Portal Systems
September 28, 2007 2:57 PM   Subscribe

Got a request from a client. They want to create a portal that gets information from various news organizations on a specific subject. I'm looking for information on portal software that is compatible with news feeds and news feed information in general.

They will want to pull full articles and perhaps other content from organizations (having obviously made arrangements) and categorize the information appropriately. Is it just a CMS with XML feeds basically? I've worked with CMSs before and understand many of the fundamentals of site development but have no experience pulling data in a portal fashion from other organizations.
posted by juiceCake to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If it's general, industry-specific news, you might try asking Comtex. They aggregate news content from dozens of news sources, and I believe they provide XML formatted data (or can put you in touch with a provider service that does). Comtex news is often found on portal sites because it's frequently updated and offers broad coverage, and the XML stories can be filtered by category, provider, date, etc. You may be able to implement something like this with a JS include as well.

If you're pulling from just a few partner organizations with whom you have relationships, you can just create an agreement with them that allows you to scrape their content. Just point to a URL, pick up the content, and restyle. Takes a little coding, but you won't need a CMS for this approach.
posted by mochapickle at 3:48 PM on September 28, 2007

It's not clear if the problem you have is "building a portal" or "getting RSS content". I'm reading it as a question of "I have a diverse amount of content, and want an easy way to arrange a portal to display that for people."

So... here's another option you might really like- Page Flakes. You'll recognize the format, it's the same one originated in myMSN, and then iGoogle. A very slick drag-and-droppable AJAX-y website that lets you define the different content, and even lets the user(s) style their layout as desired, with multiple tabs and groupings. And obviously, the information presented is "information from various news organizations on a specific subject".

The key difference is that company started as a guy's code project, and you can still get the original, and functional, code at www.dropthings.com. It's a pretty much easy-to-set-up .zip file with all the code and the database setup you'd need to build a very functional portal. The existing RSS feed modules should be enough for a good number of the things you'll want to do, based on the feeds you're getting.
posted by hincandenza at 11:17 AM on September 29, 2007

Thanks for the info mochapickle, it helped me with some further research as well.

Thanks hincandenza. I have no problem building a portal or getting RSS content I just lack the experience of pulling from particular feeds, pulling full articles with images, Flash based (and perhaps other) video from particular organizations and was just wondering if there was a standard. Research says there isn't, but Page Flakes looks quite promising. Thank you.
posted by juiceCake at 12:37 PM on September 29, 2007

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