Yes, this is still alpha software. But it's alpha software that's
already useful and shows a promise of being more useful, so it's worth
telling you about - especially since I'm already using it myself.
So, what is BlogWave? The answer is that it's a tool, written by Addy
Santo, to generate RSS feeds. If you've been a reader for a while you've
seen me enthuse about RSS already. RSS is an XML file format that is
relatively simple, designed to be frequently updated with new
information, and for which a variety of readers exist. You can subscribe
to RSS feeds from a number of standalone tools and read their contents
at your leisure. Some readers even integrate with other software such as
Microsoft Outlook (I use NewsGator, one of these, which transfers all of
my RSS subscriptions to Outlook feeds).
What BlogWave does is let you turn even more things into RSS feeds. It
provides a workbench area that makes it easy to create new feeds, each
of which has a source and a destination. The source might be an existing
RSS feed, an NNTP newsgroup, a SharePoint list, a Windows event log, or
a SharePoint Portal Server search result. The destination can be a
weblog using the .Text software, a file, an FTP target, or a WebDAV
site. One feed can have multiple sources or multiple destinations - so,
for example, you could combine five NNTP newsgroups into a single RSS
feed and make the results available as both a local disk file and a file
FTP'd to a Web server.
So, this is all pretty nifty. Converting everything in the universe to
RSS means that I can get it all in one place: my RSS reader. Now I'm
feeding in selected event logs from my test network, as well as a few
newsgroups, and I can see that I'll be using this more in the future.
Though BlogWave has a GUI workbench for constructing and editing feeds,
it also schedules them to be updated using a command-line tool and
Windows built-in scheduler, so you don't have to have BlogWave running
for your custom feeds to update themselves.
Even better, the system is extensible. You can build new source adapters
using C#, and Addy includes a sample in the latest version. So if
there's any data that you'd like to see as RSS, you can probably use
this tool to make the conversion. And it's even free. What more could