Personal Combo Feed. What I do is actually to COMBINE all my different blog and social network feeds into a single outgoing RSS stream which you can see here on my homepage: MythFolklore.net.
What you see there is an HTML clippings view of the RSS stream (Inoreader offers both RSS and a configurable HTML clippings option); the direct link to the RSS feed is there too. Not that I really expect anyone would want to subscribe to my RSS stream but, hey, they could do that. And if they did, here is what they would get:
my Google+ feed
plus the 11 blogs I actively maintain
I subscribe to these feeds in Inoreader (along with hundreds of other blogs, Twitter feeds, Google+ accounts, plus some Facebook accounts I follow), and I put my own personal feeds in a folder called "Laura Stream" (and a folder is really just a special kind of tag; you can put a feed in multiple folders). So, here is what my personal stream folder looks like in Inoreader:
If I used Facebook (I don't), then I could have my Facebook in there too. There's other online activity I could include as well (other blogs, Diigo, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube), but for various reasons I have left all that out, although of course I could change my mind about that at any time and add them in by add any of those subscriptions to this folder.
Export the RSS. So, how do I get from that folder of content to my combined RSS feed? I could just export that folder as an RSS feed (you can send out any folder as its own RSS feed), but I add an extra layer of control by using a rule that automatically tags new items in that folder with a tag, lkgrss.
Why add that extra layer of a specific tag? Because it means I can manually remove something from the feed if I want (by deleting the tag from any item) or I can manually add something to the feed (by adding that tag to any item). To be honest, I don't mess with this particular combination feed manually at all, but I got in the habit of using this tag-based approach because of how I use my class blog hubs, and so I used the same approach here too.
The rule system in Inoreader is incredibly powerful and easy to set up; adding a tag to new items in a folder is just one of gazillions of automatic functions you can perform. Based on the rule, for any new item in the folder, Inoreader automatically adds the tag I specify:
And that's how I make my personal RSS combination stream using Inoreader.
Personal Streams. As there is now a flurry of interest in personal APIs, I'm eager to see how this RSS-based approach compares to what people are doing with APIs. I see my web work as being basically ephemeral, and this personal RSS stream creates a dynamic but ephemeral presence (in what is almost real time). If anybody wants to see what I am doing online as I work, MythFolklore.net gives a good picture. It's not everything I do, but it sure is a lot of it!
In addition, I'm guessing my use of this stream would also give me a good basis for thinking about what it would mean to shift from this RSS-based feed to something more powerful like a personal API. But that would also be more complicated... and I'll confess the 3-minutes-you're-done simplicity of setting up a combination stream in Inoreader really appeals to me!
I'm not kidding about it taking 3 minutes.
1 minute: add feeds to folder
1 minute: create rule-based tag for folder
1 minute: export tag as RSS
And hey, if you only have 2 minutes instead of 3, you can skip the rule-based tag assignment. :-)
Yes, I love Inoreader. It takes in all the content and then lets me use/reuse, remix, and share... all thanks to the power of RSS. In the next post, I'll explain how it works as a search/curation tool.