I sent a message about BlogAgent to Dave and he asked me for a link where he could point to with more information about it, so I decided to write this summary in case he links to me! (Oh-oh. I have the fear now. Will BlogAgent and my website survive a Scripting News DDoS attack?)
BlogAgent is a clone of Simon's original BlogToaster. Using an Instant Messenger, users can register blogs to watch and the agent pings weblogs.com every few minutes for updates then notifies the user when a blog they're watching changes. Right now the most reliable version of BlogAgent runs on AOL's Instant Messenger (just send an IM to "BlogAgent" using AIM), but it also runs on Jabber, MSN and soon Yahoo. I'm still working on the code as I write. (More information about that in my previous posts - I'm trying to combine them all into a "super-agent").
The neato-addition to BlogToaster in BlogAgent (all software is evolutionary) is that you can ask "who" to see who else is watching a specific blog. "Wow, Dave just said something really interesting on Scripting News just now. Let's see who else might want to chat about it..." I think this could make the interaction in BlogSpace even greater. The community of Bloggers and Blog-watchers can talk about a post in real-time, focus their thoughts and post again immediately.
BlogAgent is written in Java and open sourced. You can download it here so you can run your own private agent if you wish. I've packaged it up and included a ReadMe so you should be able to run it immediately if you just have Java installed on your computer. Using Ant you should also be able to play with the code and compile it easily too. The AOL, MSN and Jabber agents are included in the code, but the only agent I have running right now is via AIM. But when I get through combining the libraries, I'll launch the other services too. Come back here for notices.
I'll be working on the code this weekend. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.