9/18/2008

It's a Great Idea, but...

It doesn't really seem to work.

For the past several days I've been trying out a service called outside.in whose purpose is to map stories about your neighborhood or town that you post so others can find them.

Neat idea, huh? I thought so. I signed up on their site and found that currently you can only have one blog per sign in. Well, I have two blogs, not to mention SPIDER Web, for SPI. I asked about this and was told I'd just have to have separate accounts with separate emails for each blog. Very inconvenient but they're in beta so figured I'd do it anyway. So, I used my backup email address and signed up twice.

Then I set about "geotagging" my older posts as well as my new posts per their instructions. I submitted the older posts with info on businesses and what not in our neighborhood directly to the site. Then I waited to see if their RSS feed picked up and parsed my new posts.

It didn't. Although I linked the post to a Google Map of the place I was discussing, their system overlooked it completely. This was one of the preferred methods according to their instructions. Even the posts I submitted directly have failed to show up on my "map". Each person has an individual map that shows places they've blogged about. You can see my very bare one on the sidebar here.

So, it's a really great idea, but it doesn't seem to work too well, so will probably be taking all the links down for it shortly. Maybe if they get it working better I'll try it again, but for now I'd skip it. Too much setup for something that might or might not work in the end.

In fact, let's give this one last try... I'll put the Google Map link to my local library branch right here.

UPDATE: So, the good folks at outside.in have left a few comments here about the problems I'm experiencing. It seems that although Google Reader and other RSS readers get a full feed on my story, that Feedburner itself only is transmitting the short version that strips out the links. So, I've reworked my feed from Blogger to make sure it transmits the full feed to Feedburner and we'll see if that doesn't correct the problem.

Thanks guys for your help on this and hopefully, they'll add a special section for Blogger to their site since it seems to show full posts in one place and short posts when sent through Feedburner!

2 comments:

Mark said...

Good morning Buck.

Thanks for trying us out and giving detailed feedback...that way we can look closely and see what's up.

I'll check into why we didn't seem to capture your place data.

Also, we know we need to support multiple sites per member and it's in the queue.

Thanks again.

mark

josh said...

Buck,

Thanks for trying out the StoryMap. I've done some digging as to why your posts aren't showing up automatically. You are using an shortened Feedburner feed so the link to your local library never reached GeoToolkit. You can fix this by giving us a full feed so we can scan the text and look for the links you are inserting, or by logging in to GeoToolkit and adding places in the Feed Editor. Thanks again for trying us out and I look forward to seeing your map fill up with places.

Best regards,
Josh

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