It seems buzz is all the buzz these days.
If you don't want to be left behind in this day and age of blogs, mashups, rss, widgets, ajax and yes, even comets, you've come to the right place to generate some buzz, and you won't even need a full-time intern to do it!
Today I am going to show you how to put together a complete buzz generating engine, in just three simple steps, that is fully distributed and collaborative, but more importantly is completely web 2.0 and buzzword compliant. Sound good? Good. :)
So here we go. Before we start, let's ground this exercise in something concrete. Imagine a marketing droid has come to you with the preceding two paragraphs, and you need to understand what in the heck he actually means.
If you page on over to www.terracotta.org, scroll on down past all the stuff about Terracotta, and have a look at the section marked "Terracotta Buzz". Ok, I understand you're a bit lazy with the ol' mouse click, so I've included a screenshot to the right for your convenience. It says "Terracotta Buzz" and then a list of links. What the marketing droid wants is:
- A dynamic list of links, kept up to date
- Relevant content, not just random links (try searching for Terracotta, you'll see the term is a bit generic so it can be difficult to discern real buzz from somebody's trip to China)
What you want, because you don't have any spare time in your day, is a process that:
- Is easy to maintain, requiring no intervention on your part
- Is up-to-date (what good is buzz if it's not up to date?)
- Is distributed and collaborative (you won't be the only person contributing, that way you can get on with your life)
Got it? Ok here we go. Three easy steps. I wouldn't lie to you, now would I?
Step 1 - Add the Widget to your page
On your buzz page, setup an RSS widget that reads an RSS feed. When users browse your site, the RSS widget reads the RSS feed and gives them the most up to date info. Did you notice the Terracotta Buzz on the right of my blog? That's an RSS widget BlogSpot gives you, putting it on your blog page is trivial.
Step 2 - create a Yahoo pipe
Set up a Yahoo account and create a Yahoo pipe that aggregates RSS feeds from delicious users that are going to generate the buzz for you. Here's the Terracotta Buzz Pipe.
It's the heart of this process, so I'll explain what it does:
- Aggregate content from various sources, including delicious accounts of contributors to Terracotta, RSS feeds from people that blog about Terracotta (like myself)
- Remove duplicate entries
- Publish one aggregate feed as the result
Step 3 - Tag links using del.icio.us
After creating the Yahoo Pipe to aggregate del.icio.us links, now all you have to do is populate those links. As the tagger, you want to create a unique set of tags that can be used in the Yahoo! Pipe feed to pull in just the Buzz links. I use the special tag "forterracotta", which you can see by browsing my links here:
burn your feed using Feedburner which adds an extra level of abstraction above the Yahoo! Pipes feed, and gives you the ability to track subsribers. It's a nice touch, but not strictly necessary.
Putting it all together, here is the complete diagram of the process: