This is the step by step process I use to publish the kigaliwire online newswire. You don’t need any technical knowledge to replicate or adapt any of this. You will need to sign up to at least four different free web services outlined below.
This free social bookmarking service is the backbone of the whole operation. Set up an account and install one of the browser bookmarking tools. I use the diigolet which works well using the Google Chrome browser. When you find an interesting story, you click on the diigolet in your browser toolbar, press bookmark and then you can edit the title, description and add tags as needed. See the example below.
The news item will then appear in your diigo library of bookmarks. It’s important to use accurate, specific and appropriate tags when bookmarking stories - tags will allow you to browse stories in the future much like you would look through a large, highly organised filing cabinet.
This is another free bookmarking service. Sign up for this service and then head back to Diigo. Diigo allows you to save to Delicious at the same time you save to Diigo. You shouldn’t trust one service with all this info, you need at least one back up and that’s where Delicious comes in.
If you don’t already have one, get a Twitter account.
Think of dlvr.it as your postman for all this information. You can do many things with this free service, I use it to send the interesting news stories I save to Diigo to Twitter. Dlvr.it automates that process, allows me to filter news stories by keywords and to automatically add a hashtag - in my case #Rwanda - to every tweet it publishes. See the little “via dlvr.it” at the bottom of this example tweet.
I use Wordpress to publish my blog. Within the “Appearance settings” there are a number of widgets which allow you to publish an RSS feed to your blog. I copy the url of my Diigo library - http://www.diigo.com/user/kigaliwire - in here so that the titles and links are published in the blog sidebar and on the landing page.
The good stuff about publishing this way…
Once all that is set up, the only thing you have to do to publish your newswire to Diigo, your blog and Twitter is to remember to use the diigolet bookmark tool for everything you want to publish. The rest is now automated.
And the bad stuff about publishing this way…
- anything automated in this way can never be real time. There can be up to a five minute delay publishing links to Twitter via Dlvr.it.
- It lacks a “human” touch on Twitter.
- Diigo and Delicious are prone to glitches. If Diigo is down, you may need to temporarily change the settings in Wordpess to publish the Delicious account instead.
- I don’t have a Facebook account. The biggest audience for a lot of this information is on Facebook. That might be the same for you. Therefore it might be worth looking at ways of using a Twitter to Facebook widget to send relevant stuff - possibly filtered through dlvr.it - to Facebook. Although, to be honest, you may need to tailor the information far more as Facebook is not Twitter and vice-versa which could make the whole process redundant.