Feed the need!
bobleah 270000CN12 Comments (5) Visits (5436)
Last week I was having a discussion with Valerie Skinner on aggregating and viewing activity across My developerworks. Valerie was experimenting with Atom feeds to keep up with a cross section of My dW activity, that while not directly related, was meaningful to her. One overlooked strength of Lotus Connections is the incredible Atom feed support the product offers out of the box. By leveraging these feeds, developers can create custom web pages or applications based on the data contained within Connections. A good example of this is our own developerWorks Overview page, where we aggregate and display community artifacts such as blog entries, groups, and members.
My conversation with Valerie got me thinking about my own needs; in addition to keeping up with my Network here at My dW, I also act as an admin for the My dW blogs application, and I'm an owner of the My dW feedback group. I thought it would be very useful to have a single view where I could monitor new activity, or be notified of updates to areas i need to be responsive to, like the Feedback group message board.
Now I could sit down and develop a JSP application similar to what enables the dW Overview page, but this would be overkill. Instead, I decided a simple feed aggregator would suffice nicely for my basic needs.
Here are the steps I took to construct a simple, but useful aggregated view of My dW activity meaningful to me:
Step 1: identify meaningful feeds. In my case, I wanted to follow activity for:
Step 2: Collect the Feed subscriptions... Lotus Connections makes this easy by publishing the feed URL within each page
Here is the result:
The Google Reader Watcher Firefox plug-in places a icon in the lower right hand corner of your browser window. When you hover your mouse pointer over the icon, a popup displays the number of unread entries you have for each feed you are following.
If your a community manager, marketing specialist, or just a social geek with your hands into lots of diverse areas within developerWorks, you may want to setup something similar. It is easy, quick, and effective!