Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


Feed splicing begins to really deliver on the promise of syndication

We just launched the first version of a new service this evening that we're very excited about. The service allows users of the photo sharing site Flickr to splice their public photos into another feed (like a blog feed). The announcement about our partnership can be found here.

Many of our publishers have expressed the desire to be able to use different publishing tools for different purposes (eg, a blogging tool, a bookmarks tool, a photo sharing tool, etc.) but still have one resulting feed that friends, family, and subscribers could access. Tonight's announcement is a fun step in this direction.

Burn This! - The Feedburner Weblog: Feed Splicing, Part I

I talked about adding this functionality -- feed splicing -- into Drupal. Just like you can add a home page or other URL to your user profile today, in the future you should be able to also add a URL pointing to any feed that is you, and Drupal will aggregate it for you.

This is already possible today through Drupal's aggregation capabilities, but I want to take it to the next level, doing personal aggregation for every member account in a community. Richard is doing this for his many weblogs using Magpie, and the effect is good -- especially when he can do things like post to Urban Vancouver but then still have the item show up on "his" site.

Congrats, Flickr-ites. And yes, of course I'm trying it out. I had recently switched the "visible" feeds here to use Feedburner (although I'm not redirecting the existing Drupal URLs at this point). But I don't think my Flickr pictures mesh well with the business nature of this site. Herewith the Feedburner feed of my personal site.

Side note: this breaks Technorati. I've never believed in them as a long term play in any case. It's interesting to see how many sites rely on instant spidering of updated feeds.