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Collected.info

News aggregator’s are becoming an increasingly important tool for both marketers and consumers. We are inundated with information on what seems like a real time basis, its very easy to become overloaded and miss important pieces that you are most interested in. From Collected.info

All your news and interests in one place

Collected is a service where you easily gather feeds and news sources in to collections where you (and others!) can get a good overview and follow them on a daily basis. You can even export your collection to a new feed that you can use in your favourite reader such as Google Reader, Net News Wire, etc.

Collected gather news websites, twitter feeds, flickr feeds, blogs, or just about anything that uses RSS, Atom or XML.

Collected is built on our wish to make the Internet a more fun and easier to use place.

Collected was created by serial entrepeneurs David Sundin, Ted Persson and Andreas Thorstensson together with creative agency Great Works.

Contact .Collected

info[at]collected.info
twitter.com/collectedinfo

What I really like about collected is the slick display format, All your aggregated news are organized and displayed in a blog like format. Users can customize their feeds, explore other feeds and share with friends. Collected also makes a point to display the sources of content on the right hand side of the feed page.

The drawbacks I see for collected are the long post lengths, because of its “blog” like design older news is constantly pushed down and difficult to find. It would also be nice if each individual page had a search function instead of the entire site ( a la Tumblr).

Overall Collected.info is a really simple and cool way to create custom news feeds. In contrast Yahoo Pipes has a fairly robust process for essentially the same service.

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SlideShare

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Hey all, I just uploaded today’s power point presentation to SlideShare. Check it out here.

Categories: Uncategorized

Our Resources

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Over the last few weeks this blog has really taken on a life of its own for John and I. Keeping that in mind how did we pull it off, where did our learning come from and where did our inspiration come from? Well luckily today were going to share 10 resources that proved invaluable to the two of us during our time here. Check it out, share it, comment:

1. Rethinking Your Blogging Strategy

Using research from Technorati and their State of the Bloggerverse series, this resource provides graphs and statistics to help you rethink your blogging and your social strategy going forward.

Mashable resource taking you through creating a stickier blog community. Reducing bounce rates and growing your community are the objectives here.
Mashable provides a comprehensive list of tools to optimize your RSS activities
120 tools integral to every blogger from rookie posters to grizzled vets.
5. Focus
The tittle gives it away but this resource is dedicated to framing your focus and maximizing the power of your content
Starting a blog or at least thinking about it? Start here, you wont be sorry.
Publishes daily content dedicated to blogging and engagement, rated one of the top 10 social media blogs by Social Media Examiner
Another Mashable resource outlining the necessity for a company blog as well as the steps behind getting started.
WordPress resource for maximizing your visibility and increasing your traffic.
Really slick infographic, where do you fit in?

These are just the top 10 as of last night, click through the blogroll and subsequent categories on the right hand side for even more resources!

Yahoo Pipes: Rerouting the Internet

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

For those of you out there curious about Yahoo Pipes this video is for you. If you ever wondered how pipes work, how pipes can be applied or what ARE yahoo pipes, watch this please:

 

Categories: Blogging Tags: , ,

RSS

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

RSS is very possibly one of the Internets most unique acronyms, simply because its meaning cannot be agreed upon. To some its Rich Site Summary, to others its Real Simple Syndication. At the end of the day both definitions have similar meanings, for the purpose of this post it is both.

So we know what RSS means, but what does RSS do and why should you use it? RSS solves a problem that many heavy web users are familiar with, too much content not enough time. RSS allows users to add an RSS subscription to their RSS reader and stream content from around the web into one consolidated location.

However RSS is not simply a tool for end users to browse and enjoy your content, RSS provides creators of content a unique distribution opportunity.

While RSS was at one point only considered to be a means to deliver news headlines, RSS has quickly become a powerful medium to disseminate all kinds of information. As traditional marketers are attempting to rein in content delivery, measuring e-mail open rates, click-throughs and conversions, Internet users are fighting to gain control over the content they receive. Savvy marketers and business owners are using RSS as a way to improve corporate communication and increase their external exposure and brand appeal.

1. PDF Documents – Consider broadcasting meeting agenda notes or documentation as a PDF included with a feed, allowing interested individuals to access information without having to deal with cumbersome e-mail attachments.

2. PPT Presentations – Presentations can easily be distributed in a feed enclosure. The added benefit is that presenters using Power Pointâ„¢ will not have to lug their notebook to a meeting to present – they can manage the presentation from an iPod or similar handheld that reads RSS feeds.

3. Video – Video or streaming video are both possible via the enclosure field. Have lectures or even political debates come to life with the added video component.

4. Audio – Audio content does not mean that feeds are limited to your favorite songs. Podcasting is the coined term for audio content contained in a feed and can include language instruction, talk shows or editorials.

5. Images – Imagine realtors using the enclosure field to display photos of homes to interested buyers. Now they can carry a light-weight catalog with them to show potential buyers at a moment’s notice.

6. Downloads – Consider an information technology department in a large corporation conducting proprietary software updates, including executables or zip files in the enclosure field which allow users to update the software at a convenient time.

RSS for Business 

Here is a quick video that helps explain the creation and applications of RSS feeds for your blog or website: 

Now that we understand how RSS works and what it can do for your blog, check out this almost exhaustive list from Mashable. The list includes RSS tools for Windows, Mac or Linux, desktop or web based, RSS managers and subscribers. Also included are RSS mixers such as Yahoo Pipes (more on this later) that allow users to customize and share RSS feeds.

 

Categories: Blogging, Uncategorized Tags: , ,

Hot vs Not

February 20, 2012 Leave a comment

WordPress is great, but in all fairness shes realanly not that pretty. Sure, sure she has all kinds of features and benefits not to mention the tangibles and intangibles. She is organized, efficient and downright uninspiring. Think of wordpress as the lab partner who helped you pass gr 11 Chem.

Jux on the other hand is curvy, bubbly and downright gorgeous. She can do some of the things your labpartner is good at but by no means is she brilliant. She will definitely make your friends jealous plus shes great to look at and fool around with. But is she your future? Think of Jux as the cheerleader in your english class.

In explaining the two platforms this way I’m hoping that everyone can begin to frame thinking in a similar manner. Like when selecting a partner it is not all flash and dash, you need substance and you need content. Which one does the job for you? When selecting a platform to host your new company or personal blog for that matter one must begin to think about the end user.

Although we have only highlighted 2 potential platforms above, when selecting your new platform you should be clicking around and getting a feel for the usability and capabilities of the service. Once you have a firm understanding of its capabilities and limitations ask yourself some questions to measure the effectiveness of each platform for you: What are the functions of our blog, how will users engage with our blog, why will users engage with our blog and where will our users engage with our blog? By doing this you can establish benchmark criteria and develop a system to measure your options and make an informed decision.

While this is a very basic exercise please do not confuse its simplicity with its effectiveness, simplicity should be the benchmark we all live our personal and professional lives against.

PodCamp Toronto

February 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Right before our eyes we are watching the transformation of an industry, marketers are embracing social and digital strategies and companies are shifting their attention from traditional “disruptive” channels to inviting or “inbound” channels. PodCamp Toronto is a 2 day unconference dedicated to the education and sharing of new media ideas:

“When someone signs up to attend PodCamp they become a participant. Because we’re an unconference, we ask our participants to provide the programming and sessions. To speak at PodCamp is to share knowledge, expertise and perspective while facilitating a discussion. Participants at PodCamp bring their curiosity and passion for new media. Participants at PodCamp exercise the Law of Two Feet. When a participant finds they are not learning or contributing to discussion, they must find a discussion where they can learn something by taking their “two feet” elsewhere.”  

About PodCamp Toronto

Whats beautiful about PodCamp and the unconference model is that it is designed around the idea of “inbound” marketing. For my classmates the HubSpot case will of familiarized you with the idea; For those of you non Seneca students “inbound” marketing a concept pioneered by HubSpot in 2006, that is now quickly becoming the industry norm. “Inbound” marketing directs a companies resources into the creation and curation of content, “inbound” marketing focuses on attracting clients and prospects to a content hub that is geared towards their specific needs and wants. Never has marketing been more efficient.

Back to PodCamp; the unconference has been designed in such a way that participants (guests) are not locked into a rigid schedule. Participants are free to come and go, engage here or leave there and really maximize the personal value that PodCamp can provide. Similar to the “inbound” model participants need to actively seek out their needs and wants and tune out the clutter.

PodCamp will be taking place February 25 and 26 at Ryerson university Downtown Toronto. I actively encourage all of my classmates and readers to consider this opportunity as an investment into your future and the future of our industry, besides registration is free. If you can’t make it down at least follow the action  @PodCampToronto or their hashtag #PCTO. Here are links to sessions offered and scheduling, hope to see you all there!

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