June 16, 2008

OneSpot Makes Publishing Personalized Memetrackers Simple

News aggregation sites that can help highlight the freshest, most relevant or most popular news from around the Web are essential to separating the signal from the noise. But all too often, these memetrackers are siloed, without readers having all that much input into what's considered most relevant, or determining what content gets in and what does not.

The success of Gabe Rivera's Techmeme has had many thinking how they could create their own personal Techmeme, featuring the best of the Web, but only for those topics they're most interested in, or from those sources they choose. Gabe's product, despite some competition from BlogRunner and Megite, as well as others, has remained the most relevant and accepted leader in the space, but its algorithm has left some people wanting more.

Duncan Riley of The Inquisitr leverages FriendFeed, building what he called QMeme, displaying the most popular content on FriendFeed over the last 24 hours from those he follows. Corvida of SheGeeks once said LinkRiver was her own personal Techmeme. Rafe Needleman of WebWare once called ReadBurner a Techmeme for Google Reader. But none of these solutions, while interesting, offer the individual manageability of a new product that's now come available to the Web at large: OneSpot.

Already in place at the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, as well as some more vertically-oriented sites, OneSpot enables anybody to leverage the service's more than 250,000 RSS feeds to design and configure a personal meme, simply by starting with a few "trusted" RSS feeds, and letting OneSpot do the hard work of finding similar feeds on the same topic, and then determining the most popular content.

The result is a highly customizable personal memetracker that can be displayed on a full Web page or as a widget, drawing from the criteria you set, and publishing as frequently as you would like.

The OneSpot Dashboard Lets Me Choose Topics and Schedules

In the last few weeks, I created three memetrackers using OneSpot. One used my blog as the center of the universe (as most bloggers would like). One focused on technology at large. A third, and so far, the most interesting to me, focuses solely on the creators and participants in social media, link aggregation and lifestreaming.

LouisGray.com: Top Stories > OneSpot
LouisGray.com: Social Media Top Stories > OneSpot
LouisGray.com: Technology Top Stories > OneSpot

To configure my personal OneSpot publication, I entered a few "Trusted Feeds", and OneSpot then found thousands of "Related Feeds", allowing me to see the name of the feed, when it was last updated, and giving me two choices: to add the feed to my "Trusted" bucket, or to "Remove" it from the list of options.

I found OneSpot's recommendation engine to be very good. If I showed louisgray.com as a Trusted Feed, OneSpot recommended SheGeeks, The Last Podcast, the Official ReadBurner Blog, Benjamin Golub, Webomatica and a few others, no doubt leveraging my own previous linking behavior.

Trusted Feeds I Posted to my Social Media OneSpot

Related Feeds Suggested for my Social Media OneSpot

For the Social Media publication, I had added the main blogs for FriendFeed, ReadBurner, Toluu, Shyftr and others, and OneSpot recommended I also add blogs from Assetbar and Twitter. Very cool.

OneSpot is extremely flexible, letting me schedule updates as frequently as 60 minutes apart, letting me customize the memetracker's look and feel, or even to add up/down voting recommendations or comments. At a time when news organizations like the Associated Press are throwing up roadblocks in how you link to or highlight their content, why not use OneSpot to make your own memetracker using sources you trust?