Blog Aggregator: how to create one with WordPress, part 1

(This is a re-post from my now-defunct website, BloggingFu)

The term “blog aggregator” is a combination of two words: blog and aggregator.

Okay, I can already imagine some of you going “duh! of course it is”. However, humour me for a minute and let me explain this to you in simple terms, for the benefit of those who really don’t know what a blog aggregator means.

Blog Aggregator

Blog = a web log, or a chronology of news called posts, which are usually snippets of information with hyperlinks pointing to the original article or news.

Aggregator = to combine into a whole, quoting directly from the Oxford English Dictionary.

Therefore, blog aggregator = a collection of posts from web logs combined into one single site, i.e. another blog.

Why would you need a blog aggregator?

Well, blog aggregators are used for numerous reasons, mainly to gather posts from the blogosphere concerning a specific topic, or blogs sharing the same theme. Do a Google search for the term “blog aggregrator” and you will see a myriad of aggregators, covering topics from music to education, from general RSS feeds to geographically-focused topics.

I currently run a blog aggregator called Giuk.net, which aggregates blog posts created by Sabahans (i.e. those who are from Sabah, a state in Malaysia’s North Borneo… you know, where the 1st season of Survivor was done). As an administrator of the site, here’s how I maintain the blog aggregator:

  1. An interested blogger fills up the registration form online at the site. An automatic e-mail is sent to me.
  2. I verify the information and any other requirements for the site to be eligible for registration (mainly the compulsory backlink to Giuk.net and some proof that he/she is really a Sabahan).
  3. I enter their RSS or ATOM feed address into Giuk.net’s administration dashboard (which is really a WordPress dashboard).
  4. The blog aggregator periodically crawls (i.e. visits and checks) the list of feeds in the aggregator and adds new posts into Giuk.net.

Here’s the thing about my blog aggregator –  not only do I have to do just steps 2 and 3 manually, but I also did the initial setup of the aggregator within just half an hour! It’s that easy!

Wondering how I did it? Read part two of my Blog Aggregator how-to installment, where I’ll lead you step-by-step on how I did it with WordPress.

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