Tag Archives: Lblogs

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Automated curation and why I created @Lblogs.

A couple people asked who was behind @Lblogs, so I thought I would use this post to lay out my thoughts behind why I created the account, and since I can’t keep anything short, a couple thoughts on curation.

For those who aren’t familiar with this Twitter account, Lblogs uses RSS feeds to post to Twitter the title of the blog post, a link to it and an @ reference acknowledging the author.  All the blogs included are published in Lawrence.

Example tweet from LBlogs. Click on image to check out the hilarious Sandbar blog post referenced here

Twitter as RSS reader

Lblogs came out of my experiments with posting RSS/Atom feeds to Twitter.  I have long looked for an RSS reader that would act like Twitter and show the most recent titles with links across all my RSS feeds as they are posted.  I never found software that would accomplish this. But in the process I realized I could actually do better than what I originally wanted.  I could feed all of the blogs I follow into Twitter.

I created a separate Twitter account, made it private and my main account @lawrenckslive was the only account that followed it.  I then used external software to route all the RSS feeds I follow into this new account.  In the two months I have been using this system, this RSS system has published over 7000 tweets, but I am the only person who views them.

RSS > Dlvr.it > Tweeted by Private Account > Viewable by @lawrencekslive

In the process of using this RSS system, I realized that curation can take many forms.  The best is when someone is looking at information, chooses the the highest quality and shares it.  But curation can be done on a less effective, but still useful level. That level is choosing blogs that have related or high quality content and them grouping them together on one account and publishing it.

Lblogs focuses on blog posts originating from Lawrence.

Because the Lawrence community has diverse interests, Lblogs isn’t really about what is going on in Lawrence, but rather what bloggers in Lawrence are saying.  After a couple days, the content of the feed includes a variety of subject matter.  Sometimes the post has nothing to do with Lawrence, sometimes it is focused on Lawrence, but the majority of posts naturally relate to a Lawrence audience just by the nature of where the author lives.

At this point if I wasn’t running the Lblogs account, I would still be following it because I like to see longer pieces that are being written by people in the community.  Since I am putting almost no restrictions on the type of blog accounts that are included, beyond that they must be published in Lawrence and shouldn’t be too commercial, I imagine over time that the number of tweets could be significant.  So if the number of tweets becomes too much, feel free to unfollow the account.  Having your blog included on the feed does not come with any obligations to follow the account.  Even if people just occasionally look to see what is new being published in Lawrence, I think it will be helpful. And since it is automated, the time required to keep it going is minimal.

Since the account is publishing links to other people’s material, anyone can opt out at any time by @ messaging the account or letting me know by any other method. I have purposely not included content from media companies to avoid using RSS feeds that have restrictions against doing so.  No one has yet to opt out, but understand I will not take it personally if anyone wants to do so.

If you know any blogs in Lawrence that you think should be included, feel free to add them in the comments or message me.  Also, if there is any interest, I will happily do a blog post explaining the step by step process of setting up your own personal RSS to Twitter account.  Just let me know.