Swiss Blogs Directory Monopoly (and a proposal)

I didn’t want to comment on the whole who-owns-which-swiss-blogs-urls discussion, but here are my 2 cents anyway…

I was surprised to realize on Friday that the blog.ch OPML file was gone (I need it for the Top 100 list). I knew Matthias had some “trouble” with other new aggregators, so this wasn’t totally unexpected and I don’t want to further comment on if Matthias is right or wrong. But OTOH he never really stated under which conditions this OPML file was available, so you can’t really blame the others for taking and using it :)

I have now again access to the OPML list again, but it’s a pity it isn’t available to everyone anymore as such projects like the top100 list are not possible anymore (or not possible with such a low entry barrier…)

Anyway, nothing new, everything said already, but I think the whole mess begs for a solution and here’s my proposal:

Create a “aggregator-independent” Swiss Blog Directory.

It may be super simple for a start, but could grow on features with time. My basic idea is, that everyone subscribes and maintains his blog data at one central place. Those URLs are then republished under some CC license (as OPML or whatnot), so that everyone can use it (and do with the data whatever he wants).

Later one could add features like Blog Claim (like in technorati, to be sure it’s your blog), category and language fields and maybe as much as important after these few days, under which terms you want to have your blog republished (commercial sites? Just title? Full Content?).

This way, the aggregators don’t have to waste time on collecting the data and investigating at copyright issues, but have one nice source for all this and they can concentrate on implementing new exciting features instead of boring data mining :)

One other feature could be a central place for pinging when you publish a new blog post, so that your article is immediately published on the aggregators as well. As far as I know, no aggregator supports that feature today, but having a single place for swiss blogs (like weblogs.com for everyone in the world) could solve some scalability issues…

I know Matthias did put a lot of work into his list and it’s not that easy to keep it clean and up to date. I don’t want to check each new entry, but with some kind of community check, false and spam entries could be spotted quite efficiently,.

Again, this list wouldn’t be an aggregator itself, it would just publish the blog url list and maybe check from time to time, if the blog is still online. And all the data published for each blog is in the responsibility of the blog owner and not some single group or person. There have to be criteria on who’s allowed to be on the list at all, but I think, those should be quite lax. The aggregator people still can exclude blogs they don’t like from that list on their own and for example only use blogs from one language or category.

Just an idea, not sure if anyone’s interested at all for something like this, but I think, it’s a win for everyone, especially also for the blog owners, as they don’t have to submit their blog on dozens of pages to be included (if they want to :) )

I like this. Let’s do it… :)

One word: Splogs. Keeping them out of an open directory will be impossible. The “community check” you propose is a boring, depressing, and completely unrewarding job that nobody will want to do.

Well, that’s my experience with projects of that sort. I’d love to be proven wrong.

As far as the OPML file goes, there’s a notice right in front of the (now dead) link to the file.

A couple weeks ago I gave the file to someone who was polite enough to ask for it. I’m just no longer putting the file online for freeloaders.

It’s still available for projects like yours. I just haven’t had time to make a notice to that effect.

Yeah, there is a Splogs problem and I have no idea, how many submissions of splogs you get. One could add some technical measurements to lower that, but there’s still the problem of deciding if it’s a swiss blog or not and that you can’t do automatically IMHO.

The other services I mentioned (tagging, pinging, language) are just features people were asking since a long time on blog.ch :)

I don’t mind, if such a service is on an independent site or on blog.ch or on any other side, I just think it could helps the whole blog community. But the rules have to be clear and the data has to be somehow open.

(With “the rules” I don’t mean they have to be community-approved and decided by a committee :) They just have to be clearly stated, it helps a lot avoiding bad publicity later :) )

I am also positive about a “independent blog usergroup”. But it would have to be a community project, and it would have to be “open”.

an excellent and very pragmatic solution. lets do this! and i totally agree with you that this has to be an open list under a CC license. then we would never have the problems we are facing now with people creating “advanced” agregators. because blogging tom really did say that right, people are also adding features that blog.ch had not done yet.
the more tools the merrier.

Just startet http://swissopml.ch/ … Still it is just a quick hack but it should be a point to start. And yes: it should be open… So let’s start the discussion.

Okay, Christian Stocker’s comments inspired me to write a new feed directory. The fact that I implemented Christian’s ideas so quickly shows, that I agree with his points completly. A short summary of what sub.scribe.to is supposed to be and have in…

So it seems, this article already inspired two people to start something. I developed sub.scribe.to in the past few hours (love the idea and had a domain name to spare ;-). See also my blog post for information.

Ok guys, please stop right now :) I wanted to centralize this and put resources together and not to have dozens of open directories around…

Watch this space for more info on that. IMHO we first need to talk to each other, before hacking around :) And Matthias is not totally against such a site, BTW

I think it is good to have some ideas around and to look at it in action. Now we have two ideas to start with. Let’s focus on the way to merge those… As stated: My ‘solution’ is not a final solution. It should be a discussion-starter…

yes. lets talk. where? when?

Sounds real good! A open blog list, perhaps something like dmoz would be very nice. Perhaps we should have a ranking feature (from automatic datas like the-blog-100-list and from user feedback/ranking) and a spam filter.

@Jan und andere, die gerne aktiv werde möchten: hier steht, wo die Musik spielt :-).

Nachdem jemand die OPML-Blog-Liste von blog.ch für ein eigenes Projekt "geklaut" hat, hat Matthias diese kurzerhand vom Netz genommen. Das ganze hat einen kleinen Sturm im Blogwald ausgelöst, auf de …