in my previous article on newsfeeds and rss readers, I promised I would show you ways to organize the content and improve the convenience of your subscriptions. and I will. soon. this time out, however, I am going to show you facebook users out there (you know who you are) how you can access newsfeeds without leaving your favorite time waster.
I will caution you up front that pulling newsfeeds into facebook is more useful for publicising one or two blogs than getting your news fix. blog authors, take note! that being said, if you elect to try out one of the applications I discuss here, I suggest you test it using my favorite blog.
The first contender is a facebook application called networkedblogs. you will need to do some copying and pasting to use it, but it’s not all that complicated. as the name says, this is more a tool for blog newsfeeds. when I post a new article on my blog, the application publishes a link to the post on my facebook wall. It may also show up in the stream of my friends, especially those who using the “follow” feature. I say may because I also follow several other blogs through the application, and I have not seen anything from the networkedblogs application for these blogs on my wall.
above is what it looks like in my feed when I post a new article. nice, but as I said, no idea what if anything shows up on my friends’ walls. the application also offers the option of creating a blogs tab in your profile:
again, nice, but not really useful if you want to follow more than one or two blogs.
bring on bachelor number two.
the developers of social rss make no bones about the intent of their application – “promoting your business” is pretty straightforward. and indeed, social rss does have a number of features that make it well suited for promoting a blog or other rss feed. however, it also has a nice look to it that anyone might like to include on their facebook page. the example in the images below is the rss feed for the new york times most-emailed articles, but the application can handle as many as five newsfeeds.
sadly, setting up the newsfeed in the application is not nearly as easy as it should be – the add subscription screen might be daunting for the casual facebook user:
oy. however, once you get it set up, you can have a neat little box show up on your wall page or boxes tab:
the application is actually pretty polite about “broadcasting:” if you see a something you’re interested in, there is a “subscribe” link (still fairly buggy, it appears). if you subscribe to the rss feed you will see notifications that new articles have been posted (note – this subscription is for the facebook application only – you have not subscribed to the feed itself as described in my last post)
my favorite thing about social rss is its sharing capabilities. notice in the boxes view the “send to” and “share” links. say you are reading something that you enjoy. you can use the send to feature to forward a brief excerpt and link to the article to any number of other social networking sites (like twitter, linkedin, etc.); use the share button to forward to your friends within facebook. not sure why there’s two separate buttons, but there it is.
for my money – figuratively only, as both apps are free – I think social rss is the stronger application, especially if you publish a blog you want to promote (or have a friend whose blog you want to promote