Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Sunday, September 12, 2004

RSS Blender: Mix And Match RSS Content To Amazon Books

The team at Thinktank23 has once again come up with something worth pointing to. These are the same guys behind Waypath, its unique nifty set of tools, and behind Nav4 one very interesting piece of publishing software that allows rapid categorization of content, creation of taxonomies and related content lists with extreme ease of use (I have been recently experimenting with it, though I have not yet been able to put it to use as a demo engine on any of my sites. Stay tuned).

This time the team at Thinktank23 has come up with a fascinating prototype matching some of the basic core characteristics of what I would call a basic commercial newsmastering setup:

a) aggregation of multiple RSS feeds (here in the prototype you can have up to five)

b) mixing of the feeds in chronological order

c) contextual mixing of relevant Amazon books information items in between the original content.

An algorithm selects the most appropriate Amazon books on the basis of keywords used in the content coming from the selected feeds.

This is a rough prototype and it may have all of the limitations of an early version.

For example, in my own testing I found it difficult to get relevant books to appear in between my selected mix of RSS newsfeeds.

But this takes nothing away from the relevance of this innovative prototype which further confirms the potential of moving further in this direction while experimenting with multiple and diverse complementary profit-making mechanisms.

Effective newsmastering tools will need to provide much more refined control on the filtering of the aggregated final newsfeed while providing flexible manual control on the integration of relevant contextual advertisements and promotions.

The more the newsmaster can maintain such fine control while automating to the maximum the aggregation, filtering, and remix of multiple content sources, the more we can witness truly personalized newsfeeds with a high level of quality.

Completely automatic mechanisms may take away one of the most valuable newsmaster contributions to this process, which is the final personal editorial judgment on each and every news item published. The more we rely on an exclusively automated process the more we risk of creating ridiculous mismatches while depriving our channels from our most valuable skill: personal selection.

One thing appears quite sure to me: newsmasters and a great variety of online publishing businesses are sprouting just now. RSS provides a universe of valuable content that can be tapped into at no cost and it is ready to be repackaged and redistributed in a thousand different ways.

Do you see it coming?



John Battelle -
Reference: Searchblog [via Julian Hope] [ Read more ]
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posted by Robin Good on Sunday, September 12 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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