I’m piloting a new blog section called News-o-matic. It’s a list of links to relevant news, blog posts and sites which communicators in technology might find interesting and useful. The list is generated using the social bookmarking site, del.icio.us. For those that haven’t tried del.icio.us, it’s a site which enables you to ‘tag’ or bookmark web content with relevant phrases, so you can easily find them later. It’s just like your browser bookmark in that sense. The difference is that others can see your tags, and you can find theirs. So I might bookmark Morgan McLintic on PR with the tag: PR. Others would then be able to find the site by searching on the PR tag.
Taking that a step further, del.icio.us allows you to set up an RSS feed for a particular tag, or for all of your bookmarks. This means if someone adds a new PR tag, it’ll show up in your RSS reader. So far, so good.
Several bloggers are now setting up specific tags which are relevant to them – Silicon Valley Watcher uses the tag svw, Steve Rubel is using micropersuasion. So if you want to draw their attention to something on the web, you tag it with their name and it’ll pop up in their RSS reader or del.icio.us bookmarks. The advantage of this is obviously that it cuts down on email, if the content is fairly self-evident, such as a fake blog or a news piece.
Having set up the RSS feed for a particular tag, you can convert it into HTML to create a list of links, basically a bookmark list. That’s what News-o-matic is doing. I’ve set up a tag – MMonPR – and taken the RSS feed from that to create a list of links. Posting new links to that list is as simple as bookmarking it in del.icio.us. Obviously that’s much faster than creating a separate post when all you really want to do is point to some content.
This also means that you, my dear and helpful reader, can flag relevant news stories which will appear on this site for others to see. It’ll also mean that they appear in my RSS reader so I will notice them (as Steve is doing above) and investigate further. Obviously the potential for abuse there is huge, so my apologies in advance if irrelevant or inappropriate content cycles through. That’s why I’m testing it at the moment, but thought you might find it useful. I’d welcome your thoughts below or via email, and am indebted to SVW and Steve for the idea.
Bloggers may be interested to know that the RSS to HTML engine I’m using is called Feed2JS.