Wednesday, March 01, 2006

News experiments

I am experimenting with news delivery systems.

Right now I am using the Mambo CMS to manage the news.

It works well and seems stable, but it's fairly basic and a bear to update regularly. I am wondering if there is a way to link directly to Google's news search page and have it appear on my page as a series of links...

My current model is to use the email updates and cull those for the best information, reformat each item and repost to my page (for example, click Latest News/Latest Amazon News).

Another issue is how to syndicate each page's content. Right now only the main page can be syndicated. Maybe it's just a Mambo thing!

My solution so far is simply to have the user take the Google news link and add it to their aggregator.

For example, for Amazon rainforest news take this link and drag it to your aggregator.
Google Amazon rainforest news
With some browsers such as Safari it will load automatically as a feed into the browser window. I like that!

As proof of concept you can also take the following links for news feeds on different subjects and put those into your aggregator:
Google Africa news
Google Galapagos news

For developers this is a useful tool because it allows them to provide a service on a relevant topic without having to edit any news content. However, it does mean the user may not revisit your site for news but will just check the feed you have conveniently provided!

On the other hand, an important caveat is that Google News is not 100% reliable and sometimes has irrelevant or repetitive content. The advantage with manually editing the CMS pages is that the quality of news delivery is higher. Again the key here is to provide content that will keep visitors coming back.