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Web 2.0 Mash-ups and the New Aggregators by Martin Kelley

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How the QuakerQuaker Aggregator Is Put Together

I’m now going to detail how I’ve put together my niche aggregator, QuakerQuaker.org. Right up front I’ll admit that I’m not a hotshot programmer. My background is in publishing and movement-building and these are still the most important influences in my online work. I dream up features that I think would be cool and then look for some online service that could serve as a building block to implementing it. Even five years ago doing any of this would require expensive custom programming. The rise of Web 2.0, free services, and XML has allowed tech-savvy web site designers to pull together some amazing sites. New tools like the just-released Yahoo! Pipes are making this ever easier.

The other significant caveat is that the site didn’t spring up fully formed. It developed piece-by-piece out of my own personal blog. If I talk too much about the evolution of the site, I do so for two reasons: the first is that I think that the process of active community building is as important as any of the techniques of programming. Too many Web 2.0 projects are being launched today simply because they can be, because the technical knowledge exist and the community models are out there. But the real value of Web 2.0 site like Digg comes from the community that uses it and any copycat clone is unlikely to usurp its dominance. My second hope is that sharing my experience will help developers of next-generation social networking tools to create services ...

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