Thanks to Giovanni Guardalben for the tip this weekend:
Marjolein Hoekstra and Todd And have used a bunch of free tools to create a OPML/RSS mashup called Kitchen Sink. They have NewsGator, FeedBurner, MySyndicaat, and Grazr in the mix to create a boutique search engine and feed source for a select group of blogs. (In this case, that group is from the list of Todd’s 150 Top Marketing Blogs. If marketing isn’t your thing, you could do the same approach with any OPML file.)
How it Works
Here’s the basic flow: OPML reading list of feeds from Todd’s Newsgator Online account. The OPML is then pulled into MySyndicaat to pull together the actual content of all of the RSS and Atom feeds into a river of news. The massive combined RSS feed that results is then prettied up in FeedBurner.
From there they used the
very-beta GrazrScript (and a lot of help from Mike at Grazr) to create a GUI that lets you explore the data from the feed, using ReFilter to filter content based on keywords.
Kitchen Sink also lets you subscribe to a custom feed of your keyword searches… you’ll only get items from the blog list that have your keywords.
I would like to see the Kitchen Sink widget hooked directly to MySyndicaat (using ReFilter in the GUI). That would cover the bare minimum of technologies needed and still deliver the desired end state: Choose/find your sources in MySyndicaat, and let them do the work of pulling the feeds and storing the master content. Use GrazrScript for the front end, and ReFilter for on-demand filtering of the master content.
1. I don’t know how well ReFilter will hold up under a heavy load, but I’m betting that if your user base is in the hundreds or low thousands, it should be fine. Hopefully they have a good bandwidth usage plan, (or a good cache scheme) since they have to re-read the feed every time.
2. The lynch pin, of course, is that the Grazr guys probably aren’t going to be able to do custom work for everybody who asks. My guess is development of GrazrScript will need to mature for awhile before this kind of approach is widely possible for the geek masses.
Update February 6, 2007
I chatted with Marjolein this morning about Kitchen Sink, congratulating her on making TechMeme for so long yesterday. Marjolein noted that although she has “less hair” because of various issues she had to work through in GrazrScript, the Grazr team didn’t need to contribute much. She did note that they readily squashed any bugs she found in GS, so that aspect of their support was invaluable. (Mike at Grazr also commented below on his involvement, and believes that GS is more mature than I state above.)