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Cloud services – Google Reader will be gone July 1, 2013 …. now what ?

I’m not a big fan of most Google services, but I do use iGoogle and Google Reader intensively. Both services are ending this year  unfortunately though.

Fortunately in most cases there are alternatives. In a previous blog post I’ve written about some iGoogle alternatives. There are also Google Reader alternatives of course, and some (like Feedly) have even made it easy to migrate. Still it’s never a bad idea to export your RSS feeds manually just in case. If you want to export your starred items, there are some external methods to do this as well.

Another annoying aspect is that you might have bought applications to access these services (better) which might not support the new service you are migrating to. Even though all of this is not that big a deal for personal use, it’s still inconvenient.

In my case I use the great Windows 8 app Nextgen Reader that has no Feedly support yet. Fortunately, it is expected that support will be added before Google Reader goes down. Feedly also plans to create Windows 8 and Windows 8 phone apps.

So even though cloud services are great because they’re available from almost any device as long as you have internet access, you have to keep in mind that you depend heavily on the companies providing the services. So before you start using a cloud service always take into consideration how easy it is to backup, export and migrate your data (data portability). If you don’t you run the risk of losing data and having to spend time to recreate it.

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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Cloud, Google, ICT, Public Cloud

 

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WordPress – Find RSS feeds for a specific category or tag

In WordPress an RSS feed can easily be added and by default it will show all the blog posts. I however wanted to have an RSS feed only containing blog posts of a specific category. Since I couldn’t easily find it on wordpress.com I googled around a bit and these are my findings.

  1. You can go to the RSS feed of a blog by simply appending “/feed/” to the url like this:
    https://bjornhouben.wordpress.com/feed/
  2. If you want an RSS feed of a blog containing only blog posts in a specific category, append
    “/category/<category name>/feed/” to the url like this:
    https://bjornhouben.wordpress.com/category/Microsoft/feed/
  3. If you want an RSS feed of a blog containing only blog posts with a specific tag, append
    “/tag/<tag name>/feed/” to the url like this:
    https://bjornhouben.wordpress.com/tag/ICT/feed

For even more options, take a look at this great article:
http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Feeds

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2013 in WordPress

 

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My RSS feeds for keeping up with ICT news/developments (Microsoft, VMware, Cloud and gadgets)

Currently, there are many technological advancements taking place every day. To keep up with them is already very hard. To make it a bit easier I use RSS feeds to quickly filter what I think might be of importance to me.

A list of the RSS feeds I currently use can be found here , but you can also download an XML export of my RSS feeds here for easy import to your preferred RSS reader (assuming it supports XML import). I also advise you to check Microsoft’s RSS feed index so you can customize it to your own needs.

I personally use Google Reader for my RSS feeds because then my RSS feeds will be accessible from everywhere as long as I have a browser and an internet connection. When you are often on the road without an active internet connection, a dedicated client with cached articles from the RSS feed might also come in handy.

PS: The Microsoft blog rss feed had many articles added daily and can be hard to keep up with, but you can pretty quickly weed out duplicate articles and articles in foreign languages.

I hope this has been helpful to you.

 

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Office 365 / Sharepoint online – Workaround to add RSS feed web part to public website

When I tried to include a RSS feeds web part to my public sharepoint site just the way I had done many times on intenal sharepoint sites, I found out that the RSS viewer web part was not available.

After searching the internet I found out why this was the case and I also found a workaround using a custom solution/webpart.

Even though it is possible to use RSS feeds this way on my public sharepoint site, it is not what I expected. In my opinion an RSS feed web part is such a fundamental part of websites nowadays that it should be available by default in Office 365 / Sharepoint online.

I hope that this will be corrected in the upcoming release of sharepoint (2013) for Office 365, but the preview still doesn’t provide this capability unfortunately:

 

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