Following on from More than one way to curate a blog!
Examining the blogging/RSS tools I’m yet to find a platform where I can make my own RSS aggregator, ie. using tools for the average non-techie.
Is there a way to make a blog act like an aggregator?
Currently with blogs, if you have a list of links (blogroll) in the sidebar, they will link to the native site; you can’t view the content within the blog, because the content hasn’t been published within the blog.
What you can do is re-syndicate a feed into a blog (RSS to HTML).
You can even blend feeds (multiple feeds into one) and re-syndicate that into a blog.
Problem is that you can’t re-syndicate multiple feeds simultaneously into your blog and have the content from each feed in a category.
If you could do this, then you would be able to click on a category and view the contents just from one of the re-syndicated feeds.
This would be similar to an RSS aggregator, as clicking on a category would be similar to clicking on a feed in your aggregator.
The only conclusion I reached was using a multi-platform blog, see RSS: transport topics.
This being, every RSS feed is re-syndicated into its own blog, so if you have 10 single feeds (re-mixed or native, it doesn’t matter), you will have 10 blogs.
Then aggregate all the blogs into a master blog, and each blog will be a category in the master blog.
So when you click on a category it will still go to the native site, but it is within the website of the multi-blog portal, so the look and feel will be smooth as the presentation of the blogs will be similar.
Problem is you still have to press the back arrow on your toolbar to go back to the master blog.
So to this extent it still doesn’t act like an aggregator, as when you click on a category the whole web page launches into a new page, unlike an aggregator where your list of feeds live in a static pane.
An example of using a master blog is Georgia State University – Library News & Subject Blogs.
This is the master (aggregated) blog, the individual blogs that populate the master blog are listed on the right, and you will see that the entries in the master blog are assigned to categories, which are actually the individual blogs.
For this example the content in these individual blogs have been published manually within the blog.
For our example, there is a slight difference as we are not publishing anything ourselves, but instead re-syndicating what has already been published. This actually makes no difference to the mechanics of this process.
So if we attempted aggregating all our blogs into a master blog, we would have our main RSS feed (master blog) plus an RSS feed for each category (this is the feed for each blog, which is in fact a clone feed of the feed/s that is originally being re-syndicated).
So you could read the contents of the master blog in your RSS reader or the old fashion way, from the master blog website itself.
A professional example of a public RSS aggregator is Newstation.
Unlike our example, the categories are kept in a static pane or frame on the left of the page, when you click on a category just the right frame changes content.
So this acts just like a typical RSS aggregator, only it is public.
The extra benefit of this site is that categories are kept in folders…this will only work in our homemade example if the master blog has sub-categories implemented.
But creating a system such as Newstation or even LIS feeds requires some expertise and additional software.
We require a system that is easy enough to use as blogs…a system that allows anyone to make their own public RSS aggregator.
Some requirements for these two services
- Labels/names for feeds
- Folders for feeds
- General RSS feed
- Search all feeds (plus a search RSS feed)
- Customise interface (make your own presentation, as you can with blogs)
- Folder RSS feed
- Browse/Search in one feed (generating a search RSS feed)
- Browse/Search in a selection of feeds (generating a search RSS feed)
- Browse/Search in a folder/s (generating a search RSS feed)
- Save, print, email, comment, IM, blog, discuss, etc…under each entry