According to TechCrunch, Feedburner are releasing a new service next month.
Simple really, they are just bundling up feeds into Networks…something already popularised by BlogBridge Experts (hosted in the BB:Library), PubSub Lists, Technorati Blog Directory (eg. folksonomy), and the many other newsmastering services.
Technorati Blogs has an OPML, but not a spliced feed…it also has a HTML content stream (you can even search the feed set)
BB Guides have an OPML, but not a spliced feed…lacks a HTML stream, but each guide has an announcement blog.
(I like the idea of subscribing to the feed of the announcement blog that will mention if any new feeds are added or cut from the network…this content will automatically reflect in your spliced feed or OPML, but I like the idea of being officially told).
PubSub Lists has an OPML, but not a spliced feed…it also lacks a HTML stream.
What will Feedburner have?
See this blog post about the announcement, the sidebar hosts an example of the network badge for the VC network.
At the moment it offers a spliced feed, and a link for people to buy ads for the network.
This is great for blogs who publish with Feedburner, if you are lucky enough to be included in a network, this will give your blog more exposure (people may discover you because you are on the same network as some blogs people prefer).
I like that Feedburner give the members a cut of the cash pie, whereas Technorati Blog Directory doesn’t, but then again the prime directive of Technorati is a search engine, so this must a privilege.
Create a network directory page, just like BB:Library (but unlike BB:Library you can’t make your own network).
When you click on a network have another page that complements the feed landing page. What I mean is have a HTML page that shows you a river of news, or click on a feed to see contents just from one feed, even better click a selection of feeds to see a portion of content. This page can have ads on it from the network, in this respect you can go to the network page to read the latest or subscribe to the feed instead. Also you could subscribe to the network via the Feedburner email subscription box.
Now when you subscribe to the spliced feed, there could be a way to just subscribe to one feed, or a selection of feeds or subscribe/export the OPML.
The ultimate is to subscribe to a search generated feed across a network, maybe you can do this yourself at Feed Digest or MySyndicaat.
What about if a network feed set grows beyond 20 or 30, then you may want to organise these in folders…for the ultimate of this check out Technorati Favourites.
You can read feeds by folder/tag river of news or top level river of news, each folder/tag has a feed and an OPML (even search your favourites). You can also read content from just one feed, but not from your sidebar, you have to click on the folder/tag it lives in then click on the the Blogs tab, then click on the blog name (this takes you to the blog info page, where you can even search in the blog).
NOTE: this is not a traditional RSS Reader that marks read/unread posts.
As well as network badges, linkroll widgets are a must…what about a spliced subscriber number chicklet (that de-dupes common subscribers).
Again unlike Technorati Favourites or BB:Library, the Feedburner Network will be limited to blogs that have Feedburner feeds, and the networks will be created by the Feedburner team.
This post alludes to most of these features.
[ADDED: Check out the Corante Web Hub network, this is comprised of a selection of blog feeds, where you can choose a feed or subscribe to the spliced feed or the OPML or email…there is even an editorial blog.
It once also re-syndicated tags from blog posts, subscribing to tag feeds would’ve been great, or even generate search feed across a selection of blogs.
Actually this is a must feature I think we will see in the future, for a given set of feeds, select the ones you like to create a spliced feed or OPML on the fly]