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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Still thinking of feed mixers

Still on the conversation of feed mixers I got a suggestion from Monica of B2B who points me to
"although it does not respond by itself to the tags options you would like (you could import the resulting blended feed and use a tag cloud software ;-)"

She also says: "i think the most important part is not blending the feeds but thinking how they will be displayed in the community". Joitske (in a private discussion) extends the question to "how can CPsquare leverage its members blogs for learning and linking within CPsquare?"

... which is exactly the thought that I'm chewing on.

John Smith has used feedburner to create an aggregated feed for CPsquare member blogs, suggesting that he found feedjumbler and kickrss the most viable aggregators.

But who, I ask myself, would look at feedburner to see community members' blogs? It looks like a linear set of opening blog entries from people whose shared interests aren't so obvious. Too uninteresting for words...

Another thing I did - and which doesn't feel much use - was to create a combined feed of all the blogs, put this feed in my feed reader and ... hey presto ... a bit of a disappointment. All I see is the blog headline and date (and first paragraph if I click into the headline). Visually this blurs everyone into one blob of a community - I find it much more friendly and helpful in my current individual feed system where I can see the name of each blog whose familiar shapes and logo help create a sense of the identity of the person who keeps the blog.

So now I'm coming round full circle to thinking that you might be better off having a page with a tagged list of the blogs of community members, with their feeds. And you would have a tag cloud. People could choose for themselves which blogs they subscribe to. Ideally people would list their own blog and tags and perhaps there could also be a space for individual comments to those blogs on this joint blog page.

But this starts looking like a bigger project that I had in mind. For the time being I would be quite happy to find a mixer that you could subscribe to and which would separate out the feeds in your feed-reader. When you joined the community you could subscribe to the feed mix which would give you separate feeds for the individual blogs. You could then go through at your leisure, trimming out the ones that you didn't want to follow.

Does anyone know of one of these?

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