PANFeed and CampusROAR at Repository Fringe

Repository Fringe

Last week we took PANFeed (Personalized Academic News Feed) and CampusROAR to its first conference: RepoFringe in Edinburgh.  We were talking about CampusROAR as an idea and also doing a short demo of PANFeed (the new name for the custom feed creation system).  Since I last blogged about CampusROAR there’s been a good deal of progression, so I’ll also use this post to give an update on everything I’ve done.

CampusROAR featured in two presentations at Repository Fringe; a main presentation on CampusROAR by Yvonne, where me and Patrick finished off with a quick intro into and demo of PANFeed, and a Pecha Kutcha made by me and given by Patrick which was just on PANFeed in more detail.

The first version of PANFeed is limited, but has the following functionality:

  • Spider domains for RSS and Atom feeds.
  • Identify keywords for items in feeds.
  • Search within items using keywords to create custom feed for user.

The front page of the PANFeed site.

The website allows a user to search and get given a custom feed (whilst displaying a nice preview), but the other functions must be run by an operator.

PANFeed with a feed preview from the given keywords.

We’ve also had some requests for people to spider their university domains (and some others) for feeds.  We will attempt to do these as fast as we can, but it can take a while to spider large domains.

Looking Forward

There are lots of things that I would like to do in the near future, here’s a selection:

  • Improve news feed collection – make it simpler to use and/or automated.  Also improve feed selection, with less duplicates and irrelevant/bad feed items.
  • Improve the feed item aesthetics by ensuring they all have good images, possibly with keyword searches and flickr api.
  • Separate feed items by institution and allow users to pick which sources they get their news from.
  • Modify the system so that users get an individual feed which learns about their preferences based on an up and down vote system.
  • Just add more news sources!

Remember folks if you are looking for Personalized Academic News Feeds then look no further than http://panfeed.ecs.soton.ac.uk

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