A few clicks back I had played with a test Blogdigger collection – this is a service that allows you to take a pile of web/RSS feeds, and then have that itself be able to collapse into its own feed- an uber feed if you will.

My test was to build up a collection of RSS feeds from known Learning Objects sites, and is Blogdiggered at:
http://groups.blogdigger.com/learningobjects.

A few notes and quibbles:

(1) They have redesigned the layout, some improvement.

(2) There are 986 items listed as returns from 10 sources.

(3) I had listed a feed from EdNA but it does not appear to be learning objects but news about instructional technology. So that would has slid off my list. If someone wants to fix this, see below.

(4) There are two search fields- very confusing. The top one searches all of Blogdigger, but there is a second search form in the little blue area in the middle that allows me to search within by collection (this is good) as well as Blogdigger wide. What we have here is a need to stamp out an abolish redundancy! The top search form is un-necessary.

(5) The search within a group is neat, because it allows you to save that search as its own URL, such as this one within my LO collection for the word “math”
http://groups.blogdigger.com/groups.jsp?q=math&search=1&id=252

But why cannot the XML link now reflect this as a filter? And worse there is no link that takes me back to the primary collection. This is B-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-d navigation.

Still, I like the concept, and am optimistic they can adjust the output templates to address the quibbles above. I very much like what this does to repurpose a collection of feeds into a new purpose.

Oh, again, the invitation is open- if someone out there wants to add an RSS feed for a Learning Object collection, there is a link in the lower right. The password is the 4 letter name of the little building block metaphor that some apply to LOs (all lowercase, Jeeves!).

The post "Checking Back On Bloggdigger" was originally slapped on the butt by a cigar smoking doctor yelling "It's a post!" at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2004/09/checking-back/) on September 2, 2004.

6 Comments

  • Greg G. blogdigger.com

    Alan,

    Thanks for checking back, I’ve been meaning to email you and get your thoughts, but we had a baby earlier this week (two weeks early), and I’m a bit behind.

    I’ll pass on your comments to Mike Miller, whose in charge of the Groups app. In particular, the RSS feed should be searchable, if you add on a &q= ; obviously, this is bad UI, and we’re fixing it.

    Thanks for posting your comments, stuff like this is invaluable.

  • Idris

    I’m very happy to find people addressing this! Bloggers and providers alike…

    Being “content-producer” challenged myself, I was looking for a way to combine feeds and edit the results into a new feed that I could in turn offer as a feed from my site. (Not sure if I said that correctly) I’m an editor, not a reporter, at heart I suppose.

    Alan stated;

    “(4) There are two search fields- very confusing. The top one searches all of Blogdigger, but there is a second search form in the little blue area in the middle that allows me to search within by collection (this is good) as well as Blogdigger wide. What we have here is a need to stamp out an abolish redundancy! The top search form is un-necessary…..”

    While abolishing redundancy is always a good thing I can see the advantages of having both search methods available. Seems tomethe search form could be re-done with radio buttons to select the search. Dictionary.com is a good example.

    Searching others compiled feeds I would find helpful in a “screening” sense. Bad feeds eliminated before hand.

    Previous comments about compile time should make theirway to top priority. Especially considering the lightning pace in the blogosphere.

    Saved searches of compiled feeds is a great idea imo. Of course, it took ebay how long to implement that?..:)

    I’m not sureif I’m missing something, buti’d still like to see a feed geenerated that I could in turn offer and display on my site.

  • Alan Levine

    I am glad that as a non-techie you get the value of the Blogdigger service… a few re-comments:

    The search form fields *are* redundant- the lower search form has the feature uoi suggest- radio buttons to search within a Bloggdigger group or the option to search all of Blogdigger.

    Never underestimate the ultimate value of a simple interface.

    “Saved Searches” is nothing all that special- it is what Google provides by ever return being a GET server request which means all the search parameters are returned attached to the URL that generates them. This is one of the most under-rated and most valuable tools- it means that URL can by copied and used in emial, in a web page as a link to generate a current search based on the same search parameters.

    “I’m not sureif I’m missing something, but i’d still like to see a feed geenerated that I could in turn offer and display on my site.”

    Blogdigger provides that! That is why I like it. The URL for the “RSS” (or is it “XML:) orange icon is a RSS feed that can generate the most current results deployed in your web page. There are heaps of tools you can use to do it, one of which is our own Feed2JS (RSS Feed converted to JavaScript output) service/code:

    http://jade.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/feed/

  • Non-techies getting Blogdigger = me very happy ;)

    At one time, we offered a Javascript export, but it’s in maintence mode right now, it will return soon and will allow you to output healines/excepts on your own site.

    Idris, I’d like to get a clearer picture of what you mean by:

    “Searching others compiled feeds I would find helpful in a “screening” sense. Bad feeds eliminated before hand.”

    and

    “Previous comments about compile time should make theirway to top priority. Especially considering the lightning pace in the blogosphere.”

    I’ll send you an email.

    Thanks!

  • Idris

    ……..

    Hi Greg and Alan…

    Greg writes, “At one time, we offered a Javascript export, but it’s in maintence mode right now, it will return soon and will allow you to output healines/excepts on your own site.”

    I believe Javascript is great to get off the ground from your standpoint, but am I correct in assuming it won’t spider for the people that embed it? A PHP script on the otherhand or any server-side script…

    …….

    Greg writes, “Idris, I’d like to get a clearer picture of what you mean by:

    “Searching others compiled feeds I would find helpful in a “screening” sense. Bad feeds eliminated before hand.”..”

    Oh, I just like the thought that others have combined feeds, meaning that they have read-through various feeds and have already “screened” content and compiled a new feed using your site, then I in turn can search all of those newly compiled “pre-screened” feeds to make one of my own. In that way blogs stating, “I like to take baths!” have been filtered out and I can be somewhat assured that my searches won’t turn up such things…:)

    ……..

    Greg inquires on my comment, “Previous comments about compile time should make theirway to top priority. Especially considering the lightning pace in the blogosphere.”

    Hmmm, ummm, if I want to compiule a feed to offer on my site, and I enter several feeds to make a new one, it shouldn’t take 5 hours to compile as was suggested. If I had a heavily visited blog that kind of delay time *could* cost me visitors. So ideally I’d want to be able to compile a new feed and post it on my site ASAP. The up-to-the-minute approach. Again this would only appeal to the content-producing challenged such as myself….:)

    ….

    Greg writes, “I’ll send you an email.”

    Certainly…

    Idris

  • Bruce Landon's Weblog for Students radio.weblogs.com/0101747/2004/09/02.html#a4410

    blog tech

    Checking Back On Bloggdigger .