Blog Enhancements

Over the next few days, we will put up some of the enhancements we have been working in (through software) for this blog. One of them is making the monthly pages as outlines to give a quick glimpse of all the postings at-a-glance. This will make it easier to search for some of the older postings, especially for me!

A few other ideas:
– creating to listserv so that the daily updates can be emailed to people (no need to remember to visit everyday!)
– adding a GoogleBox to show the top 10 links to emergic and perhaps other keyword searches (like in Jon Udell’s blog in the right column)
– showing access statistics every day in a blog post which is created at the end of the day. This way everyone knows how many people are reading and where people come from
– extend this “referer log” analysis to take it to the blog post level, and provide “backlinks” for each post (to provide an idea of who has linked to a specific post)

The aim is to over time build a “second-generation blog”, which combines many new ideas which we have seen around the blog world.

Personally, a big change in how I read is about to happen: we have built our own RSS Aggregator which can post to MovableType. We are also building (as part of the BlogStreet project) a blog categorisation engine with neighbourbood analysis. Now, we intend to add for each blog a link to its RSS feed, thus allowing a one-click subscription of the feed into my RSS aggregator. This completes the flow:
– I can search BlogStreet for interesting blogs
– I can add the blogs I like to my RSS feed
– The RSS Aggregator helps me view many items from various feeds on a single page, thus increasing the quantum of information I can process
– Post an item from the aggregator to my blog

This is the foundation of the Digital Dashboard. Next few steps:
– be able to make this entire flow a “service” so others can create their blogs
– enable it to work within the enterprise (as part of the Thick Server)
– create a super-RSS Aggregator to collect feeds
– build a search engine by “post” for the feeds (current and archives)
– enable subscriptions to the feeds
– enable filters to search all feeds (and not just the ones one has subscribed to). This is like the “subject-based addressing” concept as part of the publish-subscribe mechanism.

So, one can now imagine a “Blog Bus” where all blog entries are flowing (getting published) and there are “agents” for each of us, scanning these feeds and filtering them based on what we like (either by the source of the feed or its contents) and then posting them to personal RSS aggregators. From there, we can browse through the items and decide which we want to post on our multiple blogs (each of which may have multiple catgeories). Each blog publishes its own RSS feed which flows back into the system.

Take this a little further. The “Blog Bus” becomes an “Information Bus” with the entries being posted no longer limited to just blog entries from within and outside the enterprise, but any kind of “events”, coming from different sources like calendars, mail, enterprise software applications, and other programs. The rest of the system (RSS Aggregator and Blogs) is the same. What we now have is the Digital Dashboard for the enterprise. [Also see my recent post: RSS, Blogs and Events.]

This will dramatically change the way we process information. The best part of this is that it is all built on standards. Anyone can create an RSS feed from content they have. It is like the early days of the Web when HTML revolutionised publishing. What RSS will now change is the way information consumption.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.