August 9, 2006

Announcing BlogBridge Topic Expert on Really Simple Syndication

Filed under: Announcements — Pito Salas on 3:33 pm

As you can see, we’re growing, and have been lucky enough to get Marjolein Hoekstra to join us as “RSS Topic Expert.”

If you are interested in RSS (“Really Simple Syndication”) you should check out this new BlogBridge Expert Topic Guide.

Here’s Marjolein’s own blog and some really interesting backgroundabout some of the techniques she uses to create and maintain her recommendations.

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August 3, 2006

BlogBridge Skypecast: Aug 10, 2006, 10:00AM (EST)

Filed under: Announcements — Pito Salas on 11:16 am

I will be doing another Skypecast, this time about BlogBridge release 3.0. I will also be covering some ideas for the future roadmap for our products, and mostly answer any of your questions.

I’d like to ask everyone to come and participate in this FREE conference call. All you need is your FREE Skype account, which of course all of you already have!

Click to see the details of the Skypecast on the Skype web site!

August 2, 2006

Quick update: BlogBridge 3.0.1 just released

Filed under: Announcements, BlogBridge — Pito Salas on 10:55 am

We just released a quick update to BlogBridge with some critical bug fixes which were interfering with certain new user installations. You will be offered the update automatically so just sit back and enjoy! We hope the extra download isn”t too much of a hardship for you, and apologize if it is.

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July 28, 2006

Announcing BlogBridge 3.0!!!

Filed under: Announcements, BlogBridge — Pito Salas on 2:06 pm

Well, here we go again! We are really happy and excited to let you all know that we’ve just released BlogBridge 3.0, which is the update to BlogBridge 2.16 which we released on April 7, 2006, so about 3 months ago.

Picture 3-13BlogBridge 3.0 now will alert you when it receives new articles, new feeds and new guides. We’ve implemented this in a ‘platform sensitive‘ way.

On Windows XP and Linux, we use the standard ’system tray’ and on Macintosh OS X we use the ‘Growl’ notification facility.

The alerts include how many articles have been added, how many Feeds have been added, and into how may Guides.

Picture 2-23BlogBridge 3.0 now now works with the new BlogBridge Guides’ web site, where you can browse and search and the large collection of suggested Guides and Feeds that you get with BlogBridge.

The same Feeds and Guides you see on our web site are presented to you from inside BlogBridge.

They are presented to you through a “Suggest” button:

  • when subscribing to a Feed
  • when creating a new Guide
  • when subscribing to a Reading List
  • and upon initial setup of BlogBridge

Picture 4-5BlogBridge 3.0 is now ready to be translated into national language. Our initial translation is into Russian, as Aleksey speaks Russian :)

Even there we encountered some interesting challenges with our buzzwords like Guide and Feed.

By the way, if you’d like to help us translate into other languages, please let us know. It’s pretty easy (once you know the other language, of course :)

Picture 6BlogBridge 3.0 now permits users to ‘Pin‘ an article. This has several helpful effects.

First of all, Pinned articles never get purged, so they stay in  your database forever. Also there are special SmartFeed parameters to limit a search to only Pinned article. And if you use our cool Find feature, Pinned articles are called out separately.

Picture 9BlogBridge 3.0 includes a nice new shortcut for people who like the Toolbar provides a one click ‘Synchronize Now’ command.

For those of you who aren’t yet using the Synch feature, why not? It’s free and easy, and useful for more than just saving your Subscriptions to our Servers. Check it out!

Those are just some of the highlights of BlogBridge 3.0. There are lots of other small improvements, refinements, new features, performance improvements.

Not to mention that BlogBridge 3.0 should be even more stable on whatever platform (Windows, Mac or Linux) you prefer.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s FREE?

Click here to download and try the latest BlogBridge 3.0!

Users of BlogBridge 2.16 as well of those of you using the weekly development release will be automagically upgraded.

Please do send us your comments, feedback, complaints and requests. Enjoy!

ONE MORE THING: See this ‘DIGG’ link? Click it! If you like BlogBridge, how about helping the cause and Digging us. If you’ve never done Digg before, try it, it’s fun, quick and free to sign up.

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June 30, 2006

BlogBridge 2.22 Weekly Development Release

Filed under: Announcements — Aleksey Gureiev on 3:24 pm

Hi everyone! This morning we released another scheduled weekly development version of BlogBridge — version 2.22 — and updated most of our BlogBridge: Library sites, including our showcase, trial sites and the sandbox. So what’s new?

Traditionally, let’s start with BlogBridge which has become quite popular over the course of last several months and it’s great because it motivates and gives a spur. Keep up sending your comments and don’t forget to tell your friends. Where was I?

Oh yes, the first feature I would like to outline is the updated BlogStarz rating system. There were two new parameters added dramatically increasing the usefulness of the whole thing: number of feed views and number of times you opened articles from a feed in an external browser (clickthroughs). Personally, I immediately started using the former as it reflects the real value of a feed for me. I visit a feed often, I like it, and it gets the higher rating… Just what was needed!

The second feature on my announcement list is somehow related to feed ratings. If you are a publisher of Reading Lists it might come in very handy. From now on you can set the rating threshold and every feed below it in the guide you publish won’t show up in the resulting OPML (and JavaScript) of your Reading List. The filtering works only for gold Starz for now, meaning that if you have a threshold of 3 Starz (as shown in the picture) and you have several feeds with one or two silver Starz in your guide, they still will be published. The feature is quite experimental and you are welcome to send us the feedback.

OK, now on to the brief BlogBridge: Library news. The two most interesting features I wish to highlight are Search function and showing folders in preview areas (so-called ‘book shelves’). The search feature is perfectly visible with an unarmed eye and works as expected. You enter something and it looks for this something in all textual fields of folders and feeds registered. No surprises actually.

The preview enhancement plays best when it comes to showing the folders with no feeds in them, just sub-folders. Before today, such folders appeared simply as headers without items, which looked a bit strange as there were lots of sub-folders with loads of feeds in them. Today you can see sub-folders at the end of the sub-elements preview list. No big deal, of course, but still a pleasant eye candy.

For more details on the release, check out our history of changes page. Click here to download and run the latest Development Release (on any platform), visit our BlogBridge: Library showcase to see how it works, or start playing with it right now in our special self-managing sandbox.

June 16, 2006

Feed Library (preview and trial) - AVAILABLE!

Filed under: Announcements, Feed Library — Pito Salas on 5:49 pm

We are releasing Feed Library preview and trial today!

Yes sports fans it’s up and running on this site (see below for the link.) What you will see is a fully populated, live Feed Library, containing tons of feeds and reading lists from the BlogBridge collection.

Please note: Without a login account, you are accessing the library anonymously and so will have no ability to add, create and modify content. Why? Because this is a real production library containing the feeds that we (BlogBridge) are showcasing for our users. You might notice for example that the color scheme is all BlogBridgy. When you have your own Library, you can chose the colors yourself.

What else is going on? Starting Monday, we will have a open instance of BlogBridge Library which will allow you and everyone else to fool around with it. Note of course that we won’t be able to control the content so, your mileage will vary. I have no idea just what will happen but we’ll be ready to reset it at any point if the content gets too badly mangled by the exuberant youth of today.

What else is going on? If you are seriously interested, we can arrange a hosted trial of Feed Library for you on our server. You would get a private URL and the ability to add users, contents, etc. on a limited basis. You will have to get in touch with us at to request a trial.

What else is going on? A lot. But that’s all for now! Oh, and, here’s the link to Feed Library. Please let us know what you think!

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June 8, 2006

Announcing Feed Library

Filed under: Announcements, Feed Library — Pito Salas on 10:25 am

I am really pleased to be able to tell you about the fruits of our labors over the last several months, a new software product we call Feed Library (BBL for now.) Over the coming days and weeks I will be posting lots more detail about it because there is a lot to it. Consider this the unveiling and opening salvo of information.

Background: Organizations are continuing to embrace the world of RSS, blogging and feeds as a new model for learning, sharing and distributing information. There are pilot projects going on all over where users, members of the organization, employees are being given aggregators or taught to use the ones they already have (in Internet Explorer, FireFox, Safari etc.)

They are being shown how to use them to gather information and keep up with what’s going on. This comes from the realization that lots of mission critical and professionally useful information is available in more convenient and timely form through such feeds. The users eyes are popping when they see the power of this stuff. This is happening all around.

Picture 2-20

Invariably one of the very first questions that comes from these new users is: “This rss stuff is cool, but how can I find the good stuff? What do you recommend? How do we know what to look at?” That’s where BlogBridge:LIbrary comes in.

Here is a crucial point that many people will miss but is critical to understand BBL: BlogBridge:Library is a piece of software that you can install on your own server, inside your firewall. It’s not the content of the library (the books,) it’s the software to organize the library (the building.)

Feed Library (FL) creates a flexible web based structure to showcase Feeds, Reading Lists and Podcasts to employees in your company, or members of your organization. It will be the ‘store‘ where users can browse and search for recommendations of content to read with their Aggregators. And, here’s the important point: these are recommendations by people in your organization for people in your organization.

Librarians from your own organization organize FL according to what makes sense to your own users. For example:

  • a section for Marketing, Engineering, Human Resources and Manufacturing.
  • Or perhaps in a different kind of organization, there would be sections for Biology, Medicine, Technology, Management, and Research.
  • Or again a different kind of organization, there might be sections for Policy, Government, Public Relations, etc.

You get the idea: the organization of your FL reflects what’s of interest to your users.

There is a whole lot of flexibility built into FL.  Individual users can be given areas of library to manage, there is a place for biographical information about librarians, there is a built in announcements blog where you can communicate with your clients, you can completely change the look of the site to match your organizational web site, you can see what the most popular feeds are, and lots more. And of course, there’s RSS and OPML everywhere. So FL will play really nicely with your aggregators and related technology.

This post is already much too long and I know there are lots of questions that I have left unanswered. More will be posted in the coming days so please keep an eye out. If you can’t wait, email me directly at and I will be glad to answer any questions.

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June 4, 2006

BlogBridge 2.20 Development Release

Filed under: Announcements, BlogBridge — Pito Salas on 8:56 pm

It’s Friday and yes, we have another neat release for you! You may have noticed that lately we have been very regularly doing another release every other Friday. Perhaps gradually we will stop referring to these as weekly releases and start using the more standard term “development release” which is at the same time more accurate.

Anyway, three really cool new things in this release.

The first one I described a couple of days ago: BlogBridge is now translated into Russian, and ready to be easily translated into most any other language. All we need are volunteers: hint hint :)

Picture 3 Second, with this release the “Photo Album” display becomes much more easily discoverable, it’s in the toolbar, right above the articles that are effected.

Where previously we had icons corresponding to the “Minimal”, “Brief” and “Full” display of articles, now we have two banks of icons: On the left are icons to allow you to switch between “Normal” and “Photo Album” and on the right are the old “Minimal”, “Brief” and “Full” controls.

Picture 1-36 Picture 2-19 If we look at one of our favorites, Engadget, in the two display modes you get the idea. Basically any feed that is primarily photos looks really cool in the Photo Album display mode. This works especially nicely with Flickr SmartFeeds.

Third, we now have a new, and often requested feature, a “Pin” command. At the top right of each Article you will see a little icon to Pin and Un-pin that article. Simple but powerful. When you pin an article it is protected from being deleted when articles are normally purged.

Picture 4-3

Yeah, yeah, the icon is a “flag” not a “pin”. That’s because we don’t have a “pin” icon handy right now, but we will be updating it soon.

As I think some of you know we’ve been working on a new product, the BlogBridge: Library. We haven’t announced it yet, because it’s not quite done. But this release also includes other improvements which relate to the Library project. Watch this space!

If you are curious and courageous, Click here to download and run the latest Development Release (on any platform).

May 19, 2006

BlogBridge 2.19 Weekly Development Release

Filed under: Announcements, BlogBridge — Aleksey Gureiev on 3:07 pm

It’s Friday and we release another BlogBridge Weekly Development Release: Version 2.19. This version features several tasty things and here I would like to highlight some.

The most noticable and nice of them is Activity Alerts. Activity Alerts is our cool name for different event notifications given when you don’t see the application window (it’’s either minimized or otherwise hidden). We opened the season by reporting two kinds of events: when new articles arrive and when new feeds are added to the reading lists you are subscribed to.

Picture 1-35 Notifications itself appear in a platform-specific way. On Mac OS X you need Growl ( to see some nice balloons. Growl is a handy Mac OS X utility that does, well, notifications.

On Windows and Linux a small BlogBridge icon appears in the notifications area and a popup message is displayed near it. Please note that Windows and Linux users need at least Java 6 (which is still in Beta state at the moment) to see any notifications and notifications related options.

This is due to the fact that we always need some cross-platform way of doing things as we have to support many different systems and the only way to stay independent of any native code injections is to use only standard means.

BugYou can enable or disable notifications using global preferences (Notifications tab).

Look to this new tab as we add more notification options. By the way, if you don’t see the tab, you can’t have notifications because of your Java version. Sorry.

Every Guide also has this tab where you can allow the engine monitor this Guide for new feeds and feeds in it for new articles or disallow to do so.

The other small enahncement is that we added an intersting new link ( It lists all public reading lists our users have published. It’s the shortest and the easiest way to expose your lists. Now when you publish your list in BlogBridge you can set a “public” flag and the record about your reading list will show up in that small directory (By default, all reading lists are marked as private and none of the previously published ones will be exposed, so don’’t worry.)

Enjoy the updates and let us know what you think! We are very open to comments and suggestions as usual.

If you are curious and courageous, Click here to download and run the latest Weekly Development Release (on any platform).

May 5, 2006

BlogBridge 2.18 Weekly Development Release

Filed under: Announcements — Aleksey Gureiev on 4:27 pm

Today we release another BlogBridge version – version 2.18 — that, according to the history of changes, is mainly maintenance release. However, all fixes and small enhancements are usability-focused and should noticeable with unarmed eye.

The most significant of them is attempt to reduce memory footprint of the application. Obviously, no desktop application should grab half of your system memory even if it’s as well-packed with miracles as BlogBridge is. It’s still weekly development release and things can be not so smooth, but still, keep an eye on it and notice your impressions. We would love to hear about them. Don’t forget that we have forum open 24×7.

Other fixes are less cardinal, yet interesting. It’s already became a good tradition to enhance the way articles are rendered. As we don’t have an opportunity to involve system browser component in this, we are bound to continuously polish what we have. Thanks to endless enthusiasm of Kevin and suggestions from all around the world (Thanks Tim!), admitedly, we do a great job on this front.

If you are an avid publisher who is using our fresh ping-upon-publishing functionality, you might notice that it doesn’t work sometimes. Yes, it didn’t work when guides were published with Full Synchronization, but worked perfect when one invoked “Only Save” command. This issue is also fixed. It works for both variants equally good now.

Tell us what you think and tell your friends what we do!

Click here to download and run the latest weekly development release (on any platform)!

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