Make your own popurls?
August 2, 2011 9:07 AM   Subscribe

Is there a good way to keep track of everything I am interested in that is updating online? Some kind of huge private dashboard that is customizable. RSS feeds alone aren't getting it done.

It is getting really old having to visit a bunch of different places to get information. RSS feeds are great in theory, but the way Google serves them up (based on how many people are subscribing) is not useful. For instance, MeFi feeds show up in my Reader hours later. Many site don't have RSS feeds, or they are full of too much information.

I am trying to come up with something that I can follow twitter hashtags on, follow rss feeds on, something I can follow new posts to askme or projects, etc.

I know about Yahoo Pipes, Netvibes, Alltop. None of those seem to be what I am looking for, unless I'm doing it wrong or perhaps their interfaces are just a pain. I don't want to stay logged into yahoo all day and I could not get the yahoo pipes feed for metafilter to work - in general or on an iGoogle page. I saw feedly but it requires you to give up your gmail password, a dealbreaker.

Ideally it would be something like a private popurls. Small text that links to the articles or posts from the sites I keep visiting and care about.
posted by cashman to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Live Bookmarks in Firefox?
posted by COD at 9:25 AM on August 2, 2011

Response by poster: Is there a way to see everything at once doing that?
posted by cashman at 9:27 AM on August 2, 2011

Feedly is my solution -- but even if the password thing weren't a dealbreaker, Feedly has very limited support for non-RSS things (the Flickr and Twitter aggregation is pretty much serendipitous, you can't customize it as far as I'm aware). FWIW, though, Feedly seems to update very quickly with most feeds, especially MeFi.

You might look into Fever -- it's a self-hosted RSS reader. Again primarily RSS, but because it's self-hosted I wonder if you wouldn't be able to smash something together on top of it. Not free though.
posted by brentajones at 9:28 AM on August 2, 2011

RSS feeds are great in theory, but the way Google serves them up (based on how many people are subscribing) is not useful.

You can change the way that reader orders your feeds.

I turned off 'sort by magic' a long time ago.
posted by empath at 9:30 AM on August 2, 2011

Response by poster: empath, by "serves them up" I mean Google will put updates from popular feeds into your stream faster than if you subscribe to your sister's blog.
posted by cashman at 9:34 AM on August 2, 2011

Some folks at my office use a separate client. eSobi & Feedburner, mostly.
posted by deludingmyself at 9:35 AM on August 2, 2011

Feedly doesn't ask for your google password, it uses google's authentication api and never sees it.
posted by empath at 9:43 AM on August 2, 2011

(i just installed it for chrome and it never asked for my google password.)
posted by empath at 9:43 AM on August 2, 2011

When you say "they way Google serves them up" and from your post in general, I can't quite tell if you are looking for something with pre-selected feeds based on your interests, or if you are not happy with the way Reader manages your own collection of feeds.

If it's the former, you might want to add some Google News feeds to Reader based on your interest terms, which can yield some god results. If it's the latter, give NewsBlur a spin.
posted by quarterframer at 9:44 AM on August 2, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks empath, I'll try feedly again.

quarterframer I'm looking for popular feeds, unpopular feeds that are places I visit, and looking to get information from sites I visit that don't have feeds. I am weary from going to site after site to get information. Meanwhile rss can take hours to populate information into my feeds. Feedly doesn't solve the slow rss problem, but maybe that is some kind of solution. Pipes mainly failed for me because the mefi feeds seemed to not work. I just want as much as I can get into one place, to reduce the need to check a bunch of different sites, including those without feeds.
posted by cashman at 9:48 AM on August 2, 2011

I had a similar issue a couple years back--wanted to get live updates on headlines from indie lefty magazines--but didn't want them clogging up my Reader feed, since I find unread counts over 100 to be anxiety-inducing. The solution I came up with was to install a private Wordpress instance and install the SimplePie for Wordpress plugin to make my own private PopUrls for these niche publications that post a lot. It's a little hacky, but not too hard.
posted by mister barnacles at 11:23 AM on August 2, 2011

I bookmarked this aggregator wordpress theme a while back, and your question has reminded me of it. I haven't tried it, but it looks like it might do what you want. I might just have to give this a shot myself.
posted by taz at 11:55 AM on August 2, 2011

Sorry! Wrong one! This is the one I meant. (Free)
posted by taz at 12:01 PM on August 2, 2011

Yahoo Pipes. Not pretty, but effective.
I have pipes that search Twitter, specific blog networks, and specific news outlets. Took me an hour to get what I Wanted, but i've been using it for a year now with only minor tweaks.
posted by jander03 at 12:18 PM on August 2, 2011

Response by poster: jander03, are you able to get the mefi feeds to work? Maybe i'm just doing it wrong.
posted by cashman at 12:38 PM on August 2, 2011

Update: I tried the Wordpress Aggregator theme I linked above, but it didn't work out too well.

Instead I'm setting up something using a regular theme and the hungryfeed plugin, and this is looking very customizable and useful, because it allows you to use shortcode to add feeds to posts, pages, and sidebars, and you can add certain parameters to the shortcode - one of which allows you to filter by keyword(s), like so filter="dogs|cats|pets", which is handy. So for people who are familiar with Wordpress and want to roll their own, it's looking like one good option.

About twitter hashtags though, I haven't found a way to do that yet, since Twitter has removed that functionality. Even finding user feeds is not possible from Twitter any longer -- I found out how to do that via Ask, here.
posted by taz at 4:41 PM on August 2, 2011

Oh, I've never tried it with MeFi!

The pipes are usually made by individuals (no Yahoo) so you might try a few and see which works best for you.
posted by jander03 at 8:30 AM on August 21, 2011

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