Aggregation. It’s a big focus of my life these days. I’m looking for easy ways to collect information and share it with the general public. At the same time, I’m trying to find ways to collect the websites and social networks I visit and aggregate it into one place. That’s why I’m curious to see how Google’s Friend Connect, Facebook Connect and MySpace’s dataportability may help play in this goal to link everything into one location on the Internet.
I look at this on two levels: How can it work for me and how can it work for my news website.
For me, I love social networking. I love chatting, learning and sharing. It’s kind of obvious from my previous posts. But I think it’s so cool to be able to share and see different perspectives from people I trust. It’s the same idea as having a get together with your friends – but I know I’m not alone when I say many of my friends live across the country. We move around a lot! Not to mention, my job has given me the chance to meet really cool and smart people in all kinds of locations. Social networking lets me stay in touch in ways that writing a letter and sending it in the mail can’t do. And in a slightly self-centered way, it gives me a chance to know what my friends are doing after years of them reading my family blogs and never leaving comments! They know all about me but I don’t know a thing about their most recent updates.
On the professional side of things, I want my news product used by my market! So that’s why I tried an aggregated website sharing the news from KOMU.com, the local NPR newsroom and a local newspaper as a test. We’re aggregating all of our election-themed news and sharing it into the SmartDecision08.com website. This is a way to create a one-stop information hub on the election season in Missouri, specifically mid-Missouri. I don’t have enough funding to make it function as well as I would like it to function, but it is deep. There is so much information and it’s delivered in a way that can really let a news and political information consumer learn a lot. I want to find ways to help collect information and give people the change to socially learn and share on this kind of level. Take news and make it personal. That’s been my goal for years. It’s so cool to see how today’s technology is reaching the concepts I thought about a long time ago.
I am trying out a new site called blippr.com – it gives you a way to socially share the things that entertain you: books, movies, music and games. It’s a level of social networking I haven’t really participated in before. Facebook has all kinds of options that include those items, but blippr seems to have a very clean, concise and non-gimmicky way to accomplish sharing entertainment reviews. It connects to facebook and twitter and friend feed so the idea is to use it as an aggregator of sorts to collect and share your likes and dislikes within the products you already use. I think that’s where everything is headed. I just wish I could wrap my head around how we can use these kinds of tools and still help inform online consumers the news they want and possibly need to know to participate in the non-computer based world where they live. I would have something really cool if I had money and programmers who would put up with my constant brain dumps!