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Author Topic: Blog mirroring/syndication and aggregation help.  (Read 1929 times)
JavaJones
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« on: June 06, 2006, 02:04:12 AM »

I'm new to the world of blogging so I have no idea if what I'm about to describe exists or is even possible but it seems like some of the features ought at least to already be implemented. Here's the brief summary first:

Basically what I want to do is setup an identical blog on 2 totally different sites/servers and have the content bi-directionally mirrored. So if a post is made on a blog it will be mirrored to the other and, more importantly, if a comment is made on a post on one blog, it automatically gets added to the other, so they're always in sync.

The second part of this, which I am guessing already exists, is some kind of web-based blog aggregator that will essentially be a "blog of blogs" - a date-sorted headline-and-story-intro display of the most recent entries in whatever blogs I choose.

On the off chance that my reasoning for this will help understand my need, here's the full story (note that I repeat most of what I said above in a different way cheesy):

I just put up http://terrain.cg-arts.org/forum/ It's a forum for people in the terrain industry to talk about their work, tools, workflows, etc. We're inviting a bunch of terrain program developers, which is what brought up the idea.

One of said developers recently put up a blog http://www.world-machine.com/blog/ which has been rather successful and I've really enjoyed the info he's posted there as well as the discussion that has resulted. However it's really only immediately visible to the people who were already in the World Machine community. I think it should have wider exposure. More than that though I think other devs should strongly consider having such a "development diary" blog.

So I figured hey, why not provide them a free, easy blogging service. Setup a wordpress (or whatever) site for them with their own subdomain or subdirectory (http://l3dt.cg-arts.org/blog for example) then give 'em access to it and set 'em loose. Here's where the rest comes in...

I figure some devs, like Stephen (of World Machine), wouldn't want to *only* have their blog on our site. The only way they'll even bother is if we make it super easy for them, like if the one on our site is a direct mirror of theirs or something. This would be optional, since some devs would *only* have their blog with us.

Furthermore I would want one central home page for all the blogs which would show in order of most recently updated all the various blogs. Sort of like a blog of blogs, but maybe color coded or with very obvious author/application titles so people don't get confused. Basically there would be headlines on this main page with snippets from the latest post, and it would say "Latest from Stephen Schmitt's World Machine Blog: "Alpha-2 went out to the testing group late last week. The GUI is getting closer to final quality, although theres still a few huge things left to get done. Click here to read more." And if that was the latest entry updated across all the blogs on the site/group, it would be at the top of the list. As soon as someone else updated, that one would be at the top. And so of course clicking on each entry would take you to the full blog of the person/program.

And of course all of it could be RSS'd - both the individual blogs as well as the aggregator/home page. Or "meta blog" as it might be called. Wink

The intention is basically to provide a central location where people can find out about the latest developments in terrain apps. Probably not of interest to most of you, but it's a small obsession of mine. cheesy

If this kind of functionality doesn't exist I do think it could have wider appeal. Although there are already existing "meta blog" sites out there, it might be cool for basically anyone to be able to create their own customized meta blog. I am thinking there must already be some way to do this, but it is probably tied in with personalized home pages or something along those lines and I need something that doesn't require a login.

- Oshyan
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2006, 02:16:14 AM »

Just brainstorming with you here....

How about if your blog the ability to subscribe to another blog via RSS?  That should be a pretty easy plug-in for just about any exisitng blog platform.  Then conversely you should be able to make certain article available via RSS.  I think most blog engines to that now.

Seems like a simple request.  I''ll be surprised if it doesn't already exist somewhere.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2006, 02:46:37 AM »

Yeah, that could work for the "blog aggregator"/"meta blog" thing. I'll look into that, thanks. smiley

- Oshyan
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2006, 03:01:47 AM »

what you are wanting sounds a bit tricky to pull off to me..
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2006, 03:13:53 AM »

Another way to acheive it would be to have a frame based website where you provide a blog for those who want it or a window onto the blogs of people who have already set up their blog (ie. you just view their exisiting blog page in your own frame).

Then the external blogs could be accessed and updated from both sites (the original and yours).

If the exisiting blogs have RSS feeds you could perhaps automate grabbing new posts to add to your home page.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2006, 03:15:37 AM by Carol Haynes » Logged

JavaJones
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2006, 12:31:36 AM »

Hmm, Carol your idea sounds easiest and is actually feasible right now (with present skills). I still want a solution more like what I described, but I may play with this for now. cheesy

Anyone have any idea on the "blog aggregator" thing? Like a blog app/system that can already take RSS feeds to define its own blog post list?

- Oshyan
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