Brad Feld

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Agile Development In Action

Sep 26, 2006
Category Investments

If you are a Typepad blogger, you’ll be especially interested in this.  Now – from within your NewsGator Online subscriber list – you can easily add the subscriber list to your blog as your blogroll.  You no longer need to manage a separate blogroll in Typepad.

This all started when Amy asked me if she could do this.  I screwed around on my site first and figured it out.  I then got it working on Amy’s Typepad blog.  I then blogged about how to do it.  It was way too hard for a human to do, so I emailed Brian Kellner at NewsGator.  He then blogged about our interaction around it.  This was about six weeks ago.

Fred Wilson then asked me how to do this.  I told him, he did it, and wrote about it.  I reminded Brian about this who told me the “make it easier” solution was in the queue.  Matt McCall – my fellow board member at FeedBurner – then wrote me and Fred and asked us how we did it.  I once again gave him my “too complex for most humans” instructions and reminded Brian (this was last week.)  Matt implemented it on his blog

Yesterday, Brian published a note about a few of the latest NewsGator releases, including the “little Typepad Widget.”  It’s now super easy to create your Typepad blogroll from within NewsGator Online and it automatically gets updated whenever you subscribe or unsubscribe to feeds.  There are a lot of deeper features (for example, I rename all my feeds to people’s names instead of the Feed name – easier to keep track of; I only publish a subset of my feeds by using the NewsGator “location” feature) – but 90% of getting there is making it trivial to connect between NewsGator on Typepad.

While this is a relatively simple example, it highlights a couple of things, including the power of the Typepad Widget (and other “widget”) approaches, the ease of rolling out new features within an on-demand service, and the dynamics of how an agile development shop (NewsGator is an aggressive practitioner of agile – using Rally’s software) can manage small features in the context of complex release cycles across numerous products.  It’s very different – and much more effective – than the historical 18+ month software development cycle that was broadly practiced in the 1990’s (and continues to be used by so many companies today.)