Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Site of the Week Updates

I've been working feverishly to get a Site of the Week review up for all of community directories in the Community Color family. I am doing this because I want to have an RSS Feed with regularly changing content for every site in the program.

The script rss.php produces the feeds. So the RSS feed for Boulder Color would be The feed for Park City is I stagger the site reviews throughout the week. Provo's review appears on Sunday. Colorado Spring's on Monday, Fort Collins' on Tuesday ...

The page KewlHist provides lists the review along with the review day. The summary shows that there are 2,848 reviews in the system. The program has had a little over a million hits. (That is 361 hits per review).

My hope, of course, is that, as the program grows, people will subscribe to the feed for the local community and the program will provide a little trickle of traffic to small local web sites.

The goal of the program is to provide a random cross section of web sites. The program was not intended as an award. The program might best be described as a blog about web sites from a community. The blog has one or more posts per week.

When you look at the RSS feeds, you will see there are entries titled "Site of the Week." Others have the title "Site Review". The "Site Reviews" usually contain additional resources about a site. For example, for band, I might have a link to a YouTube video, their myspace page or to the iTunes section for their band. For authors, the review will contain links to their books at online bookstores. In some cases, I put links to coupons published by stores or widgets. The official site of the week review will always be noncommerical. The "Site Reviews" will contain a mix of commercial and noncommercial resources related to the site.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

RSS Feeds

The goal of the Community Color program is to encourge people to browse through local web sites. The sites target the mountain west (where I live). The programs include a site of the day feature. The selected sites are pretty much random. It favors charity and arts sites.

I decided to break down and make RSS feeds for the reviews.

The feed lists the last 30 SoDs with the most recent at the top. If people subscribe to the feed, then they their feed reader show a local site a day. The towns with RSS feeds that get updated regularly are:

I admit, I was hesitant in adding an RSS feed because the SoD program is not about the content of the review. The goal of the program was to encourage people to explore random local web sites. The review itself is just filler with an ad on top.

In recent months, I've been using the review to put in widgets from or related to a web site. For example, if a web site has a YouTube video, the review will contain tha video.

The next step in my RSS project is figuring out how to syndicate the reviews. Comments welcome.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

AOL Demonstrates Worst Form

I can't believe this. Apparently AOL shut down their hometown program. If you had a web page with the program you get a sorry, you're hosed page. All of the links and work you did are now gone.

I can see closing down a program.

The polite thing is to give participants in the program a URL forward option. URL forwards aren't resource intensive and can help people salvage their web building efforts.

Fortunately, I did not lose a site resulting from AOL's actions. I large number of links to AOL which are now broken. I guess I have to delete them all.

This tears my heart apart as many artists, authors and crafts people were using the AOL service.

If you had an AOL listing on the directories, you will need to add them back to the service.