Google ReaderFirst, I subscribed in Google Reader to the RSS feeds of each of the services I use to publish or reference content. In my case, this includes:
- Blog hosting
- Open source code hosting and collaboration
- Book reviews
- Fitness logging
- Neighbors for Neighbors Dorchester
- Neighborhood community
- Real-time short messaging
I realized that if I could cajole a blog hosting service into reposting each of the posts in my Google Reader feed, I'd get the search and commenting functionality I wanted. I was surprised at the difficulty I had finding such a service, given that "publish from RSS" seems like such a simple feature to implement. Indeed, if you host your own blog software, there are a variety of plugins at your disposal. Nevertheless, it seems that most blog hosting services feel the user base for such a feature is dominated by sploggers. Lack of clearly distinguished terminology compounded my difficulty identifying a service that fulfills my requirements. For example, search results commonly equate "autoblogging" with republishing content as spam, whereas services accept "reblogging" as the social practice of sharing content from upstream publishers. The subtle distinction hinges on intent.
TumblrOnce I was able to wipe "autoblog" from my mind and try searching for "reblog", I discovered Tumblr. Tumblr addresses the spam concern by banning the practice in their content policy, and provides both manual and automatic reblogging features.
I created a Tumblr blog and configured it to automatically import my lifestream folder's feed produced by Google Reader.
To provide a little more transparency regarding the sources of the content on my Tumblr blog, I added a clip of posts and a blogroll. Tumblr's polling of my feed introduces some delay in the publishing process; the clip mitigates this problem by displaying links to the latest posts as soon as my lifestream folder feed includes them. The blogroll links to each of the constituent feeds that compose my lifestream. To add the clip and blogroll, I copied the relevant code from Google Reader's Settings and pasted it into my Tumblr template.
DisqusUnlike other blog hosting services, Tumblr does not provide a commenting feature. Fortunately, Disqus's sophisticated commenting service integrates with Tumblr, with the added bonus that Disqus indexes the social web, finds reactions to your posts that are published elsewhere, and displays them alongside comments.
I created a Disqus account, copied the appropriate integration code, and pasted it into my Tumblr template.
Content Requiring More Effort to RepublishExtracting and republishing my content from the following services required a bit more effort.
- Email list archival and search
- Google Groups
- Usenet and web forum hosting, archival, and search
- iPhone app personal trainer
GmaneI'm an occasional contributor to various email lists. Some of these lists have archives that can be read via RSS, but I want to include only my posts in my lifestream. Doing so involves combining Gmane Search with Dapper site scraping.
Gmane provides search by author, so it's easy to locate my posts. However, the search results are not accessible by RSS. Enter Dapper.