Monday, November 9, 2009

How TerPress Uses FeedJournal

TerPress uses FeedJournal to generate weekly printable newspapers. The PDF newspaper is then freely hosted and embedded on the web using Issuu (other free options include doXtop and Scribd). TerPress is also printed and distributed to institutions, schools, universities, libraries and public locations.
TerPress is an Italian magazine that deals with culture, society, morality, and information on new contemporary languages. It has an editorial staff of 20 people and a constant stream of new visitors.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Only Publish Fresh Articles

Up till today, FeedJournal Publisher users was limited to specifying a date, without time, when filtering articles from their feeds. For high-traffic feeds this was not inefficient. Also, when automating newspapers publishing, a hardcoded date is not appropriate.

Now, you can specify how old articles to include in the newspaper by entering an number of hours. For example, to include all feed articles published in the last 24 hours, you enter “–24h”. It’s as simple as that.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Let There Be Links

One of the most requested features since the inception of FeedJournal has been hyperlink support in the generated PDF newspaper.

Now it is available!

PDF hyperlinksUsers of both the free FeedJournal Reader service and the commercial FeedJournal Publisher can today select the Show web-style links-setting to render links as blue underlined text. This is the default setting. Users who are primarily interested in a traditional paper reading experience can unselect the check box to hide the links. Regardless of this setting, links are always available in the PDF, and the reader sees the URL targets by hovering the linked text with the mouse pointer.

In addition to links inside the article, clicking the headline links to the web page where the full article is published. And in the byline, the feed name links to the web site where the articles are published. Article and feed links are always rendered as normal text, not as HTML links.

In addition to the new links, today’s update also includes better extraction of metadata for Atom feeds.

The new link feature has required large modifications of the code base, and much effort has gone into testing. However, should you run into any feed or articles where you notice abnormalities, please report them to

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

doXtop Press Release

A new doXtop press release describes how FeedJournal Publisher let clients generate newspapers that doXtop hosts, distributes and adds social features to.

FeedJournal users can host, embed and collaborate on to their generated newspapers using a plethora of third-party services. DoXtop is a leading and professional provider in this area. 

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure to talk to Paul Caspers, creator of doXtop, about how we can go forward and extend our integration to offer an excellent user experience. When the new Publisher interface will be unveiled later this year, you will all be able to see how all the pieces fit together.

Liberty Newsprint, recently featured on this blog, is a prime example of how content providers are using FeedJournal and doXtop. Please have a look at the press release, embedded below using doXtop.

Individual newspapers deployed on doXtop

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Site Update: IE Compatibility (2009-10-06)

Recent user feedback has helped us to weed out a couple of bugs in the FeedJournal Reader service. Most importantly, a recent update to Internet Explorer, caused the Reader service to fail to generate newspapers.

Another issue caused articles without a publishing date to not be included in the newspaper.

Both of these bugs did not affect the commercial Publisher service. The fixes were deployed earlier today, and are now available to all users.

Change log:

  • Newspapers could not be generated in Internet Explorer (Thanks, TerPress!)
  • Include documents that don't have a valid publishing date (Thanks, Gerald!)
  • Minor design change to the subscription list
  • Updated to YUI 2.8.0r4

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How Liberty Newsprint Uses FeedJournal

Joel Robinson at Liberty Newsprint kindly set aside some time for me to ask him how he uses FeedJournal to create new print-issues of the aggregated Internet newspaper.


What is Liberty Newsprint?

An experiment in content (news) distribution. I want to see if I can brand a compelling customized newspaper that people would be interested in reading, and eventually, quality content producers interested in contributing to.

What are you using FeedJournal for?

I'm using the FeedJournal application to assemble a variety of daily full-text RSS feeds into the Liberty Newsprint Daily Edition.

How has FeedJournal helped you?

Without FeedJournal it would be impossible to gather daily RSS feeds from the internet in such a readable newspaper format.

How do you plan to use FeedJournal in the future?

Eventually I see using FeedJournal as the application to print anything from the internet on a regular basis. Also, I see it as the application I'll use to customize news and information when I eventually buy an e-reader like the Kindle or any other future e-reader device.

What other ways do you see people using FeedJournal?

Any large to medium sized company that writes newsletters or has a bulletin board from a variety of sources would do well to use FeedJournal Publisher. FeedJournal could definitely help order and manage the flow of institutional information in a much more timely and efficient way. If you work for a large company think of how many e-mails you get about things that you'd rather read in an easy to read, up to date, RSS newsletter. For example, lunches, the company picnic, party, retirement... the list is long.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Private newspapers

A week ago, Stuart contacted me to ask if it is possible to generate newspapers with the Publisher service that are not hosted on FeedJournal. He was concerned about the privacy of his clients’ proprietary information.

Thanks to Stuart’s suggestions, it is now possible to disable FeedJournal hosting of PDF files by simply deselecting the check box Host on FeedJournal in the Publisher management interface. This new feature is immediately available to all users of the FeedJournal Publisher service.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

HP’s New Web-Connected Printer & FeedJournal

How can you use HP’s new computer-less printer to get your FeedJournal newspaper?

HP's new web-enabled printer. That was the first question I asked myself when I read the press release for HP’s innovative new web-enabled printer, with the outlandish name “HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web”. I still don’t have a definite answer to the question, but I am eager to make it as easy as possible for FeedJournal users to get the latest version of their personalized newspaper.

HP’s strategy of launching Tabbloid suddenly becomes a little bit more clear, even though they have a long way to go until they will have something similar to FeedJournal’s offering.

HP says in their press release that developers can distribute applications for the printer using HP Apps Studio, but it will not be available until the end of 2009. Attempts to contact HP have been fruitless so far. Hopefully they will offer an early access or beta program soon.

Too bad for HP, since it will give the competing printer companies a chance to catch up with their own web printers and newspaper generating software.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Site Update: Member Services (2009-06-13)

We have rolled out an update to FeedJournal Publisher, adding two new settings in the Member Services configuration interface for Gold members (Thanks, Matthew!):

  • Option to hide feed source name in article header
  • Option to hide submission date in article header

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Real Estate Market

When real-estate agent Ryan Shaughnessy posted an article about FeedJournal on The Lafayette Report I was very pleased. But I didn’t expect a torrent of 80(!) comments on that blog post from other real- estate agents who were enthusiastic about how FeedJournal could help them.

The article is Customers with No Internet Access? Convert Blog Content to Printed Newspaper with FeedJournal. It gives a great overview of the FeedJournal service from the perspective of the real-estate professional.

Now, the question is: How can I cater for this looming market apparently full of opportunities? I will put on my thinking-hat and see what I come up with. If you have any suggestions, please share them!

In the meantime I have rolled out some small bug fixes for FeedJournal. The most important one is a bug fix for the image caching algorithm, which caused some images to not appear, if they were too small for another user’s paper format.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

FeedJournal API Enters Private Beta

A FeedJournal API is now available for private early beta testing. With the API, it will be possible to quickly build a white-label web site using the FeedJournal engine to generate newspaper PDF files from any RSS feeds. The API also gives you access to an engine and database for user management.

The beta release of the API is available from today to a limited number of strategic partners. If you would be interested in using or reselling such a solution, you are welcome to contact me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

E-Book Reader Optimized Newspapers

One of many interesting user comments and feature requests accumulating at FeedJournal’s UserVoice page is to better cater for e-book readers, such as the Amazon Kindle, iRex iLiad and Sony Reader Digital Book devices. With today’s update to FeedJournal Reader it is even easier.

Those among us who read our FeedJournal newspaper on an e-book reader are prime examples that FeedJournal does not have to be consumed as a “dead-tree” newspaper.

Today’s update provides optimized page sizes for the most popular devices. Just log in to the Reader service (or create a free account if you are not yet registered) and set the newspaper page size to be optimized for your e-reader model in the Edit Profile page.

I plan to soon roll out many more features targeting e-book readers, so make sure you vote for the features that are most important to you!

If your device of choice is not listed, please let me know and I will add it ASAP.

For your reference, I am including a table of the optimal full-screen reading pixel resolutions for the most popular e-book reader devices. I never managed to dig up a similar table myself in my research, so I hope it will be of use to someone.

Gadget Optimal Width (pixel) Optimal Height (pixel)
Amazon Kindle 525 640
iRex iLiad 768 940
Sony Reader 584 754

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Site Update: Basic Publisher (2009-02-08)

I have rolled out a new update for FeedJournal Publisher, fixing a bug in the free basic level service:

  • Relaxed the URL validation, where feed addresses with non-standard characters produced errors (Thanks, Nico!)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Site Update (2009-02-06)

I have rolled out a new update for FeedJournal Reader, improving the GUI and layout. These are the major changes:

  • Improved parsing of non-standard feed URLs (Thanks, Robert!)
  • Added web and feed URL to the web interface (Thanks, Tony!)
  • Repositioned the delete button so that new users won’t have to hunt it down.

In addition, I also updated the blog post links on the to post to this blog.