Friday, June 23, 2006

Ego searches on Technorati - aggregated onto Bloglines

A couple of weeks ago I gave a workshop on blogging, tagging and RSS (full ppt outline here). One of the key elements of the workshop was setting up a system similar to a personalized "news clipping" service, using Bloglines and Technorati. The main gist was this -
Identify tags of interest (like this one on Del.icio.us or this one on Flickr), and copy the link to the orange RSS/ "Feed" URL into a new "My Feed" in Bloglines". The benefit of this is that if you do this for all your tags of interest, this gives you a "feed" of those tags all in one place, as opposed to checking on FLickr, Del.icio.us, Technorati, etc every day/week/month.
Now the kicker of the workshop was supposed to be the idea of setting up "ego searches" from Technorati into Bloglines. Technorati is a service that searches blogs; the idea is that you can find out what people are saying about your organization, or issue area that is important to your organization, by typing in the appropriate search terms in Technorati. (For example, see this is a link to a Technorati search on "poverty".)

What I wanted to do was be able to set up appropriate searches (like the one above) then copy the RSS URL link into Bloglines. As an example, if worked for the ONE campaign, and I did a search on Technorati for "poverty" and then "www.one.org" - then pasted the feeds into Bloglines - all of a sudden I've got a pretty nice little ego search news clipping service, all located in one aggregated blog reader (Bloglines).

Except it's not quite that easy - Technorati doesn't allow you to automatically create an RSS feed of a search term (unlike a tag). To see what I mean, compare a Technorati keyword search with a Technorati "tag" search - the former does not have the tell-tale RSS button at the bottom (it's blue on Technorati for some inexplicable reason, so if at first you don't see it on the second link, look again - it's there, at the end of the list, not at the bottom of the page).

Well, I finally figured out how you're supposed to do it:
  • You need to set up a Technorati account first.
  • After you've logged in, using the search page (not the tag page), type in your search keyword.
  • Then make that search a "Watchlist."
  • Once you've made the watchlist, you will see the telltale RSS button in that search-list. That's what you can copy and paste into Bloglines.
(Note that - as far as I can tell - both Del.icio.us and Flickr do not enable RSS feeds of keyword searches, only tag searches.)

It would be great if people could tell me if this made sense and was useful. I'm trying to strike a balance between giving appropriate information (I know, I know, I don't necessarily explain how do to do things very explicitly) and spenfing all my time writing tech primers on Web2.0 tools.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous gordon mayer said...

Hey Greg--

These thoughts and comments are awesome. I'm glad you learned almost as much as our folks did at the conference! I am going to be chewing them over for a little while, but they are very hands on and some things that I can see myself definitely doing.

Maybe we need to have you guys back on a more regular basis?

Gordon Mayer, CMW

1:56 PM  
Blogger Greg Beuthin said...

Thanks! It was great to be in Chicago - I learned a lot myself at the conference.

1:23 PM  

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