Tag Archives: SWLing Post

Former news reporter stresses the utility and efficiency of RSS feeds

In reply to our previous post regarding email delivery of the SWLing Post, contributor Dan Robinson draws our attention to this excellent article about using RSS feeds to keep track of news:

As this recent article [at Gizmodo] points out, since the demise of Google Reader, things have become a bit more complicated when it comes to RSS readers. Some are free, others not. Some have many features, others are bare bones.

Dan Robinson is a seasoned reporter and former White House correspondent for the Voice of America.

During my career in the news business for Voice of America, Google Reader became a key tool I used to track breaking news. In fact, I was frequently able to be ahead of Twitter by using the numerous RSS links I maintained.

When Reader went away, Feedly sprang up to take its place and I was lucky to obtain a lifetime subscription of the Pro level of Feedly, which I highly recommend.

But there are other options obviously. RSS capability is built in to a number of major browsers.

When it comes to keeping track of Shortwave news, RSS feeds are extremely useful. I have dozens of RSS links in my Feedly account, including SWLing Post and the feeds of major stations such as BBC and others.

And of course, Feedly and others are usable with mobile phones which enables us to keep track of things on the go.

The most challenging aspect of using RSS is keeping track of which feeds go dark, at any point. This is the case for several shortwave-related RSS feeds and it does take some time to make sure your feed list is up-to-date.

The article Dan refers to makes the case very clear for RSS feeds: you are the news curator and the one in control of the news stream. They note:

“[W]hen you follow the news via social media, you’re relying on other people bringing you the news, unless you’re following individual news stories. RSS is like getting your newspaper of choice delivered to the front door rather than relying on heading down to the local bar to listen in on what everyone’s shouting about.

With only one page to visit rather than dozens to catch up on, you can spend less time aimlessly drifting around and more time catching up on the posts that matter.

[…]News is the primary driver behind RSS and most of your feeds are going to be populated with dozens of new articles a day, but the technology also proves its worth for keeping track of other stuff you’d typically miss on social media. Maybe that might be new wallpapers on your favorite art site, or an obscure blog you don’t want to miss a post from.”

Click here to read the full article at Gizmodo.

An “obscure blog you don’t want to miss a post from”–? Hey, that’s us!

If you have an RSS reader and would like to subscribe to the SWLing Post, simply point your reader to our RSS feed url: https://swling.com/blog/feed

As always, thanks for sharing your expertise, Dan!

Problems with email delivery of the SWLing Post?

A number of SWLing Post readers (about 1,200 of you) are signed up for and receive our posts via email. In the past two weeks, I’ve received a number of messages from readers noting that they haven’t been receiving any email digests.

If this is the case for you, I encourage you to try signing up once more through our current RSS-to-Email provider. Click here to sign up.

Please keep in mind: I’m planning to move our email delivery from Feedburner to a different service. I’ve been exploring options this month. If you have experience with RSS-to-email systems, feel free to comment!

Leaving a comment? reCaptcha is back…for now…

Seriously…we know you’re not a Robot!

If you’ve been an SWLing Post contributor for a few years, you’ll recall that we used to use Google’s Captcha system to prevent SPAMbot comments on our site.

A few readers complained about how difficult the Captcha system was at the time (and I agreed with them), so we removed Captcha. At the same time, I implemented a stronger backend system for flagging SPAM comments. You’ve likely noticed many of your normal comments are moderated automatically–we try to approve them within a couple of hours.

Spambots are a real pain: they attempt to leave phony comments on our site in an effort to link back to their target site (some of which are loaded with malware).

How many SPAM comments do we get from Spambots and other Spammers?  Here are the statistics from our anti-SPAM system:

After we removed Captcha, the more clever SPAM comments would still make it through the various filters and fall in a moderation pile. At first, this amounted to, perhaps, a dozen or so comments to moderate each day. Lately, the number has become overwhelming–closer to 12+ per hour falling in the moderation queue among legitimate comments.

“Separating the wheat from the chaff” has become a full time job. 🙂

Until I can find a user-friendly solution to this, I’ve implemented Google’s latest system called reCaptcha. It has its quirks and presents interesting challenges, but I believe if you’ve used it on other sites and proven you’re not a robot, Google remembers and all you have to do to prove yourself is check/tick the box next to “I am not a robot.”

Anyway, I just ask for understandnig as I sort out a more simple solution to SPAM-proof our site!

RadioWorld: Despite Fears, ABC Shuts Down Shortwave Broadcasts

(Source: RadioWorld)

The ABC has turned off its shortwave radio transmitters, leaving Australians in remote areas without easy access to lifeline radio

OTTAWA — On Jan. 31, state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corp. shut down its shortwave radio transmitters; ending both international broadcasts of Radio Australia and the ABC’s domestic service in Australia’s Northern Territory. The transmitters were located at ABC broadcasting facilities at Katherine, Tennant Creek, and Roe Creek (Alice Springs).

According to the ABC news release that announced the shutdown on Dec. 6 — less than two months before it took place — “The move is in line with the national broadcaster’s commitment to dispense with outdated technology and to expand its digital content offerings including DAB+ digital radio, online and mobile services, together with FM services for international audiences.”

[…]The majority of ABC audiences in the Northern Territory currently access ABC services via AM and FM and all ABC radio and digital radio services are available on the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) satellite service.”[…]

Click here to continue reading the full article at RadioWorld.

The SWLing Post: 3,000 posts and counting!

SWLingPost-DXFiend-Vintage-FrontA couple of weeks ago, I noticed that we had crossed a small milestone here on the SWLing Post: as of this post, there are now 3,067 (!!!) published posts in our archives.

I simply can’t believe we’ve surpassed 3,000 posts–especially knowing we only passed 2,000 posts September of 2015.

People can say what they will about our shortwave hobby’s future, but I’m here to tell you that  interest in is far from dead. Indeed, it is dynamic, alive and well!

This morning, I took a look at our web statistics via Google Analytics for the month of December 2016 (not including today).

It’s hard for me to believe we’re averaging about 6,790 daily pageviews!

And the secret sauce in surpassing 3,000 posts and healthy numbers? Our amazing contributors!

Thank you so very much!

As I’ve mentioned before, I had no aspirations for the SWLing Post to become a popular destination for shortwave and amateur radio enthusiasts; it was mainly a site where I could jot down things I found of interest to me and keep tabs on the radio and international broadcasting industry. I was simply making my bookmarks and thoughts public, perhaps a little in advance of the social media outlets that now exist for shortwave radio and related topics.

As we move into 2017, I’d like to thank you all for reading and contributing to the SWLing Post community!

Happy New Year, radio friends!