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Update on UGTV: more presentations, more submitters, and more features

Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Just an update for those who are interested in my UGTV repository of recorded user group presentations.

First, it now boast nearly 30 presentations from 24 presenters, submitted by myself and 5 others. Thanks, everyone!

I've also added an RSS feed, so you can be notified of new postings. The URL is offered at the bottom of the list page.

Finally, I have also tweaked the interface further in a few ways.

First, thanks to Jeff Coughlin for sharing a few hints to help me fix my show/hide of the recording descriptions. I had it only showing, but not hiding, due to a bug that I hadn't gotten around to fixing. He offered me the appropriate Javascript, making it too easy not to update it. Thanks, Jeff!

Also, he wasn't thrilled by my next/previous links (I was using the greaterthan and lessthan brackets for prev/next, doubling them for first/last.) He pointed out his available custom tag, and again he made it too easy not to try, with a nifty "quickstart" in his docs. Again, kudos.

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Charlie, I'd be interested in the code you use to generate the RSS feed, if you're willing. I have thought about RSS feeds for a couple of ColdFusion projects but don't know where to start. Are there XML tools in ColdFusion that can help? When I generate RSS is PHP I just loop through my items and print hard coded tags.
# Posted By Ryan | 10/16/06 9:01 AM
Yep, that's all I did. I got the concepts from a nifty DevX article by Ladd Angelius (thanks, Ladd!). Though it's 3 years old, it's perfectly useful (and is CF-oriented):


Sadly, there were a couple of errors, if I recall, and I didn't see a place to offer comments so didn't track what I fixed, but it was minor. Be sure to validate your feed (that's where I recall the errors being). The article offers links to do that. Let me know how it goes.
# Posted By Charlie Arehart | 10/16/06 11:23 AM
Hi Charlie - any chance you could categorise the presentations - as maybe someone might only be interested in frameworks presentations - this would also be great as an RSS feed? i.e.

Many thanks - and keep up the good work. See you @ cfDevcon.
# Posted By Nick Tong | 10/18/06 4:38 AM
Hi, Nick. I'll start by pointing out that I've said on the list page (near the bottom) since I created the site that I do plan to add categorization as the volume increases. Still, I had not thought I'd need to go beyond broad categories like ColdFusion, Flex, Dreamweaver, etc. To suggest going into subcategories, like Frameworks within ColdFusion could get unwieldy. Someone will eventually say, "why not categorize Model Glue, Mach-II, and Fusebox", for instance.

I want to note (in case anyone has missed it) that I did add search capability a couple of weeks ago, so one can now indeed search for a term like those above (or part of a presenter name or even part of the URL, such as to determine if I might already have a given recorded presentation before you would add it.)

But what do you or others think, now that I've responded? How might I effectively support categories? How might I best present a hierarchy of possibilities to choose from, both on adding and viewing them? And who should decide the hierarchy? Should I, or should anyone who adds a presentation be free to decide a new one? I fear, again, that it could become quite a challenge to manage for all of us (viewers, submitters, and myself making sure there's no junk added.) I'm open to ideas.
# Posted By Charlie Arehart | 10/18/06 10:50 AM
I wouldn't think you'd need to go into subcategories at this point, I agree it would get unwieldy. When there are 100's of presentations in the sytem, then maybe a limited set of predefined subcategories.

As far as allowing an RSS subscription to only specific types of presentations, how about giving an RSS feed on a set of search results?
# Posted By Ryan | 10/18/06 10:56 AM
Thanks, Ryan. I'll see if I can add an RSS feed per search result.

As for your thought on subcategories, I want to clarify for readers that Nick had asked for them, so yours is a vote against them (while his response may differ).

Also, I want to clarify what I mean by "subcategories". In case anyone would say "no need to go below Frameworks to the individual ones", I'll argue that "frameworks" would already be a subcategory of "CF", and would bring about all the issues I mentioned above.

Any categorization beyond the broad categories I mentioned would be sub categorization, and to do any (regardless of how deep) is the real debate.
# Posted By Charlie Arehart | 10/18/06 11:12 AM
Ok, Ryan, an RSS feed per search critirea is done. :-)
# Posted By Charlie Arehart | 10/18/06 11:47 AM
Hi Charlie - i think a search RSS feed is idea - it save you (or your users) having to do all the donkey work around what shoudl go where?

Whats the query sting that one sould pass to your RSS feed?

Just a side thought - maybe keywords/tags? - i'm looking to show a keyword API at cfdevcon.
# Posted By Nick Tong | 10/18/06 12:06 PM
Glad to hear the search RSS may suffice, Nick. As for the URL, well, you could just look at the RSS Feed link after doing a search to figure it out, mate. :-)

But here it is: ?search=key+words

As for keywords and tags, that would go along with the idea I've had all along of eventually expanding things to have a page per presentation where folks could rate and comment on them as well. Then, allowing them to add tags would make sense, too.

Or do you mean for the submitter to add such tags? I really doubt most will. If you look, we're often not getting a description, nor the recorded date or duration, and sometimes not even the presenter. I fear that asking the submitter for more is just expecting too much.

But let me know what you're thinking.
# Posted By Charlie Arehart | 10/18/06 12:41 PM
I wanted to add this just after I sent my last note. When I said, "you could just look at the RSS feed link after doing a search to figure it out", I wanted to add a comment to soften things.

Since I don't show the RSS feed link per the search result until after you did the search, I meant to say that if that's the reason you'd not seen it yet, I'd understand. Didn't mean to sound huffy. :-)
# Posted By Charlie Arehart | 10/18/06 12:44 PM
No worries - i agree that asking the submitters to add more data would be make it more daunting. What if the user 'does' add a description and you extract keywords and tag the presentation based on this extraction? This way you get "auto tagging". I hope to show this at cfDevCon but contact me off list if you want to know more - or watch my blog for details - it's not that exciting but i think it could help you here.
# Posted By nick tong | 10/19/06 5:45 AM
Hi Charlie - i aggregate your RSS feed (carehart.org/ugtv/rss.cfm?search=framework) via Google and place it on the cfFrameworks.com website: http://cfframeworks.... the problem is the RSS feed keeps refreshing itself? (view link above to see) Are the dates staying consistent in the feed? - is anyone else having this RSS issue?
# Posted By nick tong | 10/20/06 6:49 AM
Nick, yes, that was a problem until yesterday. Sorry. Should be all better since then. Let me know if you see otherwise.

As for your feed reader, I don't see the UGTV stuff mentioned, but perhaps it's because there've been no additions since the one yesterday, so other stuff has forced it off your reader's top/recent display.
# Posted By Charlie Arehart | 10/20/06 6:04 PM
RSS search is great tool for saving a lot of time. Many top-bloggers and succesful companies use RSS tools, filters, search etc.
# Posted By Olegi4 | 8/29/07 4:46 PM
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