One of the great features of social networking is how easy it is to share information with large groups of people. In this post, I’m going to share some ways that you can create bundles or collections of useful stuff that you can share with others, which can save you and your organization a great deal of time and effort. It can also be a lots of fun to discover some interesting and informative collections that others have taken the time to build for you.
RSS Feed Bundles
Google has unveiled a slick way to create what they call “bundles” of RSS feeds. These are actually just collections of related RSS feeds that you pick. For example, here’s a bundle that I created in a couple of minutes which aggregates all of the sites from the GigaOM Network:
In order to create a bundle, you just have to login to your Google Reader account, click “Browse for stuff” and then click the “Create a bundle” button. You then simply drag and drop the RSS feeds you want to include in this bundle, give it a name and description, and save it. After that you can share the bundle many different ways. You can email it, share the bundle’s URL on a social network or create a “bundle clip,” which is like a widget you can embed on your web site. Here’s an example of this bundle as it would appear as a bundle clip:
Create RSS Feeds of Site Collections with Delicious
The social bookmarking service Delicious offers a quick and easy way to share a collections of web sites, similar to the Google bundle method, except that this collection can contain links that are not RSS feeds. This means you can collect any type of web site in your Delicious collection and share them with individuals or groups (or even make them public for all the world to see.) The cool part about this is the fact that Delicious automatically creates an RSS feed for each and every tag that you create. This means people can subscribe to your tag, and automatically see new bookmarks that you add to that tag whenever you add to the collection. This is a powerful collaboration tool and something that could prove useful for clients and projects. Here’s an example of a new tag for a collection I created called GigaOm_Network, using the actual URLs for each site. I also included Om Malik’s Twitter account.
Firefox Collections of Add-ons
If you’re a Firefox user, then you know how useful add-ons can be in enhancing your browsing experience. Well, you can now share your favorite Firefox add-ons thanks to the Firefox Collector which allows you to create any kind of collection you want.
There are a great range of Firefox Add-on collections in the Editor’s picks. You’ll see a wide variety of collections ranging from the best add-ons for web developers to the best ones for travelers. There’s also a WebWorkerDaily collection available. If you can’t find a collection on something you want, then simply create one yourself. Just add the Firefox Collector add-on and browse the Firefox Add-ons library to find the items you want to assemble and share in your collection.
Share Groups of Firefox Tabs
Create Document Collections With Thinkfree Portfolios
ThinkFree is an online office suite of products, similar to Google Docs. ThinkFree offers a unique feature called Portfolio, which allows you to create bundles with different types of documents. For example, you can create and share a Portfolio for a client or project that involves Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and even PDF files. If this sounds familiar, then you probably remember Microsoft Binder, which did the same thing on the desktop.
Share Collections of Twitter Users
TweepML is a new site that lets you create collections of Twitter users that you can share with others. People can select to pick and choose who to follow on Twitter from your list, or they can elect to follow them all with the click of one button. This is an excellent solution for organizations that want to share a list of all their Twitter users. Here’s an example:
We all create and share lists of our favorite things online these days thanks to services like Last.fm (music), Flickr (photos), YouTube (videos), etc. It thus seems like a natural progression to use the same collective mindset and technology to share other things such as documents, software and bookmarks. The list of items we can share as collections is limitless.
What tools do you use to create collections of useful things to share online?
Photo credit: stock.xchng user Onatos