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Jonas Martinsson's Blog

Aug 25, 2007 - Feb 7, 2008

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HOWTO: GTD with Google Docs & PocketMod By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 11:36 Dec 26, 2007

Take control of your unwieldy to dolist by combining Google Docs and PocketMod. With the system described here you will always be ready to take notes, and never run the risk of losing an idea! I use a subset of GTD ("Getting Things Done") by having a digital copy of my next actions, sorted by context (@Home, @Office, @Shopping, @Computer, etc.). This lets me easily look up what I need to do, depending on where I am. However, a digital copy is not very useful by itself, since it is not accessible when I am offline. Putting it in my PDA is not ideal either, since the overhead of adding a new note is too big (turning on the device, opening the right application, having it recognize my handwriting). That's why I print out my to-do list on paper once a week and carry it in my pocket. It's the ideal way of accessing and editing tasks. Before I print out a new list I spend a minute or two copying the edits from my old printed list to the digital copy. So the question is, what format is preferred for the digital copy and how do I best print it? This question has lead to an unending debate among GTDers, and David Allen, the guru himself, doesn't offer any concrete suggestions. For me, it is important to be able to access the digital copy

from multiple computers. At the same time, the printout needs to be small enough to fit comfortably in a pocket. I have previously blogged about the advantages of managing your to do list with the online GTD-application Toodledo. I especially like the way it lets you print your tasks as a folded credit-card sized 8-page booklet, easy to carry with you at all times. Unfortunately, to be able to print a booklet with one page per context, a Toodledo Pro package subscription is required. It's only $14.95/year so it might be a good deal for some, but I was looking for alternatives. Actually, you can achieve the needed functionality for free by using a combination of Google Docs and the PocketMod converter. Together with a Pilot G-2 XS pen, which always writes and fits great into even the smallest pocket, you are always ready to take notes, and never risk losing an idea! Below, I describe the system I use. Requirements:• A free Google Docs account. If you own a copy of Adobe Acrobat (not the free Acrobat Reader) you may use that instead and skip the 3 first steps below.• PDF to PocketMod converter. This Windows -only application will be used to shrink the 8-page PDF into a single page. • A PDF reader (Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader) for printing the final result.

Steps:• Import my document template into Google Docs, by choosing "Upload" from the main menu. In the field "Or enter the URL of a file on t h e w e b : " , e n t e r "http://jonasmartinsson.50webs.com/ docs/gtd-template.html" and click the "Upload File" button. • Customize the document so that it will be useful to you. Enter your contact information and the contexts you need, and make a brain dump of your current tasks. • From the Google Docs file menu, choose "Export as PDF..." and save the document as a PDF file on your computer. • Open "PDF to PocketMod converter". Click the "Open PDF" button and select the file you saved from Google Docs in the step above. Next, click the "Save as PocketMod" button, name the PDF file for the booklet and wait for the process to finish. • Print the file generated in the last step using your PDF reader. • Cut the printed sheet and fold it into an 8-page booklet according to these instructions.

Next week, reopen the document, copy your edits from your booklet, and continue from step #3. Enjoy!Technorati Tags: gtd

Read My Blog as a Newspaper/Magazine By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 13:44 Aug 28, 2007

Starting today, I am offering my latest blog posts as a free magazine in PDF format. You will find the link to this blog's FeedJournal magazine in the left sidebar. Print it and read it wherever you like; during your commute, in bed or anywhere else where you prefer to be offline and rest your eyes from the computer screen. As soon as I publish a new post the magazine is updated. The oldest post is pushed out to make room for the new one. Even if reading my blog posts on paper does not excite you, you might be thrilled to know that the same service will soon be available to all bloggers and other content providers who want to offer their readers the opportunity to enjoy the newspaper/magazine format. In the coming days, I will publish information about how you easily can integrate and customize this service with your own RSS or Atom feed. Available customizations include logo, font selection, number of columns, page size, limits on articles, multiple feeds, deep linking, content filtering, etc. Keep your eyes on this blog!

The Newspaper Nosedive By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 11:15 Jan 7, 2008

"Is FeedJournal a threat to newspapers?" That's the most common question people ask when they first hear about FeedJournal. As I see it, FeedJournal is not a threat by itself, as much as the blogosphere it represents. Readers today have seen the light in the form of the blog; fresh thought-provoking content from their favorite writers are just a mouse-click away. They don't care if the writer is a journalist at NY Times or someone with a free Blogger account. What they do care about is that the content is niched, relevant and fresh. If the readers on top of that has the opportunity to interact with the article and its author by comments - so much the better. Blogging means different things for different people. One important, and

significantly large, group of bloggers write regularly, and on topic. These are the writers who are willing to take on the new role of the independant journalist. The smaller the niche, the larger the chance of keeping your readers. With this, we have the long tail of journalism. Mainstream newspapers cannot possibly compete with that. For example, I subscribe to a blogger who writes about my home village in Sweden, interspersed with stories from my new home, Israel, where she used to live. A traditional newspaper cannot possibly compete with that. Another example is the wealth of feeds about online publishing - high quality content where new innovative ideas are discussed and put forth daily. A traditional newspaper cannot possibly compete with that. The future role of the traditional newspaper is about to change. These papers are continuing to cater to an

average reader with average interests. By trying to tread this middleway, the newspapers are deperately trying to keep their reader base lukewarm, while the readers turns to blogs for the stuff they're passionate about. The only way newspapers can compete is by niching themselves. The prime example of this is the local newspaper, specializing in a smaller geographical region. These local newspapers have struggled lately as subscriptions have slumped, but by the single virtue of specialization they could very well be the heirs of

tomorrow's dying newspaper industry. The problem with being an individual journalist in the long tail of the blogosphere is that it is terribly difficult to make a living from it. Who will pay for the content being offered for free on the blog? Surely, online advertisements will not provide monetary benefits comparable to what the newspaper pays today. As the number of not-forprofit journalists/bloggers increases daily, the future looks more and more grim for the traditional journalist. This post was inspired by yesterday's article "Journalism at the Crossroads: Change Or Die" by Scott Carp of Publishing 2.0. That post collects a nice set of links narrating the decline of the newsroom. Don't miss the zesty comments.


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Suspended by eBay By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 12:00 Oct 10, 2007

Bankroll-Breaking Even Money Bets By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 11:45 Dec 16, 2007

Some ten years ago I ran Gambol, a short-lived gambling fund that invested money in statistical sports betting. I even managed to convince gullible friends to invest. Eventually, the fund lost all its money to the online bookmakers, and I tried to figure out what went wrong. I ran lots of simulations to better understand what had happened, and in one of them I encountered something remarkable. Recently, I was indirectly reminded about the paradox I had discovered, which I still have a hard time to understand intuitively. Here's the story of our gambling hero Andrew, who despite being an intelligent gambler, here takes a tumble and loses his entire bankroll. When Bob offers Andrew to flip coins for even money, Andrew wrongly assumes that this couldn't possibly be a losing proposition. The catch is that Andrew needs to bet x% of his bankroll on each coin flip. He is free to choose the value of x himself, provided that x stays the same throughout the game. Theoretically, the expected value of each betting round is +-0 for Andrew. His chances of winning each coin flip is 50%. When he loses a flip, his bankroll decreases by x% and if he wins he gains the same amount. Andrew decides to bet 10% of his

bankroll, which is $100. Let's take a look at possible scenarios for the outcome of the first rounds. After the first betting round Andrew's new bankroll will be either $90 or $110. If he ends up losing the first bet, his bet for the second round will be $9 (10% of his new bankroll of $90), and if he wins the first bet, his second bet will be $11. After round two he will end up in one out of the following four scenarios: • 1st round lost + 2nd round lost: $81 • 1st round lost + 2nd round won: $99 • 1st round won + 2nd round lost: $99 • 1st round won + 2nd round won: $121

It is important to note that in 3 out of 4 cases Andrew is a loser after round #2. Theoretically, each bet is even money, and the average bankroll in the four scenarios remains $100 - but still Andrew is likely to be a loser in the long run. The more betting rounds there are, the more likely Andrew is to eventually lose his entire bankroll. There is also a chance that he will win a lot of money, but that chance is getting slimmer and slimmer for each betting rounds he participates in. After the third round Andrew happens to be back at a 50% chance of being a winner, but this is just a temporary fluctuation as he is again a

likely loser after the fourth round. Below is a graph showing how Andrew's bankroll develops in 50 simulations of 2,500 betting rounds, betting 10% of an initial $100 bankroll. After 2,500 bets the best case out of the 50 simulations has Andrew's bankroll at less than $60. The blue line in graph below shows how many of the 50 initial scenarios are in the black (with a bankroll not smaller than the initial $100). The red lines displays the average bankroll over the 50 scenarios. The average bankroll should have stayed around the initial bankroll, since the expected value of the bet is +-0, but due to the limited number of simulations (50 in this case), we eventually run out of winning scenarios. No matter how many scenarios I choose to run, I can always make the average bankroll go down towards 0 by running enough betting rounds. This bet, which theoretically is even money, makes you lose your money in real life - a fascinating paradox! Note that the final outcome where the bankroll dwindles towards 0 does not change, no matter which value is chosen for x (the ratio of your bankroll wagered on each round).Technorati Tags: game theory, gambling, martingale, kelly betting

FeedJournal for Facebook and Bebo By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 14:02 Jan 17, 2008

Are you on Facebook or Bebo? With the help of FeedJournal you can now use those platforms to widen the reach of your blog. Share a

newspaper edition of your feed on any of the major social networks for free! To get started, simply visit FeedJournal Publisher, fill in your feed URL and follow the instructions on how to add the application to your Facebook or Bebo page.

As previously announced, FeedJournal already has installers for iGoogle, Netvibes, Pageflakes, Piczo, Orkut, Hi5, Ning, plus a generic JavaScript snippet.Technorati Tags: facebook, bebo

eBay suspended my account after being a member for less than a week. I never bought or sold anything, just browsed their listings. eBay refuses to give an explanation for suspending me, but claim that they "can understand [my] frustration". On Sep 30 I created a user account in order to buy a docking station for my laptop - an item which costs around $10 on eBay. I contacted about five sellers about shipping costs to Israel. Then I get the suspension e-mail from eBay. At first, I was convinced the email was a phishing attempt and marked it as spam, but when I logged on to my eBay account it was obvious that they had really suspended me. The only clue they gave as to why they suspended me is this: "Your account was suspended under the 'Abusing eBay' section of the eBay User Agreement. This section states that eBay may suspend a user's account if we think that the user is creating problems (legal or otherwise) or acting inconsistently with the letter or spirit of our policies. [...] In addition, your account was found to be in violation of our Spam Policy" Needless to say, I never sent any spam or in any other way misused eBay's services. The representative who I got in touch with in order to understand the reason behind their action says: "For security reasons we are unable to be more specific about the details that led to this action. [...] eBay is taking a tougher stand to prevent fraud". He goes on to say that "honest members may be required to take one or two extra steps before they are allowed to participate on eBay". These extra steps involves faxing them a copy of a "credit card statement, a recent bank statement or a recent utility bill". I also tried to connect with their live chat support but they can't do anything as long as I did not fax them the statements they want. I am not going to fax them this or any other personal information to get my membership back, and I will definitely never use their services again (I'm not allowed to, but that's beside the point). Development of eBay ranking according to Alexa Which other major web site are abusing new customers like this? It is amazing to consider that eBay is the #20 most popular web site in the world according to Alexa's ratings. Their rating peaked at #5 a few years ago, but has steadily been dropping since then. If they are treating me like this, a typical new user exhibiting typical user behavior - it is not being bold to assume that their rankings and popularity will continue to decline. eBay is still the #1 online auction but that has to change soon, unless they radically change their customer services and implementation of their policies.Technorati Tags: eBay


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Reading on Paper vs. on Screen By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 12:59 Nov 12, 2007

One of the basic premises behind FeedJournal is that it's better to read text on paper than on a screen. While it might not sound like a bold assumption, it still is an assumption and as such worth to examine deeper. Today, office workers and many other professionals are required to focus their eyes on a computer screen during most of their work day. Many of them continue to use the computer at home. FeedJournal was created with many goals in mind; one of them is to release you from the screen while enabling you to read the content you love. You shouldn't have to spend more time reading off a screen, just because you want to access fresh and relevant content. Recent research has found that reading a longer text on paper is 25% faster than reading the same text on a computer screen. At the same time, reading comprehension and article overview are improved. Although screen resolutions have increased and font rendering technologies such as ClearType make it much easier to read on the screen, the experience is still not as comfortable as when reading on paper. But the largest problem with reading on the computer is that your attention is constantly being diverted. These diversions come in many forms: an incoming e-mail or an instant

message, an ad flashing in the corner of your eye, a teasing hyperlink in the article text, a critical software update alert that pops up, an alert that your laptop battery needs charging, your other browser tabs needing attention, etc, etc. I could go on for a long time listing frequent diversions begging for your mouse click. On top of that is the page navigation required to scroll the text - it doesn't require a rocket scientist but it's still an additional interaction you can't escape from. The situation gets even grimmer if you choose to read you articles on a mobile device. Not only that you have the same digital diversions as a regular computer user, you will need to make do with a much smaller screen estate. Readers of text on paper typically concentrate fully on what they're doing, while readers of screen content are either hard at work fighting off distractions or have resigned to giving the text only cursory attention. It is actually a small wonder that anyone manages to read longer articles on a screen. Which is too bad,

considering that the quality and diversity of content has literally exploded with every blogger now being a amateur journalist, publishing content on a more or less regular basis. In the face of this, how does it sound to you to have a printed newspaper in your hands while sitting in your favorite chair, and just read. I'm not talking about just any newspaper, I am referring to the newspaper you have personally defined, with articles from your favorite sites and blogs. This is what FeedJournal offers, a better chance of keeping your attention on what you choose to read. With these arguments I am not trying to stop you from reading RSS feeds on the computer or on the go. I do that all the time. I am simply saying that feeds with longer content greatly benefit from being read in paper format. Feeds with shorter alert-type content (new version released, ego searches, answers to blog comments, etc.) is perfect for the RSS aggregator on your computer, while FeedJournal is optimal for subscribing to feeds with longer article content. In a future post I will describe how any web page you visit can be marked for publishing in your next FeedJournal Reader issue. FeedJournal Reader is still in development, but expect private beta testing e-mails to be sent out shortly. FeedJournal Publisher is available today for bloggers who want to be read on paper.

A Widget For Your Blog

Reader Enters Private Beta By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 12:50 Jan 1, 2008

A few days ago, FeedJournal Reader became available to a select group of devoted beta testers. The service, which is free, generates a newspaper with the latest content from your favorite feeds. The beta has been received very well so far. As expected, some minor bugs remain to be squashed before the service will be publicly available. In order not to keep you in too great anticipation of what to expect in FeedJournal Reader, here's a rundown of the basic functionality: • Simple and Intuitive AJAX interface for adding and removing feeds from your subscription list. • Categorization, although it does not yet effect the final PDF. • Quick selection of articles to publish: "Everything since the last issue", or "all articles published during the last X days". • A checkbox to override individual articles to include or exclude from the newspaper. • Newspaper customization of paper size, paragraph count and margin size. • Image support is disabled for new users. I am still figuring out for whom this feature will be enabled.

By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 12:25 Nov 4, 2007

It's now super-simple to add a FeedJournal widget to your web site or blog. You can see it in action in the left-hand column of my blog (http://jonasmartinsson.blogspot.com if you're not already here). Since you are probably using one of the more common blog platforms or social networks (listed below), you're only a few clicks away from having the widget installed to your site. Developing this widget is something I've intended to do for a long time. It makes integrating FeedJournal with your site so much more easy. Thanks to the November 2007 article on widgets in "Inc. Magazine" I realized that widget development platforms has now reached a level where it is a very trivial task. All-in-all it only took me one hour until the widget was ready for prime time. All thanks to WidgetBox. So, what does the widget do? First and foremost it contains a thumbnail snapshot of the FeedJournal

newspaper and a text link, both linking directly to the newspaper version of your blog. Second, it allows every visitor to your blog or web site to simply share this PDF with the rest of the world, by e-mail or blog post for example. How do you install it? In 3 simple steps: 1 . V i s i t http://www.feedjournal.com/webservi ce.html, fill in your blog's feed URL and click submit. 2. Wait for the e-mail with the URL from where you can download the generated newspaper. 3. Click on "Get Widget" to add the widget to your site and configure it with the PDF URL from the e-mail. When you are ready to update the PDF with the latest feed content, you just have to repeat step #1, since the URL to the PDF stays the same.

Future developments of the widget will include an authentic thumbnail of your PDF file's first page, and the possibility to further customize the look and feel of the widget. If you have any other requirements, I promise to take them into consideration. Installing the widget to your site is trivial if you're somewhat familiar with HTML. You will only need to paste a HTML tag into your site's source code. To install it on one of the services below is even simpler, doesn't require any HTML knowledge and doesn't take more than a few clicks: • Blogger • Typepad • Pageflakes • netvibes • iGoogle • Piczo

This is the simplest feature set I can go live with and still offer a valuable service. My aim is to let user requests drive further development in order to avoid feature bloat and keep the service simple. Please keep suggestions and feedback coming, either via the contact form, in the forum or in the blog comments.

Real Newspaper Thumbnails By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 12:52 Dec 5, 2007

FeedJournal now creates an authentic thumbnail of the generated newspaper's Page One. An example can be seen in the left column of this

blog. Existing widget users don't need to worry, the functionality has been automatically rolled out and is available to you now. Every time you generate an updated newspaper of your blog, an accompanying thumbnail is generated as well. If you

use the widget on your blog, it will automatically find the location of the thumbnail. For those of you who like to write your own HTML code, the image is in the same path as the generated PDF file - just replace the ".pdf" extension with ".png". This service is available to all

FeedJournal users. Users of the free basic service get a thumbnail sized 140x200 pixels, while silver and gold members will have the ability to customize the size (soon to be available). If anyone needs this customization urgently, just give me a shout and I'll get it done sooner.


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GTD with a Full Inbox By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 9:38 Feb 7, 2008

Q10 - The Beauty of Simplicity By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 12:05 Jan 17, 2008

Reading long articles on a computer is painful. Writing them can be even more painful. The problem is the constant interruptions and alluring distractions the computer brings. An e -mail alert here, and ad there, and then there's that cool flash game I furled this morning. My solution for uninterrupted reading is to print articles, preferably in FeedJournal format. The offline alternative to writing is of course a success-story, implemented by all authors of the past. Good old pen and paper. The problem is that sacrifices are made when writing offline: I type faster than I write; I get more pain in my hands from writing; spell and grammar check are unavailable. That's why I have been looking for a way to write uninterrupted and still use the computer. One option would

be to choose a word processor's fullscreen mode, to limit distractions. It has proven to be a poor option for me. Microsoft Word is not designed very well for that mode of operation and there are redundant and annoying features you can't easily remove from the system. Sometime last year a slew of freeware applications that promised a clean writing environment popped up on the web. The concept got me hooked, but the realizations left much to be desired. I thought I had investigated all the options out there when I today stumbled upon Q10, a Windows freeware application that provides a solid solution for writing without interference. By default, it blanks your screen and you just start to type. While there are some optional bells and whistles, what really attracts me to Q10 is the beauty of its simplicity.

Et Tu, Google? By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog)

reader and a publisher version of their product? How will they integrate advertising? They definitely have big potential to integrate many of their existing services into a new solution. But don’t worry! I’ll continue to put late hours into FeedJournal. Small operations like this one depend heavily on word-of-mouth, since time and resources don’t allow much else in the way of marketing. So please, any mentions of FeedJournal is greatly appreciated. I am grateful and indebted to my small but dedicated group of enthusiastic evangelizers (Joel, Simon, Mike, and many others), who helps me to build a better newspaper.

My Interview in Silicon Republic By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 7:57 Aug 31, 2007

I was recently interviewed by Ireland's leading tech news service, Silicon Republic, regarding the upcoming launch of FeedJournal's

web service. The article is published online (see below) and is well worth a read. It talks about the future of traditional media and my visions for FeedJournal. Direct link to online article: Bespoke newspapers on the way

saved searches, but there are simple ways to make this work. Basically you can save a search as a browser bookmark and then use that to open GMail. Bookmark GMail Action Items (drag and drop it to your bookmark menu) to save a GMail view of unread items in your inbox plus any starred items. At GMail Search Bookmarks you can create a bookmark for your own GMail search. The syntactic reference for search queries can be obtained from Using advanced search at Google Help Center. I tried to to something similar in Office 2007, but couldn't figure out how to write logical operators (and, or) for custom search folders. Anyone knows if that's possible?Technorati Tags: GTD, GMail

FeedJournal Features Images By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 9:52 Oct 28, 2007

FeedJournal now supports images! This is a feature I've been aching to add for a very long time and the work finally got going thanks to a potential customer who really needed it.

The first image from each feed article is added to the newspaper. I am very happy with the visuals and you are welcome to check it out for yourself by downloading the sample PDF newspaper from the thumbnail in the left column on my blog.

Submitted at 12:15 Nov 20, 2007

Google was recently granted a patent on personalized newspapers. Until now, I have been having the market all to my self with FeedJournal, but I welcome the competition. A player like Google can really help to boost the awareness for these kinds of solutions. Yes, I am one person, and Google is somewhat larger than that. But still, I think it is a good sign that FeedJournal-like sites start to pop up. It will increase multitude, and the competition will help to drive the projects forward and prevent stagnation. In the end, users will gain by having better products. The granting of the patent seems somewhat dubious to me, considering that FeedJournal has been alive and kicking for a long time. The patent could have been a good requirements specification document for FeedJournal. I am obviously very curious to see where Google is going with this, if they decide to use the patent to build a product. Will they offer both a

"Getting Things Done" (GTD) tells you that keeping your inbox empty reduces stress. I like that. However, continuously removing and filing incoming items requires effort, especially if you're getting lots of email. I've been toying with an alternative solution lately; one where you don't have to actively file e-mails but still get the benefits from the GTD process. My idea is that instead of your e-mail client opening the inbox by default, you instead go to a custom view with all your unread and starred/flagged messages. That way you will only see e-mails that are action items. By using this approach, e-mails will automatically disappear from the list as soon as you've opened them. If you need to follow up on an e-mail you simply star it and it will be visible in the start view until you remove that star. GMail does not officially support

For now, image support is a feature reserved for gold members. So, if you generate a sample basic newspaper from feedjournal.com, it will not have images. You will have to contact me and I'll arrange access ASAP to a demo gold level account so you can review it for yourself.

To anyone curious as to how the reader project is coming along I have good news. A couple of finishing touches remain, and then I will be starting to send out invitations to get access to the beta version. I'll probably need one or two more weeks. If you want to be a part of the beta testing program, now is the time to let me know! FeedJournal Reader will allow each and everyone, free of charge, to generate and print their own customized PDF newspaper or magazine from a collection of their favorite feeds, using a slick web interface.

How We Got Here By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 10:42 Jan 5, 2008

Monitoring reactions of FeedJournal Reader's beta testers is very interesting. This is a project I've been living and breathing for two years now, and it feels great to make it available again. FeedJournal had a short life as a Windows desktop application during the 1st half of 2007. This was subsequently removed in order to pave way for the web solution, which today is called FeedJournal Reader. That decision was made as a result of a blog poll, which showed a strong preference for a browser-based product.

Along the way of finalizing the first version of FeedJournal Reader, I noticed some interest among bloggers and content providers to publish their articles as a PDF newspaper. As such a solution would be much simpler and faster to implement, and would offer a theoretically easier way to generate income via subscriptions, I decided to take a detour in the development work and offer FeedJournal Publisher first. Today, FeedJournal Publisher is a healthy baby. Many blogs take advantage of the basic free service (sans images), and it's been garnering positive reviews in the blogosphere. The full version with the whole shebang is available as a free demo to try out by contacting me.


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Simplified Web Service Available By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 14:54 Sep 23, 2007

The process of generating sample PDF newspapers from your RSS or Atom feeds is now even simpler. It doesn't require any setup at all and takes not more than a few seconds! Initial users of the service complained about the FeedJournal newspaper generation process being too cumbersome. We listened to your feedback and are now re-launching the web service for bloggers and content providers. The whole process of generating a newspaper cannot be simpler! Just enter your e-mail address and your RSS/Atom feed and push the button. Wait a few seconds while the newspaper layout is generated and

Linux Compatibility and Smaller PDFs By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 13:25 Dec 2, 2007

you will be picking up the link to your PDF newspaper in your e-mail inbox in no time. At the same time, two more advanced web service offerings are being launched, silver and gold membership. These services offer advanced content filtering mechanisms for getting the full content out of your summary feed, custom branding of the newspaper and full control over fonts, paragraph layout, page size whitespace, etc. To get started with FeedJournal's free basic service or to learn more about the business options head over to http://www.feedjournal.com/webservi ce.html

Marco let me know that he wasn't able to open files generated with FeedJournal on his Linux PDF readers, including Linux-based ebook readers iLiad and Cybook. It turns out that PDF readers running on Windows are more tolerant when parsing the format. By debugging the problem I found that null characters are appended to the end of the PDF file, making it unnecessarily large and causes

problems on Linux. It was an easy fix and everything should now work fine on all operating systems and readers. If you despite this still have problem to open FeedJournal PDF files on a specific piece of software, please let me know. If anyone has an opportunity to try it on the Amazon Kindle reader I would be happy to know the results! Expect PDF file sizes to shrink by up to a couple of hundred kilobytes with the new code deployed on the web site!

FeedJournal Reader Updates By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 13:48 Feb 4, 2008

Those of you who follow the FeedJournal updates in the discussion forum know that quite a few updates have trickled in lately. The most significant of those is probably the free inclusion of images for all users of FeedJournal Reader. I was initially toying with the idea to try to charge money for image support, but have since come to my senses. The feedback from the private beta testers have been very positive and the ride has been surprisingly smooth so far. I expect to launch the service within the coming weeks. The features I want to get in before are:

• Global image switch when generating your newspaper (handy when you want to save ink) • JavaScript optimizations So, all in all, we're very close to a launch - crossing my fingers!

FeedJournal Web Service Launched By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 14:02 Sep 9, 2007

Phrase Finder Completes Your Sentences By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 11:37 Jan 14, 2008

How frustrating it can be to have a phrase dangling on the tip of your tongue, unable to find the right way to finish it! I wish there were a search engine that could answer questions like: • What is the most common preposition after a specific verb? • How do people typically finish a specific phrase? • Which words usually lead up to this end of a sentence?

FeedJournal proudly presents the availability of a web service for bloggers and other content providers to publish their latest articles as a PDF newspaper or magazine (see left column of this blog for a sample). The service enables an easy export of your RSS or Atom feeds to a

Submitted at 14:36 Aug 25, 2007

Build 186 of FeedJournal 2.0 has been released. It contains the following changes and bug fixes: • Publish button was not working in all configurations.

Submitted at 13:19 Sep 18, 2007

Yesterday, Irish radio show "The Right Hook" discussed newspapers and technology. FeedJournal was in the center of attention. Simon McGarr skillfully presented the technology

behind FeedJournal as well as discussing future uses for newspapers

• Output folder is now defaulting to My Documents. • Warning when attempting to publish an empty newspaper and helpful suggestions how to solve the problem. • Changed position of dialog buttons. Click here to download the file.

KillerStartups Feature By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 2:36 Nov 9, 2007

FeedJournal on the Radio By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog)

To learn more about how it works, and to get started, head over to feedjournal.com.

FeedJournal 2.0 Build 186 Released By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog)

Well, now there is! I built Phrase Finder where you can enter a part of a phrase and find out what are the most common word combinations before and after that phrase. You can search up to 6 leading words and 6 trailing words after the specified phrase unless the clause or sentence finishes before. To get the results, I parse and analyze the top 1,000 hits from Yahoo Web Search. As a bonus, it's pretty darn fun to play around with, especially if you're a word geek.

newspaper. Full branding capabilities and customization options are available in the service. The newspaper is regenerated on the fly by simply pinging FeedJournal's service.

generated from RSS feeds. The show is available in MP3 format. The newspaper discussion starts 7 minutes into the segment. McGarr expands on the discussion in the radio show in an excellent blog post named The Future of Newspapers.

FeedJournal was featured on KillerStartups.com yesterday. I'd be grateful to anyone who would be willing to vote for me. All you have to do is go to the review and click on the plus icon next to the FeedJournal logo. Thank you!


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The Story of FeedJournal at 47 Hats By Jonas Martinsson (Jonas Martinsson - Blog) Submitted at 11:02 Oct 5, 2007

I have a guest post up at micro-ISV consultant/author Bob Walsh's 47 Hats blog, describing the development of FeedJournal, and some notes about what might come in the future. On a side note, I am happy to report that category/section support has now been added to FeedJournal, and is available to paying customers.

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