A Look at BlogBridge’s Blog Directory Software

A week or two back, BlogBridge announced the release of the BlogBridge:Library (Demo). It offers the possibility to store, structure and showcase your blog recommendations.

The BlogBridge:Library (BBL) comes as a piece of software and does NOT offer content. The content, design  and user rules are defined by the organization where BBL will be used. BBL is NOT an RSS feed aggregator but a library or directory.

So what? What’s the problem covered by the BBL solution?

Will the BlogBridge:Library be interesting for the performancing.com audience? The first answer to all these questions is a counter question: Does YOUR audience understand OPML and RSS?

Right now you are (maybe) using a blogroll in the sidebar and you are offering a linklist (maybe) for the convenience of your readers. In the ongoing developing info-junkie-nature of the blogosphere and the Internet itself it will be relevant for your blog niche to offer structured and easy to consume meta informations about other sources which will be ways beyond todays linklists. You will need some piece of software which will help you to roll out those recommendations in a way that readers will understand intuitively the service you are offering as an add-on to your website (the structure). The next point to cover is the solution how to use those meta information. This is where RSS and OPML start to play their mighty role … the BlogBridge:Library will offer direct links to the RSS feeds of the recommended sites and BBL will offer OPML files for your recommended structure. This way you can cover specific fields of interest and give your readers the choice to subscribe to one specific ‘river of news’ by importing the OPML file into their news reader.

The idea: The organization and structure of your BlogBridge:Library will reflect what’s of interest to your users. You will become the feed master.

The BlogBridge:Library features

Just a quote from an announcement:

  • Categories and subcategories – All the feeds, reading lists and podcasts are organized in a fully customizable multi-level category structure. Each category can have a distinct owner to whom control has been delegated by the librarian.
  • Cross Listing – As not everything wants to fit in a hierarchy, any category can be cross listed elsewhere in the library in one or more other categories.
  • Built in announcements blog with rss feed – As we hope a customer’s BlogBridge:Library will be an active and dynamic place, we have provided a blog where the librarians can post announcements and other information for the visitors.
  • All categories and subcategories available as OPML Reading Lists – OPML is generated dynamically to allow any capable aggregator to subscribe to all the feeds in a certain category and stay up to date with any changes made there by the librarian.
  • Comprehensive user management – User profiles contain their name, email, photo and access level. Access levels are: “Administrator”, “Librarian”, “Author” and “Reader”
  • Bulk import of account info for enterprise integration – BBL allows the administrator to bulk add a large number of accounts to facilitate deployment inside organizations.
  • Organizations – Each user can be the member of some organization. Organizations are defined by the librarians.
  • Recommendations – The librarian can assign some folder to contain recommended feeds for each organization. When a user logs in, they are shown whatever recommendations exist for them.
  • Top 10 and Top 100 List – BBL automatically monitors the number of users looking at any feed and dynamically compute a Top 10 and Top 100 list, each of which is available as an OPML Reading List.
  • Tree and List display of categories – Librarians can choose to display the contents of a category in either a tree or list display.
  • Ajax animation and asynchronous display of user interface – This is just coool!

Every category and subcategory of feeds in BlogBridge: Library is also available as an OPML Reading List. You can try before you buy. You can see the aggregated set of posts currently available on those feeds. A river of news.

I only publish a blog? What is my revenue?

Some basic scenarios:

  • Self promotion: Just make sure your own blog (section, category, keyword) is in every OPML file. Promote your OPML files as valuable content packages.
  • Affiliate marketing: Pretty obvious you only have to include your affiliate code into every link.
  • Internal use: Use the BBL to create your own ‘Intranet’ blog directory solution.
  • In general you can of course use every generated RSS feed or OPML file to generate your own ‘river of news’ pages or feed it to the known aggregator services.

Please feel free to add a comment about more scenarios.

What does the BlogBridge:Library cost?

I have no idea! The information given at the moment is only pouring out drop by drop. As they are already offering trial installations this might be a product where the BlogBridge team is trying to get some revenue from companies and organizations interested in offering these directory services. If there will be a version with some limitations? Again, I have no idea at the moment. But the product vision is fascinating and offers an attractive and totally new service for websites and bloggers.

For promotion, marketing and feedback reasons it would absolutely make sense to offer a free version.

Other directory or library solutions?

Do you know about other software solutions (!) which offer this kind of service for your website?
Would you be interested to include BlogBridge:Library into your website? Why?

Keywords / Categories / Technorati Tags:

Markus Merz, 2006, BlogBridge, BlogBridge:Library, RSS, OPML, publishing, directory, library, software, service, tool

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