Announce: Weblog Monitor and XML

Dave Winer dave at
Sat Nov 27 14:52:50 GMT 1999

Good morning XML developers!

I have another application of XML to announce this morning.

About a week ago we put up an app called Weblog Monitor. 

There's an HTML interface for this app, and an XML interface, which is explained here. 

But first..

***What is a weblog?

A weblog is an oft-maintained site that points to articles elsewhere on the web, often with comments, and to on-site articles. A weblog is kind of a continual tour, with a human guide who you get to know. There are many guides to choose from, each develops an audience, and there's also comraderie and politics between the people who run weblogs, they point to each other, in all kinds of structures, graphs, loops, etc. 

They also point up, in a sense, to the sites they read. On Scripting News I tend to point to stories on Infoworld, Wired, MacWEEK, MSNBC, NY Times, Red Herring, and at technical sites, centered around scripting, or what I perceive scripting to be. There are literally hundreds of these sites, and some people think there will be many thousands by the end of next year. (I am one of those people.)

***Software for weblogs

This opens the door for tools for creating and running weblogs, or ranking and organizing the sites, or providing filtered front-ends, to make the exploding variety comprehensible to a human mind. Such tools have been developed and more are coming. (Hint hint.)

And of course since all these apps are web apps, the immediate question is "How do you share the data?"

And the answer would have to be XML. 

(But we all knew that. ;->)

***How Weblog Monitor works

It's a HTTP/HTML application running on:

The home page displays an hourly calendar. Each weblog is listed once in the calendar, in the time slot when it last changed. The calendar is displayed in reverse-chronlogical order. By visiting the home page, you can quickly scan down the list and find weblogs that changed. The goal was to create a single page where you could watch activity on the weblogs, and it works pretty well. I've met a lot of new webloggers using this tool. It's public and free, you can use it too.

***It's an XML app

That's the HTML interface, but it's also an XML app. This means that if you can think of a better use of the data, it's open, public and you can do it. I hereby give you permission to read the XML files, no more than once an hour please, and do anything you want with the information. I ask that if you put up a public app that you send me a pointer so I can tell Scripting News readers about it.

The two files that are available thru XML are:



#1 is an XMLization of the calendar on the home page, and #2 is a mirror of the (growing) database of weblogs. 

Both are updated once an hour, usually before 2 minutes past the hour. (That could change as the number of registrations goes up.)


There's also a discussion group on the site:

Comments, questions, suggestions are welcome here or on the site.

Hope you like it!


PS: Leigh Dodds does a weblog pointing to important messages on the XML-DEV list called eclectic, it's in the rotation at Weblog Monitor.
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