The Best Web Services Nobody Talks About

For some reason, there are lots of great web services that people just don’t seem to talk about. There is more to the net than just FeedBurner or Technorati. And while TechCrunch does a good job profiling new and exciting sites, even they miss out on a lot.

FeedDigest
FeedDigest is loved by those who use it, as can be seen by the front page statistics of 18,00 users and 43,000 digests. What FeedDigest does is allow you to combine feeds (RSS or Atom) into one feed, and manage it from there. You can organize the contents in different ways and such, but the main purpose is to output a digest, as they call it, onto a website. They allow output in HTML, JavaScript, WAP or PHP. All around good stuff.

Pingoat
From the Pingoat site: “Pingoat is a service that pings or notifies a number of services that keep track of weblogs and publish them. By pinging, you let the services know that your blog has been updated and hence, they crawl and index your site, publishing your blog contents, thus increasing your blog’s popularity.” That’s a pretty perfect explanation. Pingoat also has an XML-RPC server for auto pinging from your favorite blogging package. (It’s too bad that WordPress.com doesn’t allow us to do that. It’s in the stand alone version from WordPress.org, but not enabled here. Luckily, I use FeedBurner for RSS feed tracking, and it has a similar service called PingShot.) Pingoat also has a companion project: SplogSpot. An obvious play on BlogSpot, the free blog and splog epicenter of the world, SplogSpot is a database of splogs. It gathers its data from Pingoat when sploggers attempt to use the service in order to spread their vile fluff. It has an open API so that any developer may use the information, and is searchable through the website. Both Pingoat and SplogSpot are excellent services that definitely need to see more publicity.

TalkDigger
TalkDigger allows you to follow or track a URL around the web. It’s fairly simple. You enter the url to a blog post, new article, or whatever, and hit “Dig it!” TalkDigger then searches nine difference blog search engines and to show you who is linking to that URL. You would assume that the posts that are linking to what you entered are talking about the content of the link. You then have to hope that what they have to say is meaningful enough for you to care. Honestly, a lot of the time, it isn’t. But that’s besides the point. TalkDigger is great in that it allows you to track your own blog posts to see if your message is getting out there. There is also the ability to track the search results using an RSS feed you can subscribe to, located here. Try linking to this post and we will show the results later. TalkDigger is almost as useful as Pingoat, just in a different way. One allows you to get your content out there, while the other lets you track it once it is.

That wraps up this post. There will probably be a part two on this subject in the coming days/weeks. If you have any suggestions for extremely useful web services that you think others may not know about, please comment and let us know.

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