The News: Pushing "What's New" Out to the Field

Working hand-in-hand with The Library, this tool could aggregate news and events information from IA-related blogs that use RSS to support content syndication. The goal would not be to replace those blogs, but to aggregate them to allow users to access those blogs' content in one place.

Isn't someone doing this already?

Posted by Louis Rosenfeld at November 03, 2001 04:02 PM

Michael Angeles is already doing some IA/UX headline aggregation on iaslash. I've chatted with him a bit about what we could do to improve it, and we'll be doing some work together to see what comes of that...

What suggestions do you (yes, you, dear Reader) have for such an aggregator? Post'em here.

Some of my own thoughts -
Something current RSS implementations seem to lack is a coherent categorization scheme - I'm hoping that we could generate a common list of IA/UX categories that people can adopt/work from on their own blogs so that the IA aggregator can have topical categorization (instead of just by website). Also, filtering duplicates is important to increasing the signal:noise ratio...we've all had the experience of seeing the same link a dozen times across different blogs...

Posted by Jess at November 12, 2001 6:14 PM

There are a few general-purpose web-based RSS aggregators that I know of: My.Userland.Com and Paul Nakada's My WebLog attempt to be comprehensive, while O'Reilly's Meerkat has a technical focus. For a discussion of the scalability of current aggregators, see my rant on My.Userland.Com and the replies to it.

For another approach, I've found it pretty easy to use RSSLite and a bit of perl to aggregate of a personal selection of RSS feeds (see the "In other news" sidebar on my own weblog). Instead of just pasting together all the feeds, I do some crude keyword-based weighting (with a bit of randomized serendipity thrown in) to try to come up with a sorted list of headlines which I hope will be of interest to me. It works fairly well, except that certain persistent items tend to float to the top and stay there. There are other personal aggregators such as Jeremy Keith's Adactio Headlines, but I don't know of any others which try to sift through RSS feeds at the item level. My code is pretty primitive but I'm neverthleless thinking of turning it into a 0.1-level release and sharing it, if there's interest.

Posted by Prentiss Riddle at November 20, 2001 2:28 PM

The news feed aggregator is now working on ia/.

RE: categorizing RSS headlines, I'm doing a rudimentary categorization of blogs right now (called "bundles" in drupal nomenclature), but what is really needed is a taxonomy of topics if the body of headline content gets unwieldy. And yes, RSS headlines would be better with descriptions/abstracts.

If you have an IA/ID/UX related blog in RSS/RDF/XML format and want it to be read into the ia/ news feeds, please email me with the URL of your headlines.


Posted by Michael Angeles at November 25, 2001 5:04 PM

Correct URL for iaslash news feeds is now:

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