I’ve been experimenting with lifestreaming. I’ve found I want to be able to aggregate my content currently fragmenting to bookmarking sites, presence updates etc. It was one of the reasons I’ve switched to WordPress. Still the aggregation process continues to lack some elegance. So what do I want to aggregate today, and how am I doing it. Separately, I’m also worried I could flood my readers….
What I’m aggregating:
1. Social Bookmarking:
- There are so many ways to link to information today. Each one is something I’ve thought about, read etc. I bookmark it because I may want it later. I may also want to tag it for projects etc. For a long time I never left a comment note for it and my tags were often random. These 0 to 5 maybe even 10 links in a day are worth sharing or at least making available. There are blogposts just in the practice of bookmarking. I want to bring this data into my lifestream.
- I’ve been a user of furl.net primarily because it saved a “page” as I originally saw it. However, it’s development has slowed. I’ve also used del.icio.us although never intensively. Currently, I’m playing with them both.
- Furl.net: Using FeedWordpress this is current aggregated into my main page but not added to my RSS. (What would readers want?)
- Delicious: has their own daily post link generator which I’ve noted is being used by more and more bloggers. This captures the tags effectively too. I’ll see what happens as I have just installed it. I personally prefer inserting them link by link so I’m experimenting with importing Delicious in that way too. When I do… like furl the tags are not imported and unfortunately Delicious cuts the note or comment I have made. The Tags are in the RSS so I need to get a mod to FeedWordPress.
2. Twitter Stream:
- Feedwordpress will import Twitter although I doubt this content real usefulness to most readers using my main feed or visiting my homepage. Thus I have twitter in my sidebar.
3. Facebook buddies stream / Other blogs:
- I’ve looked at adding a facebook buddies stream to my main page. Again it is easy to insert; just a couple of lines of text. This wouldn’t be hard for a lot of data. However it won’t replace my facebook newsstream which updates on social connections, new apps, groups etc.
- Blogrolls have been used in the past like this. It’s easy to aggregate a lot of content into the system. This does make me feel like I have the capability to be a multi-author publisher with very little effort across categories.
- Separate example. Aggregating a recent posts list on another blog you participate in from time to time. We’ve done the reverse on Mosoci, adding two of us together.
Content not in simple linear feeds:
- Comments! I want to aggregate posts on where I’ve left comments elsewhere. As comment RSS feeds become more available I’m finding Google blog search does a better job of returning these. At the moment I furl posts that I have commented on as a way to record my value add.
- Linked to or named I furl these too.
Technical: With Furl I don’t seem to be getting the tag information. With Twitter unfortunately I get a repeat.. the title and the comment are the same. It would help to have some more discrete controls. Similarly mapping furled tags, or delicious tags to WordPress tags and thus to technorati etc would be an improvement.
Uniqueness: Tags relating to me aren’t unique enough (eg blog search “Stuart”). Even if they are unique they may be misued by others. The best tag for me is any using an XRI identifier. Thus “=stuart” works as does “=stuarthenshall”. On the web stuarthenshall or stuart_henshall are usually mine.. but not guaranteed. Thus using search data to aggregate info presents some problems. There is also plenty of junk out there with spam blogs etc. I find myself turning up in them far too often.
How to aggregate content to your WordPress blog.
The best method I’ve found is to use FeedWordPress by Charles Johnson. It’s very simply to manage and I’ve been using it on Mosoci and now here. To add to choice I recommend a further plug-in. It’s called Ultimate Category Excluder
which seems to be working for me on 2.3. What this creates is the opportunity to aggregate all your content with FeedWordpress and then exclude or include in the RSS, or main pages or archives etc.
The best feature is the capability to take an aggregated feed and enable links to the original content.
FeedWordPress is an Atom/RSS aggregator for the WordPress weblog software. It syndicates content from newsfeeds that you choose into your WordPress webblog; if you syndicate several newsfeeds then you can use WordPress’s posts database and templating engine as the back-end of an aggregation (”planet”) website.