The very beating, pumping heart of ds106 is, and always be, the architecture as Jim Groom metaphorized as the syndication bus (and properly attributes to a Brian Lamb comment quoting George Siemens, how far can you follow the attribution train?).
For ds106, the pump that runs all night in the basement is the FeedWordpress plugin, the thing that allows us to subscribe to and aggregate over 600 blogs to our site. I put it to use on a smaller class site for a project Nancy White roped me into (any time Nancy White asks you to eb part of a project, just say yes) and I am poised to help Alec Couros roll this into hie ETMOOC starting next month.
So I got aggregating buses on my mind.
And today I found a smaller use for my own site.
It all started because my site… was not working. But I really wanted to share an animated GIF I worked on this morning, so I blogged it over at a WordPress.com site I use just to dabble and understand that space, it is rather lightly used, but its helpful for me to know what can or cannot be done in hosted wordpress.
My thought was, “I can copy the post over to CogDogBlog when it rises from the dead…”
And just like that one of those comic light bulbs went off.
Why recopy a post when I can just syndicate it in?
So I installed FeedWordpress on my site. I also added two add-ons, First was the Add Attribution tool, which allows a lot of flexibility in automaticall adding attribution links to content brought in (yo, Gilfus, this would have solved your own aggregation faux pas in 5 minutes).
Using short codes you can provide clear links back to the source blog or blog post.
I liked that.
The other tool is Limit Posts By Date which made it so I did not suck in older blog posts on my WordPress.com site, I could say import only content after a certain date.
I made the default FWP settings to match categories and tags (I had it add a new category called Syndicated to mark all imported content). Since I was providing the attribution links, I made all permalinks point to the internally copied posts.
Because I do not see a high frequency rate of doing this, I set the update interval to 240 minutes rather than the default 60.
Note the double attribution:
This seems to be working.
What else can I pull in?
Over at my Barking Dog Studios site I post what I think are my best photos, and I really dig my customization of that Graphpaper Press Fullscreen theme to do what I want. Mainly they are just photos with my custom mods to add the photo meta data as content and some theme wrangling to add more randomness to the front display.
In working out some ideas yet to be hatched, I have started adding more narrative to a few photos to explain what went into the photo, and putting them in the Inside the Photos category –hey these are like worthy blog posts!
So I just added a syndication subscription just to the feed for that category, so this entry from Barking Dog on a Kansas road photo ends up also published here at CogDogBlog– I see a few issues with the fact that my photo blog uses very large photos (960px wide) while my main content column on this site is only 500px wide. I tried a resize via CSS, but it only stretched the horizontal.
Then I just decided to live with it, it actually looks nice tucked in behind the sidebar columns.
This is going to come into play as I work on a new site to …. well something. It’s a secret. But it is a wordpress site where I will be creating content. I have another project idea where I might want to publish on tumblr, but using the same approach, I could republish here.
It is just an experiment in syndicating my own stuff back here.