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Your personalized newspaper

infooverload.jpg Jessica Mintz from the Wall Street Journal wrote an article titled Me, Me, Me. The article presents a few websites that help keeping the deluge of online information easy to deal with by organizing and personalizing the news based on your interests.

The article mentions a few popular news websites like Rojo.com, Newsvine.com, Findory.com, Reddit.com, Digg.com and Memeorandum.com.

I believe, and I’m sure you do too, that there is too much information and too many sources of information. This overload of information leads you to make choices on what information you want to consume (topics that interest you) and how.

Since I am interested in Oracle and ColdFusion, I subscribe to many Oracle and ColdFusion blogs. I read these blogs via my feed Reader. For my other news, I unsubscribed from all the Google News feeds, and I just started to use Findory.com. From their Help section:

Findory brings you news articles from thousands of worldwide sources. We build a personalized newspaper for each reader. The more articles you click on, the more personalized Findory will look. Our Personalization Technology adapts the website to show you interesting and relevant news based on your reading habits. There is too much news out there for anybody to keep up. We’re here to help. Sound complicated? It isn’t. Findory is really easy to use: just click on the articles which interest you. We’ll do the rest. No signup, no complicated configuration.

Findory was founded in 2004 by Greg Linden, the engineer behind Amazon’s recommendations engine.

There are many news stories I could care less about. Findory offers exactly what I need, a personalized newspaper. It also has a clean, clutter free interface, which I like too.

How do you keep up with the flood of information? What is your favourite news website? How and when do you read your daily news?

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OraNA powered by Google and FeedBurner

In this post I will share with you how I transformed OraNA from an aggregator powered by WordPress to a powerful, robust and easy to manage feed aggregator powered by Google Reader and FeedBurner.

I will take you through the three easy steps that I followed to set up OraNA. You can follow the same steps to set up your own aggregator if you wish.

I will also share with you the features that make OraNA unique, like the ability for anyone to contribute feed items, the aggregation of feeds for websites that do not have feeds (like Jonathan Lewis’s web site), and the option to “plug-n-play” the aggregator on any website or blog, with just one line of code.

Here is how I (re)created OraNA:

1 – Set up the feeds in Google Reader:

Recently Google Reader introduced the ability to share labels. Using this feature, you can subscribe to many feeds, label them with a specific label, and then share that label. A shared label has one unique feed URL. subscribing to that one shared label feed is the same as subscribing to every feed with the same label.

So, I subscribed to all the feeds that I wanted to include in OraNA, labeled them “oracle” and then turned on sharing on that label.

2 – Created the OraNA feed in FeedBurner:

Next, using FeedBurner, I burned the feed produced in the first step above. The result was the final OraNA feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/orana. This feed, by itself and when viewed in a browser, looks and acts like a totally functional feed aggregator, however, I wanted to publish the feed’s content on its own customized HTML web page. No problem. FeedBurner has the “BuzzBoost” service that republishes your burned feed’s content as go-anywhere HTML. I activated BuzzBoost. The result was a snippet of JavaScript that I pasted into the OraNA web page.

3 – Added the sources to BlogRolling:

I wanted to display the feeds that OraNA aggregates. To do that, I exported the feeds in Google Reader to an OPML file, then imported the file into BlogRolling. In BlogRolling, I edited the links so that they pointed to the source website instead of the feed. Then I copied and pasted the BlogRolling JavaScript code into the OraNA web page.

That’s it.

Now, when I want to add a new feed to OraNA, all what I need to do is to subscribe to the feed I want to add in Google Reader, label it “oracle” and add it to the blogroll in BlogRolling.

OraNA features:

And to list the sources, add this code:

Happy news reading :)

Important Note: If you are already subscribed to the OraNA feed, make sure you use http://feeds.feedburner.com/orana to continue receiving updates.

6 Comments | Filed in Oracle | Tags: , , , ,