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How to push stories to NewsJunk using del.icio.us

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 by Dave Winer.

Underneath its simple user interface there's a lot of RSS that goes into NewsJunk. It's like flour to cake or ice to hockey. The product is more than RSS, but without it, it wouldn't be happening. Permalink to this paragraph

As you know I've been re-exploring del.icio.us, yesterday I asked if it could do what FriendFeed does, keep a feed synched with its internal structure, and found out that the only way to do this was to write a script. I decided not to do that, at this time, but I did write a script that made our FriendFeed support much better. It wasn't refreshing often enough, only once an hour, which makes the news not-so-fresh. And it bothered me that even though FF can display longish bits of text, more than Twitter, the descriptions in RSS feeds were ignored. Well, if you use the FriendFeed API, you can get around both of these problems. It took a couple of hours to connect NewsJunk to FF through their API, and it's really nice. Highly recommended.  Permalink to this paragraph

Another dividend of this exploration is that I hooked up my inbound del.icio.us links feed to NewsJunk so there's a way for anyone, through del.icio.us, to add a story to the input flow, just send a link to "for/scripting". Permalink to this paragraph

However, there's no guarantee that it will appear in the output flow, we're a very focused site, our only interest is US national politics. We're willing to wander off-topic for a moment or two, for example when George Carlin died on Sunday, that story was added to the flow. When OPEC meets to talk about oil prices, that's grist for our mill, because oil prices are a huge issue in the 2008 election. And when a NASA scientist says that this, now, is the last minute to take drastic action to head off a global warming disaster, we put that in too, because while it isn't a major campaign issue, perhaps it should? Permalink to this paragraph

The basic qualification for inclusion is the same as for a blog -- would an informed person want to be aware of this fact or point of view? That's why we run outrageous claims from both sides, because even if you support the candidate they're defaming, you should still know what they're saying about your guy.  Permalink to this paragraph

Also, the better FriendFeed interface gives us a place to discuss news events. I notice that people are starting to do that, and I think it's great! Use all the tools and learn from them and each other. This is how politics and the Internet move forward, we think we're right on the leading edge, and want to keep pushing. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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