Tag Archives: Aggregator

101 Blogs on Anarchism (and some guides)

PostRank Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

Inspired by the latest postrank rankings of the Anarchosphere, I decided to improve upon the initial number of Anarchist blogs that I’d added in the past to the topic of Anarchism. To this end, I’ve basically scoured the internetubes and added around 60 new blogs to the topic bringing the grand (current) total to 101 tracked sites.

Now you may be wondering what’s the point of all this. We already have an aggregator after all. Well the thing is that postrank goes a bit futher than simple aggregation as it offers some extra features and capabilities that I’m certain some of you might find useful.

The Benefits of a postrank topic on Anarchism

  • It allows you to not only subscribe to the RSS of the topic, but also to balance between the quality and the quantity of the content you’ll end up seeing so that you don’t get swamped with posts from more than a hundred blogs. For example this feed will only display the posts from each site which have a very high engagement for that particular blog. This does not mean that you’ll be seeing only the most popular sites as the rating of a post is judged to the relative engagement of all other posts within the same site. More info here.
    It also provides you with more ways to subscribe. While you can do it the usual way of simply subscribing to the RSS of the topic, you can also simply export an OPML file with all the blogs and add them as individual feeds to your own Reader granting you even more control.
  • It avoids a centralized management as is the case of a normal Aggregator like Anarchoblogs. While there’s not reason to expect that the an admin like RadGeek would decide to start arbitrarily banning and removing sites he does not like, it still puts some limitations such as is the case in every benevolent hierarchy. Practically, there’s probably going to be little difference but with postrank you ensure that the control is more distributed and moderation thus happens faster.
    This means that you can go right ahead and add your own blog to the topic if you think you deserve to be there. While I tried to include as many as I felt should be there, doubtlessly I will have forgotten or not discovered them all. If you find you’re not included, just go ahead and add your anarchism-related blog as well. I will post a short guide on how to do this later on.
  • It provides some interesting statistics to see how popular you are, which are your most engaging posts and how active you are on the social web compared to other sites in your topic. Eventually, at the end of the year, you will also see how well you did and how your popularity rose or dropped and you can even get a nice badge for your site 😉

So if any of this is of interest to you, just go ahead and play around with the system and see how you like it.And no, before you ask, I’m not affiliated with Postrank in any way. I just like the way it works and the functionality it provides.

And now, some instructions.

How to add your own site to the Anarchism topic of Postrank

  1. Navigate to the anarchism topic
  2. If you haven’t used Postrank before, you’ll need to create an account. You can use your google or yahoo accounts to login as well AFAIK or simply an OpenID if you have one.
  3. Once you’re logged in click to manage the topic.
  4. Where it says “Add Feed” put the url of your blog. If “nothing found” is returned, it means that your site is not yet in the Postrank index. Don’t worry, it’s a few seconds’ work to add it.
    • Put your site’s url in the search textbox on the top right and press enter.
    • A new page should open from postrank, telling you that they do not know this site but will add it ASAP.
    • Go back to the management page for the topic and add your url to the “Add feed” box. The name of your site should now appear below. If it doesn’t, try removing the http:// in front of your url and leave only the domain name. The site should appear then. If that still doesn’t work, try to remove any trailing backslashes from the url and try again.
  5. Press the little green “plus” sign on the right of your blog’s title. The whole title should now become green.
  6. Click “Save Changes”. Once the page reloads, you site has been added to the topic. If you were just added in postrank you really won’t have any rank or info. Wait a few hours/days and check again. Your blog should appear at some position in the topic feeds. Visit its postrank page to get more details.

Congratulations. You’re now part of Postrank’s anarchism topic 😉

How to get only higher quality posts from the anarchism topic (or any topic for that matter)

  1. Go to the posts area of the topic.
  2. On the top, use the drop-down menu to select the quality you wish. It goes like this in regards of quality: All < Good < Great < Best. The higher the rank, the less posts you’ll get to see but all of them should have relatively high engagement for their blog’s standards.
  3. Once you have the quality you wish, click on the “RSS Feed” link on the right. You will notice that the URL has a number on appended on the end. That is the engagement rank or higher that a post needs to have before you’ll see it. You can change that number to 10.0 to see only the best of the best (note: this will be an extremely low quantity feed. Alternatively if you’re using google reader or bloglines, click on their relevant links instead.
  4. Use your browser’s controls to add the feed to your reader or do it normally via cut & paste
  5. There is a chance the feed will timeout if Postrank’s servers are overloaded. In that case you’ll have to copy the feed’s URL and add it to your reader manually. Once the servers recover, you’ll start seeing new posts.

Be aware that getting your feeds via postrank’s aggregation is going to be slower than going to the source due to the fact that a post needs to be first grabbed, then analyzed and once it has a high enough rank, presented in the feed. Therefore expect hours or even days of delays for each quality-filtered post. This shouldn’t be such an issue in general for non-news related sites as blogs are in general.

If you want new posts to appear ASAP on your reader on the other hand, your best option is to export to an OPML file and add all the feeds as individual sources to your reader. However, with this way you won’t have any filtering based on quality. If you use an online reader, you can use the special tools to achieve the same result instead.

So that’s about it. I hope you find it as useful as I do and feel free to contact me about any issues you find with it or to just let me know what you think about it.

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Planet of Anarchy

Anarchism
Image by anarchosyn via Flickr

I have just joined Anarchoblogs ((h/t to Rad Geek – he goes into more details on this, check it out!)), a new aggregator focusing on all kinds of Anarchism (yes, even the oxymoronic “Anarcho”-Capitalism) who took over after the previous such attempt stopped being updated. This is basically the same thing as Planet Atheism but for Anarchism but further than that, the person behind it has interesting plans for the future.

As anarchism can fall anywhere from the left to the right of the political spectrum and with members all over the world (primarily outside of english speaking countries), the owner decided to create various hubs which can be separated by interests or language (initially, in the future there are plans for location specific ones etc). At the moment there’s only a few of them and I have been added to the english speaking hub.Of course, the main site displays all content from all hubs together.

I find that this separation into hubs is actually a good idea and perhaps Planet Atheism can copy it and organise Atheists to specific groups, to make the whole thing more manageable and allow the members to subscribe to only the topic that interests them.

So this is my introductory post for Anarchblogs and also a way to spread awareness to all who might have anti-authoritarian, anti-statist leanings. If you fall low on the y-axis on the political compass, then you should consider joining as well.

How come the Division by Zer0 has joined you might ask? Well, the more I read, the more I learn of how much Capitalism fails and also how much the modern state is designed to protect the interests of the wealthy. I find it impossible to avoid sliding towards the libertarian left more and more. And since lately I’ve been blogging especially much about Capitalism and Communism it seems like a good place be.

For those of you who might discover the Division by Zer0 from there, welcome and I hope you enjoy your stay. I won’t ask you to subscribe as you’re probably be seeing my writings through the aggregator, however I thought I might post a few of my older posts with Anarchism related content.

I have generally had not much presence from anarchists around here (unlike AnCaps to my dismay) so I’m hoping that this might present me with some views from a different perspective than usual.

Here’s to a brighter future and to more voices raised high.

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To aggregate!

Google Reader screenieΤο παρακάτω κείμενο παρολίγο να ήταν σχόλιο στο ιστολόγιο του Ale3andro αλλά μιας και γινόταν αρκετά μεγάλο, είπα να το βγάλω σαν trackback

Ο Αλέξανδρος λοιπόν έγραψε αυτό το κείμενο περι των aggregators και πως ο online aggregator google reader του φάνηκε πιο χρήσιμος. Μετά απο τα θετικά σχόλια που βρήκε περι αυτό έκανε ορισμένα αρνητικά, το οποία είπα να σχολιάσω:

Το βασικό αρνητικό των aggregators είναι ότι σε απομακρύνουν από τα αγαπημένα σου sites/blogs.

Δεν καταλαβαίνω πως σε ένας aggregator σε απομακρύνει. Μέσω του G-Reader μπορώ να διαβάσω πολύ περισσότερα απο τα αγαπημένα μου ιστολόγια χωρίς κόπο και με λιγότερο χρόνο. Επίσης αποφεύγω έξτα φόρτωμα απο αχρείαστες εικόνες και διαφημίσεις που (ειδικά το δευτερο) που 95% του χρόνου δεν κοιτάω καν.

Επισκεπτόμενος ένα site βλέπεις πολλά περισσότερα απ’ ότι διαβάζοντας απλά ενα post στον aggregator. Το design, blogroll, άλλα άρθρα,

Όσον αφορά το να βλέπεις τον σχεδιασμό του blog κλπ, όπως και να έχει, αυτο θα σε ενδιαφέρει μόνο 2-3 φορές πρίν αρχίσεις να το αγνοείς. Στην δικιά μου περιπτωση, σχεδόν πάντα θα τύχει να δω το design όταν θα γράψεις κάτι το οποίο θα με κάνει να θέλω να σχολιάσω. Εαν θέλω να εξερευνήσω το ιστολόγιο, αυτό θα το κάνω μόνο μια φορά, και όχι κάθε φορά.

σχόλια (τα comment feeds είναι υπερβολή),

Τα comment feeds δεν είναι καθόλου υπερβολή. Πες οτι πήγες σε ένα blog στο οποίο έχεις γράψει ένα σχόλιο και περιμένεις απάντηση. Έχεις 2 επιλογές. 1. Κάνεις bookmark το post και το επισκεπτεσαί σχετικά συχνά για να δεις εαν απάντησε κανείς ή 2. Παίρνεις το feed του και το αποθηκέυεις σε ένα φάκελο (πχ comments) που τον κρατάς κλειστό ώστε να μην παίρνει χώρο. Όταν κάποιος απαντήσει, απλά βλέπεις οτι ήρθε καινούργιο μήνυμα και απαντάς. Υπάρχει και η επιλογή 3. όπου το blog έχει επιλογή να σε ειδοποιεί με email για καινούργια comments αλλά κατά την ταπεινή μου γνώμη, ένα feed είναι καλύτερο.

Αρνητικό είναι επίσης και το ότι με το που τον ανοίγεις σου εμφανίζει ένα αριθμό καινούργιων posts και κατά κάποιο τρόπο σε αναγκάζει να τα δεις όλα, σαν να είναι υποχρέωση.

Μπορείς να τροποποιήσεις το bookmark που ανοίγεις στον reader (ή τις ρυθμίσεις του reader) ώστε να σε φέρνει στο “All Items” αντί για το “Home” οπότε απλά βλέπεις τι καινούργιο έχει γραφτεί.

Να αναφέρω και μερικά ακόμα θετικά σημεία:

  • Shared Items: Αυτά είναι τα posts που μαρκάρεις κατάλληλα απο το reader με τα οποία οι “φίλοι” σου μπορούν να δουν τι βρήκες ενδιαφέρον στο δίκτυο ακόμα και εαν δεν παρακολοθούν το συγκεκριμένο site. Μπορείς να μαρκάρεις οτιδήποτε λαμβάνεις ώς feed σαν share, ακόμα και σχόλια, όπως πρόσφατα έκανε ένας “φίλος” μου στον reader. To feed απο τα shared απο την άλλη μπορείς να το κοτσάρεις σε διάφορα σημεία, όπως για παράδειγμα έχω κάνει εγώ στο facebook και στο navigation στο πάνω μέρος της σελίδας μου.
  • Στατιστικα:Είναι ένα χαριτωμένο feature μέσω του οποίου μπορείς να δεις τι διαβάζεις περισσότερο (και πόσο) και ποιοί είναι οι πιο γρήγοροι bloggers (Πχ ο πλανήτης ΕΛ/ΛΑΚ βγάζει περίπου 3.5 κείμενα την ημέρα)
  • Για να μην μιλήσω για την ευκολία με την οποία μπορείς να βρείς κάτι που διάβασες στο παρελθόν. Μιάς και μιλάμε για google, η πιθανότητες εύρεσης είναι αρκετά δυνατες. Αυτή είναι μια δυνατότητα που έχω χρησιμοποιήσει παραπάνω απο μία φορές όταν ήθελα να βρώ “εκείνο το ωραίο κείμενο περι ταδε που είχα διαβάσει κάποτε”. Εαν χρησιμποιείς και tags δε, ακόμα καλύτερα.
  • Δυνατότητα να παρακολουθείς ένα μεγάλο αριθμό ιστολογίων χωρίς να πλυμηρίζεις. Πχ, αυτή τη στιγμή έχω ένα φάκελο με όλα τα rss feeds του Atheist Blogroll που αυτή τη στιγμή έχουν ξεπεράσει τα 500. Αυτό μου δίνει την δυνατότητα να διαβάσω πολύ περισσότερες φωνές και με μεγάλη διαφοροποίηση απόψεων.