Frequently Asked Questions

What is Weblogs.Com? 

It's a Web Application, developed and run by UserLand Software, makers of Manila and Radio UserLand. It was written by Dave Winer, who writes the Scripting News weblog.

Development started in late 1999. The first versions were called Subhonker2 or Weblog Monitor.

The core function of Weblogs.Com is a list of weblogs that have changed in the last three hours. This information is also available in XML.

Whoa! Where did all the features go? 

On October 23, 2001 we completely changed how Weblogs.Com works.

The old Weblogs.Com accepted registrations. You'd give it the name of the weblog, its url, and various other bits of information. Then, every hour, it would read all the registered weblogs, and it would list the weblogs that changed in the last hour on the home page and in an XML file.

This was a good way to do it when there were a small number of weblogs. But there are so many now, Weblogs.Com got so slow that it was barely usable.

So now we're refocusing on what it does that's most valuable, and making way for new tools and utilities that build on that.

What's the difference? 

The new weblogs.com must be told when your weblog changed. It doesn't automatically check to see if a weblog has changed.

Now here's a key point -- even though Weblogs.Com must be told about changes, if you use a blogging tool or content management system, it can be programmed to tell Weblogs.Com about the change.

In fact, Manila and Radio UserLand both have been programmed to communicate directly with Weblogs.Com. If you run a Manila or Radio site, you don't have to do anything beyond setting a Pref in a web form for your site automatically included in the new network.

How can my weblog participate in Weblogs.Com? 

If you're a writer or designer and don't know an XML-RPC message from a hole in the ground, you can ask the developer of your blogging tool to take a look at the specs, or ask questions on the mail list for Weblogs.Com developers. Or you can bookmark this page, and refresh it when you add an item to your site.

If you develop a blogging tool and want to have your users optionally be able to participate in Weblogs.Com, it's easy. Send us a "ping" message through XML-RPC, SOAP or HTTP-POST.

Are these Web Services? 

Of course. They are services that run on the Web. They use SOAP and XML-RPC. They are easy to understand and program, and can be accessed from any scripting environment on any operating system. If your weblog ties into Weblogs.Com you can proudly tell your friends that you're participating in the next developer revolution.

What about favorites? 

All the static XML files maintained by the old Weblogs.Com will stay where they are but they will not update.

http://static.userland.com/weblogMonitor/changes.xml

http://static.userland.com/weblogMonitor/logs.xml

http://static.userland.com/weblogMonitor/categories.xml

http://static.userland.com/weblogMonitor/favorites.xml

http://static.userland.com/weblogMonitor/changedIcons.xml

What if I have a question that's not answered here? 

Please post a message on the mail list for Weblogs.Com.

It tends to be techy and developer oriented, but we want to help people get going with the technology, to help us all find good sources of news and comment on the events of our day.

Discuss