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Welcome to the BlogWatcher service

Latest news

2/21/2010I know, it's been forever since any updates have happened. A minor bug fix was put in place which was causing some feeds to show up with incorrect content. Instead of the actual data from the feed, the content was showing up with just a single "A". The problem was traced down to an error in the Magpie RSS library as it relates to specific types of XML files. That problem should now be gone.

6/9/2006 BlogWatcher now produces feeds, instead of just reading them! I intend them to be for "internal consumption," allowing subscribers to get lists of posts tagged by other users, but I see no reason why other aggregators couldn't make use of them.

6/7/2006: A facility has been put in place to allow you to rate the posts that you see in BlogWatcher. Along with that, you can see the average rating for everyone who has rated that particular post. It is of limited use right now, but there are plans to improve it:

3/6/2006: The view page now includes a clickable list of all subscriptions which have active posts. Clicking on a subscription's title in this list will filter the vew so that only posts from that subscription will be shown.
In addition, there's a separate "subscription" off all deleted posts, allowing a user to "undelete" messages that they've previously deleted.

3/3/2006: A substantial change to the architecture of BlogWatcher. It now lets most of the processing happen at the local browser, rather than on the server. That means that you can now page through your entries much faster than before. You also have the ability to mark individual posts as Deleted, meaning that they will never be shown to you again. This makes the process of keeping track of those posts that are valuable to you much easier, as they won't get lost in the shuffle.

This uses a technology called "AJAX" which is supported by most modern browsers. I can put back the old form if somebody really needs to use this with an older browser, but I would prefer not to do so,

2/1/2006: Made the homepage a bit more friendly to first-time visitors, and also changed the Register option to automatically subscribe new users to the BlogWatcher News feed.

1/13/2006: Added several new subscription options. The most significant change is the ability to add a button to you web browser to automatically subscribe to a page you're currently viewing. The other options are related to subscribing to teagged content

12/15/2005: Added two new options to the Manage my Account page. You can now control whether or not your subscriptions will be included for people who access BlogWatcher without logging in. The other option allows you to "opt out" of system generated email messages. (Note - we don't actually generate any messages yet, but that may change in the future)

10/29/2005: Added the ability to choose your timezone, and to change the color scheme used when you log in. Change it using the Manage my Account link.

10/29/2005: Modified the subscription management page to separate out the subscriptions that need a user from those that don't. This should make it easier to manage both types.

10/28/2005: Xanga has changed the format of their feed to be RSS 2.0 compliant. Well, almost, anyway. The timezone they showis wrong, but that's a minor annoyance. So I don't need to have the Xanga hack that I used to use

10/20/2005: I decided that I was tired of waiting for my feeds to download when I first went to the site. So I put something in place to keep a local copy of the feeds on my server, so that slow network traffic won't get in the way of viewing your site. I also fixed the timezone on Xanga posts, so now they're in line with everything else, using Central Time.

10/04/05: I've added some new feeds to the database. They're not really blogs, per se, Rather, they're more like a traditional "news" feed:

I added these because they're the one's I'm interested in.

If you have others that you want to see added, let me know.
Note: These feeds do not need to have anything in the "username" field.

10/03/05: Changed the database around just a bit, so that I can keep track of the last login time for each user. Mostly, I wanted to have this so I can see if people are actually using it.

09/30/05: I've changed the subscription view to display entries 10 to a page, rather than loading everying on the first page. Should make load times a bit better.

09:30:05 I've added a new "service" type to the list of blog sites that I support. In addition to Xanga, LiveSite, and MySpace, I've added a "generic" type. This is intended to allow more experienced users the ability to load arbitrary subscription feeds into their list. For instance, if you wish to see a list of top stories from the Houston Chronicle included in your blog list, then choose "Generic" for the service, and enter this into the "user" field:

I make no guarantees that any arbitrary feed will work. Unfortunately, there is no enforced standard for determining the publish date of an entry. I've done some back end "hacks" to make Xanga, LJ, and MySpace work, but I can't promise that some other RSS feed will work. (The Chronicle link above does, BTW). If the date can't be determined, then all of those entries will appear at the bottom of the list, with a bogus publish date.

Please feel free to play around with this experimental service, and let me know how it can be improved.