I’ve felt for a long time that every serious news organization and blog should have a river associated with their publication. The river would include the news sources that the publication “reads” — to give their readers a sense of the community they both belong to and the community they define.
It’s a simple yet incredibly powerful concept. As with all new concepts it will receive endless push backs (I’m seeing some incredible resistance to the concept of publishing content aggregated from feeds from all kind of organizations) but then it will be broadly adopted.
Our new tool is designed specifically to manage original and aggregated content. Not even in two tabs but on the very same page. Ours is not a river (also if you could easily create a river just by not filtering feeds), but the underlying concept is quite similar: share a unique view on your world by publishing a list of feeds that are relevant to you.
When demoing our enterprise collaboration tool, CQSpark, very often I’m asked if some of the pages built with our WYSIWYG tool using the aggregated content can be made public.
This lead us to consider building a version of the platform specifically designed to manage simple sites based on a mix of aggregated content (automatically tagged using Open Calais and/or AlchemyAPI), and original content posted by one or more editors.
So, here’s the first test site built using this new version of our technology, which we are calling CQSpark.NEWS: paolo.cqspark.com
The content of the two columns of the right has been aggregated from a list of feeds that I extracted from my aggregator, while the left column articles have been posted directly on the page using a very simple tool. This is how I see the page as an editor of the site:
The system is using CQSpark’s super easy to use sharing box, which is optimized to scrape/embed articles, videos, tweets, it supports drag and drop publishing of photos and files, and with one click also allows you to cross-post to your accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
I’ve always thought that aggregators a formidable tool not only to create personal streams of content but also to run public sites, with this new tool I think we have reached an excellent combination of ease of use and power.