Part of the plan with the telecentre.org ecosystem is to bring relevant content into telecentre.org sites using RSS. In the case of event sites — like the Capetown site that is the very first telecentre event site to get up and running — we’ll use special tags (keywords) to help create our event blogs. That way people who already have their own blogs or web sites can post stories on their own blogs, but have the stories show up on the event site, too.
The challenge is figuring out how to gather all those blog posts together in a way that brings them onto the event site in something close to real time. In other words, how quickly can we move a blog post from a personal site to an event site?
I tested that out today with my first cross-post to the Capetown site. I wrote my post, then included the tag capetowntelecentre, which is the keyword we designated as our “flag this for syndication on the Capetown site” signal.
Next step was to check in — about half an hour later — with the various blog search services that could help us aggregate all these blog posts into a single RSS feed. I had already set up a PubSub search on capetowntelecentre, because PubSub only starts searching for terms once you set up a search; but my PubSub feed hadn’t found my post yet (six hours later, it still hasn’t; nor has it found the test post Rob wrote last night!).
Then I tried Technorati. Technorati had a feed for posts that contained the word capetowntelecentre (where I found my test post), and it had a feed for posts that used capetowntelecentre as a tag (where I found Rob’s post, but not mine, even though I used capetowntelecentre both as a tag and in text. Ah, the enigma that is Technorati.)
Next stop: Feedster, where a chorus of RSS angels opened their throats and spilled forth the whole universe of (two) posts containing the term capetowntelecentre (interesting, pulling mine in indirectly via the Web of Blogs site set up for the upcoming Web of Change conference.) I had a winner! Up went our shiny new RSS feed for capetowntelecentre, which the kind folks at Feedster were good enough to set up (on request) as an ad-free RSS feed, because they thought it was “just the right thing to do” for a “good cause” like telecentre.org.
One more note: Mark tried a test post too, but since he put capetowntelecentre in quotation marks, it didn’t get aggregated; it’s worth noting that you have to avoid quotation marks to make this kind of tag-based aggregation work.