Which is the best technical solution to keep onself updated with everything happening on the OAC?

Hello everybody!

I just want to ask you some advice about practically managing to catch up with everything interesting is added on the OAC website.

For example, for the "Latest Activitiy" there is an RSS, but it only shows a tiny preview of the comments, the messages, the replys, etc., so one has to connect to the website to read it, thus making a lot of further clicks!
Instead, for the "Blogs" the RSS notifications give you the full text of the posts, and this is quite handy for a GoogleReader-addicted like me.
For the "Groups" that you join or for the "Forum" in which you make a comment, you receive email updates, though they are just links to the relative webpage.
It would be very useful if it was possible on Ning to personalize the notification system in a way that better suited one's preferences: the fact is that I would like to reduce to the minimum the acts (the temptations?) of visiting directly the OAC website, but at the same time feeling to "keep in touch" with it by means of more detailed RSS/email notifications.

And you, what do you do? What do you think about it?

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Cosimo,

I'm not sure if there is a way to alter the existing RSS feeds as Ning provides them. I can't find a feed for the groups, and I think that is an oversight on their part. You can subscribe to an overall forum feed which will give the top-level titles, or if you're interested in following a specific forum thread you can subscribe to just that one (example). That might be time consuming in itself, because you have to remember to get the feed from the site when you comment or visit.

I know that Bloglines often allows you to override default output to get the entire post, comment, reply, etc, but I'm not familiar enough with Google Reader. Perhaps there is a local setting.

For others following this thread who want to know more about RSS feeds and Ning:

Learn how RSS works
Grab an RSS feed from Ning

I will continue to search for a way to personalize the feeds/notifications.

Personally, I don't subscribe to RSS feeds from this page because I'm on the homepage so often right now. Plus, I have several hundred feeds, so updates from Ning would just get lost in the mix. There are 6,000 unread updates in my feed aggregator right now. The other alternative I might consider is putting a live bookmark in my Firefox bookmark toolbar; most likely the activity feed from the front page so I can get a quick glance update that I can click through.

Since each component of the Ning page has a separate RSS feed (activity, forums, blogs, photos, etc), this might be helpful: 10 Tools to Combine, Mix, Blend Multiple RSS Feeds

There have already been some Ning-specific developments in Yahoo Pipes, but I have not tested them.

Anyway, hope this helps a bit.

Fran
Thank you very much for your detailed reply!
I didn't realize that there was also the possibility to subscribe to the rss of one particular Forum Discussion, so I will try to use this as well (since the email notifications are not as detailed as the rss).
Overall, I find that the Ning RSS notifications are quite slow to update, and I find myself visiting the website more frequently than the rss itself takes to refresh. But I may find it useful when I won't have the possibility to watch directly the updates as much frequently.
And I don't know how to override the default rss output via GReader, too.
Thank you again,

Cosimo
One more thing - re: Group feed, you can paste the main URL of the group (e.g. http://openanthcoop.ning.com/group/oachelp) into your feed reader and get updates on all top-level group discussions (not sure if that includes comments). Or again you can subscribe to each group thread of interest (like this one).

Yes, you're right, they do seem a little slow. Sometimes I find that the activity update on the main page reverts to an older status after a page refresh. Odd.

Fran
Again, thank you! That's another good tip.

C.
I think that the Ning RSS for the Latest Activity is too slow, therefore if you really want to keep in touch with a live discussion then you should follow it via email (but this way you will have to log into the OAC website to read the post, as there is no preview in the email).
I also believe (but I'm not sure) that the rss filter (Yahoo!Pipes or FeedRinse) make it even more slower...

Fran, why don't you think of filtering the annoying "... updated their profile" from the root?
I noticed that the pesky friendship notifications have disappeared, I guess you removed it just in the same way. (I'm also not very interested in all the people joining this or that group either, but I can live with it).
I don't know if it'd be useful, but I've found this Ning blog post on customizing the social network Latest Activity feed - this of course should be done by the admins.
here's the link:
http://blog.ning.com/2009/04/customize-your-social-networks-latest-...
Hi Cosimo,

I've made the change that you suggested, but let's consider it on a trial basis, allowing members to give feedback. Others have also mentioned that the "... updated their profile" activity is a bit mundane, but we'll see what people think nonetheless. Personally, I'd prefer to leave it out ...

Fran
Thanks Fran!
Let's see what other people think of the Latest Activity RSS thus modified.

Cosimo
Updates issue is still pending.

Fran
Okay, I've found out why the amendments to the latest activity feed weren't taking effect. There is a known glitch from Ning's side. They are working on it, and a fix should be released shortly.

Fran



Francine Barone said:
Updates issue is still pending.

Fran

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