s now really about the quality of the results.