Bogeyman 2.0

Bogeyman 2.0(mother, having just read a story to two children cowering in terror at the edge of their bed) And that's the story of what happened to the blog that only offered partial RSS feeds. What did you think
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How to add an authenticated RSS feed in Mail for OS X 10.5

We're a little Basecamp-crazy over here at Social Signal, and a lot RSS-crazy. So the fact that Basecamp spits out a handy RSS feed that updates you when your projects to much as twitch is, to us, a Good Thing.

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This week's vendetta: user-driven sites without user-driven feeds

Vendetta of the WeekSo you really, really, really want people to contribute to your new, grassroots, user-driven site? If you want to invite my content in, you'd better let me get it out.

That means offering per-user RSS feeds for all user-contributed content. (If you're new to RSS, check out our site for an intro.) If I'm adding content to your site, I need an easy way to suck the content back out for republishing on my site. (In fact, my site now consists pretty much exclusively of the content I'm posting on other sites, including this one, and then re-aggregating back onto my own site.)

A useful cautionary tale in this regard is LinkedIn. LinkedIn Answers rely on users to contribute questions AND answers to create a great (and very useful) repository of advice and referrals on just about every business topic imaginable. We often encourage folks to participate actively in LinkedIn as a way of raising their professional profile. But I'm rethinking the wisdom of that advice now that I see there's no outbound RSS feed for my own LinkedIn answers. If I'm going to make LinkedIn the go-to place for my contributions of professional intelligence, I expect to be able to republish the answers I'm writing on my own blog.

And LinkedIn should make it easy for me to do so, for three reasons:

  1. By making it easy for bloggers to republish their LinkedIn answers on their own blogs, LinkedIn encourages bloggers to contribute more actively, which will help them build up high quality content.
  2. By making it easy for people to subscribe to answers that come from their favorite experts, LinkedIn increases the returns to becoming a top LinkedIn expert, which again encourages high quality contributions.
  3. By making it easy for people to republish their answers -- possibly as teasers that link back to the full answer on LinkedIn -- LinkedIn could get a ton of topic-specific inbound links, which would bring in lots of visitors directly from blogs AND boost LinkedIn's Google juice on topical Google searches.

If you're creating a user-driven site of your own, keep LinkedIn's example in mind. Seize the opportunity LinkedIn is missing by making it easy for your users to get content out -- recognizing that's the best way to bring content in.

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Does your organization have a Wikipedia entry? Start monitoring it now.

If your organization is listed in Wikipedia, the community-edited online encyclopedia, congratulations. Quite apart from the virtues of collaborative editing, Wikipedia entries often rank at or near the top of Google search results.

Now break open your RSS aggregator. You're going to want to add a new subscription immediately... because nearly anybody could be editing your entry.

Here's what you do: navigate to your Wikipedia page. (Here's a shot from the entry about Wikipedia itself.)

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OPML for your enjoyment

I'm teaching a webinar tomorrow for NTEN on how RSS is changing how we send and receive electronic communications. As part of the webinar I want to offer participants a set of RSS feeds to get them started, and what better form to offer it in than an OPML file?

An OPML file is basically a file of RSS feed addresses that tells an RSS reader which RSS feeds to track and display. My OPML file (download by clicking the filename below) includes feeds on Blogging/Web 2.0, e-consultation, e-democracy, e-politics, e-pr, friends, general news, Internet research, nonprofit technology, political blogs, RSS, social software, and tech news.
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RSS, tags & social bookmarking: building blocks for nonprofit collaboration

I'm currently at NTen's Nonprofit Technology Conference in Seattle, where I was part of a panel yesterday on "Blogging, Tagging, Flickring for the cause: New tools and new strategies." Along with Victor d'Allant of Social Edge and Ruby Sinreich, I gave a kind of crash course/overview of how nonprofits can use the latest generation of Internet tools to work more effectively.

Tech tips from Social Signal

We've rounded up some of our favourite blog posts and technology resources and turned them into handy PDFs. Please feel free to download, print and redistribute; all we ask is that you keep our name & URL on any printed version.

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Make your nonprofit more effective with RSS aggregation

TechSoup invited me to be part of their online event on Web 2.0 this week. Since I was on call for a discussion about social bookmarking and aggregation, I put together a short overview of how aggregation can help nonprofits, and another on how social bookmarking can help nonprofits.

Here’s my quick take on three crucial ways that nonprofits can use RSS and aggregation to work more effectively:

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Introducing Social Signal: collaboration for communities

I'm delighted to announce the launch of Social Signal. Social Signal's goal is to support online communities and distributed collaboration networks -- networks of communities that share content and relationships by using the latest generation of web tools.

Social Signal on...

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.