If like me you are absorbed with the web, as a result of participating, you would have built up a great deal of sources that are your filter on many topics.
I have lots of tags in my Google Reader filled with blogs of people I understand and trust. These people save me from information overload, I cannot possibly read everything on a topic; not everything is worth reading and I don’t have time anyway, but the stuff that is good is written and also pointed to by these bloggers.
Another thing is that overtime I have come to know these bloggers and we share context, ie. we have read each other for ages, interested in the same things, interacted with links and comments, and the person (style/personality) comes through in the blog post, which doesn’t often happen in codified documents.
All this helps in understanding the message or signal (knowledge transfer), as I think the more you understand a person, the more you understand the message (similar to the medium is the message, perhaps the messenger is the message.)
Me and my tangents, sorry about that…newbies to the blogosphere sometimes haven’t go time to immerse themselves and build a subscription of blogs they trust, this takes time, but it’s well worth it for personal experience. This also happens to me, I haven’t got time to find and build a list of sources for topics I’m slightly interested in, as I’m too busy on the topics I am interested in.
Communities and Networks Connection
Anyway, for newbies and others, there has been a movement where this stage of finding and reading blogs on a topic has been made a whole lot easier. The blogosphere has matured and blogs on a topic have proved their worthiness (blogosphere self regulates reputation) and coalesced into one convenient space.
This is not a community (it’s not a group space where we have an agenda)…and it’s not a network as the sources or readers don’t connect with others or have their own view of the network. Rather, it’s a simple aggregation of blogs on the topics of communities and networks.
Basically, it’s a convenient one stop shop daily read on what a bunch of bloggers are saying about Communities and Networks.
I’m excited that I was asked to have my blog listed, and I already read many of the other listed blogs, such as Mike Gotta, Matt Moore, the Anecdote team, Luis Suarez, of course Nancy White and many others.
How does it work?
Visit the website and in the middle is a stream of the latest posts from all sources. If you like reading content from the comfort of your own home then you can grab the feed.
On the right sidebar is a list of sources, clicking a source will display content from just that source.
Clicking on Library clips will show my latest posts (click for more), and if you scroll down it will show my “best” posts (click for more) based on social signals (kind of like PostRank I guess)
On the left sidebar we have a way to filter posts from all blogs by concept, tools, type, and year (a bigger picture is available on a page)
And then you can filter some more, this page here is filtering to see all posts on Twitter, then filter again to see posts on Twitter and Communities of Practice, and you can keep filtering.
Now I’m not sure how these keywords/categorising work, but it’s a handy way to filter the content.
A really cool thing is that I can see all these keywords based around one source, so here’s a keyword page for just my blog.
Create your own widgets
Now you might see that not many of my posts appear here, I think that’s because it needs to keep indexing my site which apparently helps if I add the keyword widget to my blog. Not sure if I have room at the moment on my sidebars.
Oh yeah, I forgot, you can search the site, and even search one source.
Other blog aggregators
Tony’s has a similar site, elearninglearning, then there are the sites in which I’m often re-syndicated, Social Media Today, and Content Management Connection.
NOTE: these last to are built on Wordframe (they are more than aggregation as publishers can network with each other in this space, and Social Media Today could be defined as a loose community as some key members of that team host events, publish a newsletter, etc…)
A blog aggregator that I really find outstanding is ScienceBlogs.
Make your own blog aggregator
If you want to create your own Newsmastering site try services like Individurls, MySyndicaat, FeedRaider, Bozpage, Feedbite, Planetaki, and startpages that have public pages such as Protopage, Netvibes, PageFlakes…see my Newsmaster category for more