News, views, tips and tricks on Oracle and other fun stuff

Oracle News Aggregator OraNA No Longer Powered by Google Reader

OraNA.infoYou probably heard that Google is going to shut down Google Reader (GR) on July 1st, 2013.

There are many theories, speculations and analysis as to why Google took the decision to kill Reader.

To me GR was not just a place I visit several times daily to get my dose of fresh news, it was also the backend feed aggregation engine that has powered since 2006.

With GR going away soon, I have been working over the past several days to detach it from OraNA.

I’m glad to report to you that the migration off of GR is done. OraNA now aggregates all of its syndicated feeds via its own feed aggregation engine.

OraNA has been operating since the beginning of 2006. In the process of updating it, I took the opportunity to do spring cleaning on the blogs that it aggregates.

Blogs that no longer exist have been deleted from the aggregator.

Blogs that still exist but have had no new posts since January 2012 are no longer aggregated by OraNA.

I was surprised at the number of blogs that fell into the two categories above.

The number of aggregated blogs fell from 508 to 323 (plus the feed).

Here is a live list of all the blogs that OraNA aggregates.

I guess the enthusiasm for long form blogging has fizzled out over the years. Lazy bloggers (including yours truly) find it much easier and quicker to “micro” blog using Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

On a personal note, I have moved my daily dose intake of news from GR to Feedly.

2 Comments | Filed in Oracle | Tags: , ,

Following a Few of Quality Will Give You The Quantity You Need

Great advice from Mitch Joel: Too many people are looking for too many ways to follow too many people and places. Your best bet is to do the opposite. Don't add more noise to your life. start removing the noise. It's not important to follow every Blog, and it's impossible to listen to every Podcast. If you've spent more than five minutes on Twitter, the river of tweets and the speed with which they flow makes every conversation look, feel and last a couple of seconds (at most). Become a better filter. If you're following someone and they're really not adding any value to your life (your growth, development and education), drop them. If you follow a Blog but never get to it because life happens, drop it. If you're a publisher of content (text, audio, video, images, whatever…) think about what you're publishing (noise vs. value).. More…

4 Comments | Filed in Links, Tips | Tags: , , , , ,

10 Tips to Increase Your Blog Readership

The following are 10 blogging tips I extracted from Tim Ferriss‘s presentation (video below) originally titled “Scalable Blogging Behaviors: How to Grow from 1 to 1,000,000 Readers”, then re-titled to “How to Blog without Killing Yourself“:

  1. The best times to publish a post are 7am PST and 6pm EST.
  2. The best days to publish a post are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
  3. Change the word “Category” to “Topic” to increase page views.
  4. Display the publishing date at the bottom of the post.
  5. Add the number of minutes it takes to read the post. Normally, it’s 250 words per minute.
  6. A post should be about one, and only one topic.
  7. Write about what you are passionate about.
  8. Use tools such as Evernote, and Twitter to gather writing material and poll for ideas.
  9. Use Google Keyword Tool to increase your Google juice.
  10. Use Flickr’s advanced search to find interesting Creative Commons photos to use in posts.

Of course the above tips worked for Tim but they may or may not work for you and me.

Here is Tim’s full 50 minute presentation:

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New Blog Telling the Oracle Performance Story

Oracle Performance Storyteller, that’s the short description of Dion Cho’s blog. His blog contains many useful and interesting posts about Oracle performance diagnosis and optimization.

The blog’s tag cloud includes tags such as dbms_xplan, sql trace, sql profile and stored outline all in big font.

Thanks Coskan for bringing Dion’s blog to my attention. I have added it to

By the way, I am constantly adding new blogs to If you want to know what blogs I have added, just follow orana_updates.

1 Comment | Filed in Oracle | Tags: , ,

A Special Oracle Blog

Harald van Breederode is an Oracle DBA trainer working for Oracle University in The Netherlands. He is an Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) and an Oracle Certified Master (OCM). He is also blind.

Thanks to Joel Goodman for letting us know that Harald has recently started a blog. On his blog, Harald writes:

I became blind at age 40 and it took a while before I realized how important Braille actually is. Without it I would certainly have lost the notion of layout and it would almost be impossible to perform any serious programming work. I use Braille mostly on my laptop where I use a Braille display to feel what you can see, but I use it also in my daily life to identify any medicine I might have to take for example.

By the way, Louis Braille was the inventor of braille, a world-wide system used by blind and visually impaired people for reading and writing.

Harald has a good post about Capturing SQL Statements. Also on his blog, you can find a list of papers he co-authored as well as presentations he created.

Blog added to

Update: Joel Goodman also started a new blog.

3 Comments | Filed in Oracle | Tags:

Oracle Community Update

The social network for Oracle people was launched on January 31, 2008. Since then, it has had a tremendous growth. We went from 1 to 2,445+ members in 8 months. Existing features have been enhanced and new features have been added. Features like chat, events and the iPhone version did not even exist when the network was created.

Here is a summary of features currently available to all members:

  • Member Profiles: Each member has a fully customizable profile with their photo, basic information and everything they’ve contributed to the community.

  • Event Listings: Schedule events, invite community members, and keep track of who’s attending.

  • Interest Groups: Create groups inside the community around hobbies, interests, affinities, geographical locations and more.

  • Real-time Activity Stream: Keep up with the members of the community. Find out what members are saying, how they’re interacting and what they’re sharing.

  • Discussion Forum: Start a discussion on any topic and watch other members respond with posts, photos and attachments.

  • Blogs: Create your own blog hosted on and potentially have all community members as your blog readers.

  • Custom Video Players: Upload original footage or share videos from popular video services like YouTube, Google Video and Vimeo.

  • Photos & Slideshows: Post photos and organize them into albums. You can show off your photos in galleries or slideshows.

  • Message Center: Send/receive messages and review pending friend requests.

  • Chat: Chat with other members of the community in real time.

  • iPhone interface: Sleek, compact, and easy to navigate, this new iPhone/iPod touch version will enable you to take your network with you wherever you go.

New features are constantly being added. Wait for a big one next month. 😉

Here is a screenshot of on the iPhone: on the iPhone
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How Aggregates

On July 1st, was migrated to a new platform, Six Apart’s Movable Type Enterprise on top of Oracle Content DB. The list of Oracle related blogs (authored by Oracle employees and non-employees) has moved to this page on the Oracle Wiki. Only Oracle employees are eligible to host blogs on

Along with the migration came a less obvious change, no logger aggregates non-employee blogs. Here is what Justin Kestelyn wrote in this tweet: “ will not aggregate nonemployee blogs after all – does too good a job of that!”

Currently, the total number of blogs hosted on and aggregated by is 78. New blogs are being added to I can not keep current with this influx of new Oracle employee blogs.

So here is what I’m thinking: I will delete the 78 blogs from, and instead aggregate one feed, the recent posts feed. I will create one additional category on just for this feed. If I do that, will be the “one stop shop” for Oracle employee as well as non-employee blogs.

What do you think?

Update: Based on your feedback, OraNA now aggregates the feed. I have also created the OraNA updates Twitter channel (RSS) to publish site news and recently added blogs.

11 Comments | Filed in Oracle | Tags: , the Social Network for Oracle People

I pre-launched as a private, invite only social network this morning. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably got the scoop first.

Now, I’m officially launching and making it public and available to everyone in the Oracle community. If you are an Oracle developer, DBA, customer, employee, or just interested in Oracle databases, Oracle applications and related technologies, feel free to join. There is no invite needed, however, you can always invite your friends once you become a member.

As a member, you’ll meet new people, make new friends, help and get help from fellow community members, socialize, stay up to date with the latest happenings in the Oracle community and even start your own blog.

Here are some of the features available to you as an member, in no specific order:

  • Create your own blog.
  • Manage blog posts and moderate comments.
  • Choose the option to publish blog posts in the future.
  • Add photos, files, and widgets to blog posts.
  • Upload photos and videos from a computer or mobile phone.
  • Embed videos from any video service on the web.
  • Add photo and video comments, ratings, tags, locations, favorites, and share via email.
  • Start and tag a discussion.
  • Create public or private groups.
  • Add group descriptions, images, discussions, and members.
  • Customize the appearance of your profile page.
  • Add widgets to your profile page.
  • See which members of the community are online now.
  • Embed Photo slideshows, video players, and OracleCommunity badges anywhere on the Internet.
  • Set different privacy settings for every photo, video, group, or blog post.
  • RSS feeds are enabled for all features, such as members, discussions, photos, videos, and blog posts.
  • And much more…

Even though is not affiliated with Oracle, I believe that it is a great addition to Oracle Mix and the Oracle Wiki.

Let’s make grow and be a great place to hang out, have fun and learn a few things.

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Oracle Blogs and Blog Posts Ranked

Do you want to know which Oracle related blogs are the most linked to? Do you want to know which Oracle related blog posts are the most viewed? Just visit the following two pages on

  • OraNA Technorati Ranking: I published a similar list twice before, once in May and once in July 2007. This time, the list has its permanent place on OraNA. I will update it at least once a month.

  • OraNA RSS Feed Stats: Feedburner powers the main OraNA feed. I tapped into Feedburner’s API to provide feed stats and a list of detailed feed item use and popularity. The list shows the number of views and clickthroughs for each blog post in the last 24 hours. This list is automatically updated every day at 5:00 AM PST.

Have fun!

4 Comments | Filed in Oracle | Tags: ,

iPhone and iPod Touch Version of

Last Sunday the geek in me wanted to learn something new. So, I went ahead and got started with iPhone development. I wanted to build something simple yet useful. I started at 4:30 PM and by around 8:15 PM an iPhone optimized version of was born.

The following is a short video demonstration of OraNA on my iPhone, which should also work on the iPod touch:

To browse OraNA on your iPhone, visit

Quick tip: If you want to always browse a specific category, you can bookmark the category page.

This is just the beginning. I have a few ideas for more iPhone goodness. I just need to learn some advanced techniques and of course find the time to do it.

2 Comments | Filed in Oracle, Technology | Tags: , , ,