July 02, 2007 |
A new feed aggregator service known as Afeeda is out to simplify feed reading by allowing users to create a single feed that combines multiple feeds from different sources. You start out by choosing between making a personal, group or event feed. Personal feeds gather your own created content such as personal blogs and Flickr accounts. Group feeds are used to aggregate content from anywhere, while event feeds are centered around – you guessed it – events. Once you create a feed, you then have personalized updates delivered directly to you.
With afeeda, you must first have an OpenID account, as this is the only way of becoming an afeeda user. After logging in, you can begin creating a feed using either RSS or OPML. Afeeda’s optional bookmark button feature allows you to make the process easier. Simply visit a site which contains a feed and click on the bookmark button to add it. It literally takes less than 5 minutes to get a feed set up using this service.
Feeds can be made public or private, and you have the ability to narrow down your feed results using tag words provided by the feed’s creator. A downside to this service is the fact that there is no central directory of existing feeds provided by the site, although a few feeds are featured on the home page. When you do happen to find a feed you like, you do however, have the ability to subscribe to it and even contribute.
I became aware of more valuable uses for this service while reading about Afeeda on Mashable, one being that bloggers (who create an afeeda feed for users) can switch blogging platform services without having to give readers a new RSS link. That's because the original source of the feed does not need to be subscribed to by others and can therefore be changed if the need arises. This is a great feature when you are trying to decide whether to use Blogger or WordPress.
Although some improvements could be made and a user community with a feed directory would be nice, afeeda proves to be a welcome addition during a time when the blogosphere is bloated and time-consuming. We will see how it matures over time.