Thoughts, rants, experiences, reviews and other things from the mind of Jason O’Conal

Social Media Aggregator

04 Apr 2015

I’m not going to go into great detail about this idea, I just wanted to get it written down before I lost it.

I consume (or would like to consume) content from a lot of different social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (actually has some interesting stuff), Reddit, 4chan (don’t judge me), YouTube and plain old RSS feeds.

Logging in to each site individually to check what’s happening is something I’m clearly not going to do, so I end up missing a lot of interesting content. There also seems to be a general move away from how I like to consume content: read it all once (within reason, I don’t mind if unpopular content doesn’t get surfaced). For example, Reddit has the concept of a ‘front page’ that shows what’s currently ‘hot’ with no indication whether I’ve read a post or not (Reddit Enhancement Suite provides this but it doesn’t sync, Reddit Gold provides this and it syncs but it doesn’t work with Alien Blue, the Reddit client I use on iOS devices).

So the idea is this: an aggregated RSS feed of content from all the social media sites I frequent. You can then use the plethora of available RSS feeders (I particularly like Reeder 2) to consume the feed.

It gets complicated when you start dealing with things like comments on a Reddit thread, but there’s at least one way you could deal with this: add links to the HTML content for the given feed item that will mark an item as ‘watched’ and cause the system to add an item to the feed whenever there’s a new comment. On high-traffic articles, this could get crazy, so you may need to implement a digest-style aggregation, but I think it could work.

I am aware of things like Hootsuite, but it provides a lot of features I don’t want and its free tier is just too limiting (only 2 RSS feeds and it doesn’t seem to integrate with YouTube for consuming content, though I haven’t tried this out extensively as it costs US$4.99 a month). I’m also aware of mobile-only apps like Sparksfly, but I want a way to consume the feed on the desktop as well.

If there is something that does what I want and I’ve missed it, I would love to hear about it.

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