An example of post-RSS participatory media: If you are a media person, a corporate communications person, or someone curious about how to utilize some of the power of blogging and participatory media — even if you don’t blog yourself — do the following. The example relates to a breaking news-story, but the lesson can be applied to any topic about which there are people posting information — text, photos, audio, video — on RSS enabled web platforms.
1. Go to this page on Technorati. What you will see is an aggregation and display of two forms of participatory journalism, first-hand accounts, commentary and conversation. On this example, Technorati has set up a page to display TEXT and PHOTOS that have been “tagged” (which means, simply, an identifying term has been added by the person posting the photo or text, saying to the world, “This bit of information is about the following topic or topics”). In this case, technorati appears to be aggregating and displaying several tags individuals are using to indicate the posted item relates to yesterday’s bombings.
2. This is a technique that is not limited to services like Technorati. If you are a blogger, a media company, a corporation, an association, an interest group, a church, a school, a city, a PR firm with clients, whatever, the magic of RSS and existing tools that are free and easy enough for even me to figure out will allow you to build a page like Technorati’s London Bombings page.
3. I apologize for the self-promotional nature of the following, but I wanted to give an example of how we at Hammock Publishing use such an approach in creating and displaying news on a specific topic: News.Smallbusiness.com. While there is some human intervention in the process, it is created using free and easily-available methods of tagging and re-displaying headlines (using RSS) that, in turn, link readers to the story source. (In fact, on the smallbusiness.com development blog, I share how we do it, which is based on hack I learned about from Matt McAlister. If you are a little more tech-oriented, here’s a link to a Kris Krug post that has dozens of hacks using tags from del.icio.us to create you own news aggregation page. It’s easy to do if you take the time to learn about RSS. It’s not “Rocket Science” Syndication — It’s Real Simple Syndication.)