A Look at the Top Aggregation Services

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If your company or co-workers are involved in numerous web 2.0 sites, you may have images on Flickr, videos on YouTube, a blog with an RSS feed and so on.  This results in giving your website users many places to look when they consume your organization’s online media – not very user friendly.

This content separation leaves a space that aggregation services are trying to fill.  Sites such as FriendFeed (covered before), Tumblr, and the new Strands.com (covered by parent site GigaOm.com) are all vying for your attention.  These aggregation websites create what are called activity streams or life streams, and combine all your online media into one place (and one RSS Feed) for your intended audience.  You have complete control as to which sites are combined and aggregated in the services.


tumleogTumblr was the among the first aggregation services and allows you to create a tumble-log.  Basically a tumble-log is a variation on a traditional blog that is allows you to publish many different types of media to it.  Tumblr wants you to put your photos, videos, blog entries, message boards onto their service, no matter where these media items exist.

Tumblr tumble-logs feature an RSS feed, giving users easy access to stay up to date on all the items you include in your tumble-log.


FriendFeedFriendFeed is the current web 2.0 darling site with lots of usage among bloggers.  To get started, head over to their homepage and complete the sign-up process.  Adding your services is as easy as giving your various account names for that service or simply the RSS feed.  For example, to add your Flickr photostream into FriendFeed, just supply FriendFeed your Flickr username.  The web service will handle the rest.

FriendFeed recently announced the inclusion of “Rooms.”  With this feature, you can create a room based on an interest, event, company name, or whichever topic you chose.  A company or group might want to create a room for their business or topic area to give users a way to particpate in creating an online home for their area of interest.


Strands.com, from the social music recommendation service company Strands, takes FriendFeed and adds on a layer.  Strands.com tries to improve upon FriendFeed by offering the aggregation functionality, but giving you suggestion as to what content will be of interest to you based the way you consume social media.  Strands.com knows your online contacts are fantastic filters for online content, and will use them to show you items you may find interesting.

Strand.comFor example, if you have a co-worker who is an expert in a particular field of interest, add them to your Strands.com contacts and when they recommend a video, online article, or other media item, you’ll be alerted through your Strands.com webpage.

As you can see, there are many sites that give you the ability to bridge your online assets into one functional website.

How do you keep people connected to your various online media items?  Does aggregation interest you?

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Alana Post

I made my own personal social aggregation thingy a la tumblr by combining WordPress with the plugins RSS Stream and Exec-PHP. You can check out the result at net.alanapost.net. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, and it’s kind of fun sometimes to have this “whoa” effect to view all my online activities in gestalt like that.

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