Besides questions about the business model (described in the previous post) - some people also asked us about the mash-up that we put together to make this all work.
So here is a quick overview of the moving parts of the systemr:
Aggregation and republishing:
One of the most important elements of the Hubs is a product called MySyndicaat. MySyndicaat allows us to combine all feeds into one - while excluding posts that have the "nocorante" word in it, or by only allowing posts that contain other tags to enable some contributors to cross-post across hubs. Giovanni Guardalben at MySyndicaat has been gracious enough to customize some of MySyndicaat to enable us to do things like recognizing the "norcorante" term even if it is commented out in html, or to enable us to convert certain feeds on the fly to comply with our standards. We now also use MySyndicaat to convert the bio pages into RSS feeds and since MySyndicaat stores all of the Corante Hub history, we plan on using it for very specific search and remixing purposes as we move forward as well.
The combined feed-stream comes into Movable Type through reBlog - where we strip out the title, the author, and an excerpt for republishing purposes, as well as the category to categorize posts and populate the tag cloud. As you may have read elsewhere, Bud Gibson from The Community Engine was totally instrumental in getting that up and running.
Organization and discovery:
On the information organizational side of things we have the classic MT archive options as well as the tag-cloud mentioned earlier - which can be sorted by recency, frequency, or alphabetically. We are planning on adding more reader-driven remixing capabilities moving forward as well.
To help users find other posts that may be related to those that are being published in the hubs, we are getting related posts from Waypath. And to help them track the conversations better, we are using Icerocket's inlinks in addition to the available trackbacks.
For search we partnered up with Rollyo - where we first developed "Corante Network"-specific search engines - which are also tied into our advertising system. Along with our contributors, we are planning a few other things with Rollyo very soon - so stay tuned!
We use FeedBurner to republish feeds that Corante Hub subscribers might want to subscribe to, and also joined the FeedBurner RSS advertising network to put ads in our feeds. FeedBurner is also developing some other widgets which we will be integrating as soon as they become available. Readers can also subscribe via email with Feedblitz - where we joined their publisher program, which enables us to customize the look and feel of our subscriptions.
We plan on adding richer subscription options as we move forward - enabling people for example to subscribe to parts of the tag cloud.
We are always looking for more and better ways to help our readers find, subscribe, discover and organize the information which they are getting from our hubs.
But we also know that we may be missing key components - so iif there is anything out there that you think might help us make this a more productive and enjoyable reader experience - please let us know.
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