Thursday, June 11, 2009
SFDB Reviews The Herald's Blog Aggregator
"One big RSS reader."
That was my first impression of the new Miami Herald's South Florida blog aggregator. Not that that's a bad thing especially for people who have missed the boat on RSS readers. RSS readers are a great way to skim through a lot of blogs in a relatively short period of time and that, folks, is a very good thing.
But this is more than an RSS reader. I've spent a few days using the aggregator and I wanted to briefly share some of my thoughts.
* Don't like the look: While the three-column layout works okay, in my opinion, the design and the colors and the overall look is dated and worn out. Having said that, I fully understand that they are constrained to a certain degree by the Herald's master design. Not a big deal.
* The functionality is good. The Herald has collected an impressive number of SoFla blogs and made it easy for readers to follow all of them or just part of them. The categories that line the left sidebar are fair although I might quibble with a couple of the blogs placements [Law blogs under "Business" and "Politics?"]
* While I like the "Hot Comments" tab, the "Highest Rated" tab is next to useless. Posts will inevitably be artificially pushed to the top by the blog owners themselves and/or their friends.
* Each category has it's own RSS feed. Very cool.
* Search feature is effective and fast.
The Herald's blog aggregator is a very, very good thing for the online Herald and the South Florida blogosphere. It effectively intertwines the two and opens up the shadowy, back alley world of blog commentary to the general public. Online Herald readers get more news and opinion and bloggers get more traffic. It's a winner for both parties and I applaud the Herald for [finally] doing something like this. Come Monday, when the aggregator goes public, the Herald takes the lead in interacting with South Florida's bloggers and the Sun-Sentinel's efforts, while admirable and well-intentioned, look positively antiquated in comparison.
Posted by Rick at 9:15 AM