Freud's Feed Build a personal content feed with social aggregator, Popego

Posted by maggie.hunsucker June 17, 2009 at 1:22 pm

popego-logoI use several services to stay on top of industry tropics and trends.  However, combing through all the feeds, tweets, and bookmarks can get overwhelming.   I’m not ready to make cuts (what if we miss the “it” story or application?), but it would be nice to filter out the riffraff.

That’s the idea behind Popego, a social aggregator that only serves up content that is relevant to your interests.   The service is free, and it takes about 2 minutes to setup your personal feed (maybe longer for the true social service junkie).  Simply tell Popego what your interests are (technology? health? entertainment?) and which, if any, tags you want to include/exclude from you personal tag cloud.   Next, plugin the web services you subscribe too.  Popego works with:

  • Blogs
  • Google Reader
  • Friend Feed
  • Flickr & Picasa
  • YouTube & Vimeo
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Last.fm
  • Digg & StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • And more…

You can also adjust the level of influence certain web services have over your tag cloud.

When everything is to your liking, flip the switch, and Popego will generate your personal feed (http://popego.com/username).  This displays stories by relevance (percentage of interest match) and can be filtered by video, posts, or links.   You can also access content through your personal tag cloud.

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The more you interact with Popego, the more it learns.  For example, my primary focus is web applications and new media.  I want to know what’s new and how to use it.  I’m less interested in venture funding and social commentary, but I don’t want to discount these articles all together.  By rating the content Popego serves up and fine-tuning my internal settings, I can actually train the service to focus on my interests.

You can add customized Popego widgets to your website or blog. Choose from a "picture and bio" widget to share your big ego or a "Popego facts" widget to display your tag cloud and relevant articles.

What would any social aggregation service be without a community element? Popego Picks are items that Popego members of similar interests have contributed, and Popego thinks is a good match for you. You can access profile information about any contributor, including their status, biography, social networking profile, and more.

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  That's gonna leave a mark Simplify design revisions with RedMark annotation tool

Posted by maggie.hunsucker April 3, 2009 at 1:02 pm

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Design is a collaborative process with many iterations and a lot of back and forth between the client and designer.  The process is further complicated by the fact most conversations take place over the phone or through email.

One way to get the visual feedback you need is to use a revision tool like RedMark.   Clients can mark-up creative (image, documents, whatever) through a simple point-and-type interface, and RedMark automatically sends feedback to the designer.   The process continues as the designer uploads new versions, and all revisions and conversations are easily accessible through the web-based system.   The benefit is obvious here.   Beyond an initial meeting, designers and clients are rarely in the same room together.  Clients can quickly and demonstratively identify creative elements that need to be fixed.  Also, we’re talking about a fairly straight-forward tool, so technophobes can use RedMark with no instruction needed.  There is less chance of feedback being lost in translation – or lost somewhere in the designer’s inbox.

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RedMark is a free service, but it is in private beta.  However, 50…scratch that, we had to demo the product ourselves…49 of our lucky feed growth! readers can use RedMark with the following invitation code:  AZ0103.  Enjoy and leave us a comment, letting us know how you use Redmark!

Redmark might appear to be a Flash application, but it actually utilizes JQuery, a JavaScript library. JavaScript can be ported into widgets, opening up the possibility for Redmark to integrate with popular project management applications.

Even if you aren't a designer, the ability to annotate and collaborate on documents, as well archive these conversations, can be utilized for a variety of things. Marketers are frequently asked for their input on design decisions like product packaging or advertising copy.

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Scrubbing Bubbles Filter your personal news feeds with Google Reader-friendly Feedscrub

Posted by maggie.hunsucker January 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm

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If you’re a digital marketer (or just digitally obsessed), then you probably use an RSS feed aggregator to learn about what’s happening in your industry, follow your competitors, and just stay on top of the news. However, with no quality control and a tendency to become unruly if left to its own devices, aggregators can be too much of a good thing.

What’s a savvy news junkie to do? Try using a service called Feedscrub, which acts as a spam filter for your own RSS feeds. Unlike other RSS filters, which focus on negative keywords, Feedscrub observes your reading habits and actually learns what you like and don’t like. Content is nixed based on your personal interest level and removed from your feed stream (don’t worry, Feedscrub places all removed content in a junk feed that you can periodically check to make sure the filter isn’t being overzealous).

So how does it work? When you login, the service will prompt you to add new feeds to your account by entering the feed url (RSS and Atom formats supported). Feedscrub is limiting users to 3 feeds during their beta launch. Next, click on the “Train Filter” tab and meander down the individual news articles listed, choosing to save or scrub as you go. The closer the Filter Smartness indicator (located on the right) gets to 100%, the more accurate a handle the service has on your preferences.

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Think of Feedscrub as Google Reader’s (or NewsGator’s) partner in crime. It’s designed to complement, not replace your current feed reader. This means, once you’ve trained Feedscrub, you can export your “scrubbed” feed list back into your reader. Simply click on the Google Reader or NewsGator button under your feed, and you’ll see that the feed appears now “Via Feedscrub” in your reader.

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If you’re not using feeds to track your industry and your competitors, then you need to get with the times. Be sure to check out our RSS & Syndication Ideas.

Feed growth! is honored and delighted to offer our readers a special invite code to Feedscrub. Enter your email address and “feedgrowth” to gain immediate, and best of all, free access to this service. We only have 500, so it’s a first come-first serve basis.

Feedscrub will offer a Pro Account when the service is publicly launched. Not only will you be able to add and scrub unlimited feeds, but you can import your entire Google Reader feed via OPML file into the system for a thorough house cleaning.

Feed readers can be a gift and a curse. On one hand, you have the ability to consolidate all your favorite sites in a single, convenient location; on the other, if you subcribe to hundreds of feeds, it's like someone left the barn door open. For those who can only spare 5 minutes here and there, a supporting player like Feedscrub helps you get the content you need quickly and easily.

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Be my BFF Add social features to your site with Google Friend Connect

Posted by maggie.hunsucker December 10, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Looking to dip your toe into social networking but not ready to jump in with an entirely new site or big redesign?

Consider using a tool like Google Friend Connect (similar to Facebook Connect as we discussed in Everybody knows your name). This offering from Google makes it easy to integrate social features into your site using specific gadgets (the Google term for widgets).

Current gadgets include a members gadget, which lets you invite friends from social networks or contacts lists (so far, a meager list of Google Talk, Orkut, & LinkedIn) to visit and participate in site activities. There is also a wall gadget for discussions and a rate-and-review gadget. Friend Connect is extremely easy to integrate with your website or blog. There is no need to hire a developer or write additional code. After uploading some simple HTML files to your site, choose the gadget you want, then cut and paste the corresponding code into the body of your site. Last, but not least, Friend Connect lets you utilize your existing login information for Google, Yahoo, AOL, & Microsoft – not as meaty as your Facebook profile but still an excellent feature when you consider just about everyone has an email account with the Big 4.

Aren’t you ready to plug into social networking?

The backbone of Google's Friend Connect is OpenID, a tool for eliminating multiple usernames across sites and the love child of the open source community. Surprisingly, you may already have an OpenID account if you use WordPress, Blogger, Flickr, and many other popular sites.

It's interesting to note that Facebook was an original partner of Google Friend Connect, but they pulled their support and participation from the project over user privacy issues. Last year, Facebook was lampooned for the inherent privacy issues with own Facebook Beacon platform, which may explain their trepidation.

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Dirty little habit Create a brand search page with Addict-o-matic

Posted by maggie.hunsucker November 18, 2008 at 9:42 am


By now, you are aware that there are several tools to help you gather and easily digest content across your favorite sites and blogs. But if the news source is secondary to the topic you are interested in, a self-populated RSS reader may not be the best solution.

Try Addict-o-matic instead. Addict-o-matic aggregates feeds from the biggest sites but only displays content relevant to the terms you supply. For example, if you only want to see news articles and blog posts pertaining to the Lizzer bookmarklet tool (heralded as a “godsend” by Mashable), Addict-o-matic does all the leg work for you. Results come back within seconds and are neatly displayed in mini RSS feed boxes.

Addict-o-matic pulls content from Google, Yahoo, Technorati, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, Tweetscan, Delicious, and many more. However, if that’s too much of a good thing, Addict-o-matic lets you customize your results page.  In our example, we’re not concerned with Lizzer results on YouTube. Simply click on the x in right hand corner of the YouTube box, and that feed is deleted from the page. Or, drag and drop boxes to change their ordering on the page.  What’s really cool is with every modification you make, your url changes, so if you bookmark your Addict-o-matic page, those changes will remain the same.

Addict-o-matic is a great little tool for keeping tabs on people, products, brands, and just about anything else you can think of. You need only check back on your bookmarked page to see real-time results.

You can add Addict-o-matic to your search bar (IE 7, Firefox 2 & 3 compatible) and use the tool as a real-time RSS search engine.

Addict-o-matic isn't looking to reinvent the wheel, but instead, offering users the ability to customize how RSS feeds are displayed and used.

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