Blog Change Bot

a neuronwave project

Blog Change Bot Overview

Blog Change Bot (blogchangebot on AIM) is a blog monitoring service which updates you via AOL Instant Messanger when a blog you are interested is updated. Subscribe via AIM or iChat to be automatically notified when the blog is updated.
  • Easy Setup - Subscribe with 1-Click Bookmarklet
  • No new software - Uses your existing AIM or iChat Client
  • Unintrusive - Ignore or click on any notifications
  • No email - No extra incoming mail to filter
  • Help your visitors return - Allow people to subscribe to your site with 1-Click Notification
  • Time Saving - Visit your favourite blogs only when fresh content is available

  • Over 2,000 Subscribers can't be wrong

    BlogChangeBot Quick Start
    Option 1. Bookmark this link BlogChangeBot Notify and click on it when visiting any blog to be notified of any updates.
    Option 2. Send a SUBSCRIBE WWW.THEBLOGURL.COM message (changing www.theblogurl.com to the blog's url) to the blogchangebot AIM bot screenname.
    Option 3. Look for the blog change bot 1-Click Notify button on your favourite blogs.
    Option 4. Send a LOADOPML WWW.OPMLURL.COM message (changing www.opmlurl.com to the url of your OPML Blog Roll) to the blogchangebot AIM bot screenname and automatically subscribe to your entire blogroll.


    What is this?

    Blog Change Bot is a blog monitoring service which updates you via AOL Instant Messanger when a blog you are interested is updated. It is available with the screen name blogchangebot on AOL IM.

    Why have you done it?

    For those people who want to experience their favourite blogs using their browser rather than an RSS Aggregator and who don't want to continuously check their favourite blogs.

    How does it work?

    Blog Change Bot regularly polls the fresh feeds from blo.gs, weblogs.com and pyra's blogger, and matches these recently changed blogs with your subscriptions and sends an instant message notification when a blog you are subscribed to is updated.

    Blog change bot is written using PHP and the excellent Java AIM Bot library.

    How do I use it?

    As a blog reader

  • Subscribe to your favourite blogs using the BlogChangeBot bookmarklet. Bookmark this link BlogChangeBot Notify and click on it when visiting any blog to be notified of any updates.
  • Use the AOL IM interface. Send a subscribe URL message to the blog change bot.
  • Click on a 1-Click Notify button on a blog to be automatically subscribed to that blog.

  • Blog Change Bot understands the following commands
  • Subscribe URL - subscribe to be notified to a blog
  • Unsubscribe URL - unsubscribe from a blog
  • LoadOPML URL - subscribe to all the blogs in your OPML BlogRoll
  • List - list all your subscriptions
  • Recommend - recommends new blogs based on your subscriptions
  • News - display the most recent news about BlogChangeBot
  • Help - display help message
  • As a blog publisher

    Easily add 1-Click Subscription functionality to your blog. Just follow the 3-Step process.
    Blog Change Bot 3-Step Setup
    1. Copy and the HTML code below
    2. Paste it into your page
    3. Change the www.blogurl.com to your URL

    Which will end up looking like this:

    Other Cool Tools

    Try out Instant Gratification a slick as oil super tool which IMs you when your blog is read by someone.

    The Future

    The immediate plans are to get the blog change bot up and running with widespread use. After that we will be assessing where we and our users want the blog change bot to go.
    Some ideas include:

  • Blog Recommendations
  • Links with existing 3rd Party services
  • Automatic linking with leading tool vendors.
  • If you have ideas please let us know.

    Known Issues and Questions?

    There are some known (and some unknown) issues with the blog change bot.

  • My Blog never shows as updated
  • The blog change bot takes a regular feed from weblogs.com and blogger's changes.xml which contains a list of recently updated blogs. It maybe that your blog is not included in this list or that the subscription to your blog uses a slightly different URL to the one registered with the feeds. Try publishing your blog and checking the weblogs.com feed to check that your blog appears. If you use blogger then your blog will automatically be included as part of their processing and the most likely problem is a non matching URL used in subscribing.
  • My blog shows up but there is a delay before notification
  • Most likely the delay is due to the need for your blogging app to communicate with the central update lists, for the update lists feed to be updated and for the blog change bot to take grab the feed. As all of these things happen every few minutes (rather than every second) the notificaton could take up to approx 15 mins from when you post your blog to the notifications being sent out. Over next few weeks we will be looking at reducing the time to get notifications out.
  • I use iChat with a @mac.com screen name and I can't see blogchangebot
  • iChat using @mac.com screennames connects to the AOL IM servers using the Oscar protocol which is a closed protocol as opposed to the TOC protocol which Fire, Trillian and other 3rd Party AOL clients use. Apparently 3rd Party clients using the TOC protocol are unable to be seen by @mac.com iChat clients.
    The Blog Change Bot uses the TOC protocol to communicate with the AOL IM servers and hence is suffering the same problem.
    The only workaround seems to be to log in using an AIM account in iChat.
  • I get a notification but nothing seems to have changed on the blog
  • Notifications occur when any blog edit happens. This means that an edit to an existing post could cause a notification, likewise, side links added to a blog could also cause an update notification.
  • I get a couple of notifications for the same blog
  • Blog Change Bot gathers its recently updated blog data from weblogs.com and blogger. So if a site uses blogger and the publisher also pings (tells) weblogs.com that the site has been updated then there may be two updates sent. The root cause is the slight timing differences between blogger, weblogs.com and the blog change bot server.
  • I don't have AOL IM
  • At the moment we only have an AOL IM version. Depending on feedback we will look at supporting MSN IM in the future. In the meantime you can download an AOL IM client or use a cross IM system client such as Jabber.
  • I subscribed to a blog but I'm not getting notified
  • Either the blog updates are not getting into the blogrolling.com feed or the URL you subscribed to is incorrect. Double check the URL you have subscribed to and ask your blog publisher to confirm that they are pinging weblogs.com.
  • What happens when I'm not online at night time
  • When you are sleeping, resting, eating or otherwise engaged in non internet activities and hence are offline, any notifications will be stored and sent to you when you reconnect in the morning. And don't worry about getting multiple notifications as we'll send you just one even if a site was updated 10 times during the night.
  • My messages seem chopped off at the end
  • There is a maximum text message size which is being reached. We are working on a solution to break up the message into a couple of messages to get around the problem.

    Contact

    If you have ideas, bugs, issues or questions please send us an email to bcb@neuronwave.com

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