In the years that the SDL AppStore has been around I get asked one question on a fairly regular basis… “How can I find out about new apps or updates to existing apps?”. A very reasonable question of course and one that has not been addressed particularly well, albeit there have been ways to keep yourself informed. The ultimate solution we all want to see is the AppStore embedded into SDL Trados Studio, but as that isn’t going to happen for a while here’s a couple of ways you can still keep yourself aware of the updates. The first is via twitter and this has been around for a while; the second is using an RSS feed which is brand new as of today!
Not everyones cup of tea, but twitter can be incredibly useful. The danger is getting lost in thousands of tweets pouring into your feed without any sensible way to filter out what you really want to see, and this is what can put people off. But if you use something like Tweetdeck which allows you to organise your tweets into columns based on a search, or lists that you can curate yourself, then it starts to get really useful. I do this to find tweets about SDL products by filtering on the sort of keywords, hashtags, twitter names that people use when they have something to say… and of course I can also filter out the odd things that come through in error. After a while I have refined my search to a pretty good feed that is really useful for me without having to read through hundreds or thousands of tweets that would just waste my time.
One of the things you could search for is the hashtag used for the SDLAppStore:
Every new app, or updated app, is tweeted with this hashtag. So I can do this in tweetdeck for example:
I searched for #sdlappstore and this feed is updated every time a new tweet with this hashtag is posted. Since I use tweetdeck fairly regularly anyway it’s no effort at all to check a column with this information and then I never miss an update. At least I won’t miss an update as long as someone (probably me!!) remembers to send out that tweet in the first place. Using the new RSS feed is an improvement on this because it’s automated and there is no need to rely on anyone creating the update.
RSS has been around a long time and I imagine everyone reading this will know exactly what it is… but just in case here’s a brief explanation.
RSS or Rich Site Summary, sometimes called Really Simple Syndicate, is a mechanism for pushing information to users based on them signing up for it. So instead of you going to the SDLAppStore and scrolling through it looking for updates you can subscribe to a feed and have them presented to you in a simple way. There are various ways of subscribing using web tools like Feedly, or NewsBlur and these will bring the updates to you in a browser. But if you’re like me and live in your email program then adding the feed to Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird for example is a breeze.
No matter whether you choose a web client or your email program you are always going to need the feed url which you can click on and you’ll see what it looks like in its native form:
But once used with a tool to read the feed you’ll get the ideas.. In Outlook I think it’s brilliant… one post per app and I see them as unread in the place I look for all my notifications:
A very useful feature we should have enabled a long time ago… never miss an update again!