PostRank-rank your feeds

Here’s a guest post by Melanie Baker from AideRSS about their newest tool, PostRank. (Contact Melanie via email, Twitter, or at Get Satisfaction.)

I explain how PostRank works, what features it offers, etc. pretty regularly, and I’ve learned that the “click here, type there” part isn’t what’s really important to the folks I’m talking to. Typically, by the time we connect, they’ve read or heard about PostRank somewhere, and they’ve developed stories.

These stories are their ideas about what PostRank can do for them. Reputation management, growing a business, spending less time in front of a keyboard slogging through blog posts about topics they don’t care about. Usually I can confirm the stories and share additional stories other community members have told me about how they use PostRank. Occasionally I have to explain that no, the technology doesn’t quite do what they think it does, and then we work on developing a new story to determine if PostRank solves a different problem for them.

And, for a few people, we come to an understanding that there probably isn’t a PostRank story for them. Like my friend who only follows 13 RSS feeds. I’m okay with that. Collecting people’s stories is the most important part of my job, since it helps our whole team better understand both what people need, and how they’re using what we’ve already developed.

Formulating their own stories is also the best way for people to get the most out of PostRank. How a marketing professional uses the website, widget, or extensions will probably be different from how an IT professional does. And both will be different from the functions a third party developer envisions when integrating the API into an application.

Applying PostRank functionality to your online information management is a way of crafting stories. When you create customized RSS subscriptions, you’re fleshing out themes and casts of characters that you want to keep track of. Need to know about this technology but not that trend. Need to follow this person’s words closely, but only need to occasionally listen in on that person. Creating channels is a way of bringing similar stories together to make them even easier to follow.

PostRank enables people to save time and be more productive by improving their ability to filter information. Filtering information enables people to read more relevant and engaging stories, or “Read What Matters”, as our tagline states.

Most importantly, as a result of better filtering and reading, people can then tell more relevant and engaging stories, which makes them as increasingly valuable to their own communities as they are to me.

The tutorial I’ve provided will tell you where to click and what to type. What stories you craft using PostRank are up to you, but, as always, if you’d like assistance or want to share them with me, I’d love to hear them.

Let’s get to the details!

Recently the AideRSS team launched our new website, which included many changes and improvements both to our functionality and the site itself. We’ve re-branded to focus more on PostRank, which is our core technology and main product and brand, so we’ve consolidated our two former sites to one: PostRank.com.

All the information about the company, accounts, PostRank and its applications, developer resources, and support is available on one site, with links centralized in the footer.

Of course the site also features PostRank’s functions, including:

  • feed analysis
  • customized feed creation and management
  • custom content channels
  • PostRank-powered applications
  • developer resources.

We’ve added an engagement widget to the homepage, which displays a selection of constantly updating feeds from our database. These feeds are displayed with their current engagement status, i.e. whether the status has gone up or down in the last month, and by how much. Engagement reflects audience interactions with a site’s content, what we call the “5 Cs“.

So tell me more about this PostRank stuff

PostRankFor those new to the site, we’ve made some short video tutorials to help explain how things work. They’re located on our Getting Started page.
The quickest way to add new feeds to our system, and to your My Feeds list, is via the analyze field in the site header.

Type in any URL, and if it has an RSS feed (most do), we’ll either start analyzing it right away if it’s not in our system yet, or display the feed details for that feed immediately if it is.

Feed Details The Feed Details page displays a list of recent posts from a feed and their accompanying PostRank scores. To view the PostRank metrics (Delicious bookmarks, Google trackbacks, tweets, etc.) just roll your cursor over the PostRank icon.

PostRank

Create customized RSS feed subscriptions:

  • set the PostRank filtering level (All, Good, Great, Best) for how much of a site’s content you want to see
  • word filters to view only posts about a specific topic
  • tags to develop channels containing a number of feeds on topics of interest.

Create as many customized feeds for a site as you like, and add to, edit, or delete them at any time.

My Feeds

PostRankTo view all of your subscriptions, manage them individually or in bulk, or import or export feeds from the site, you’ll use the My Feeds page.

The Select drop-down field enables you to select all, none, or recently added feeds (defined as those added within the last 24 hours). It also enables you to select feeds by their PostRank filtering level, which you can then use in conjunction with the Set field to change the PostRank level for a group of feeds. Groups of feeds can be deleted the same way. Select the parameters you want, then click Delete Selected. To delete an individual feed, click on the checkbox to the left of it, then either click Delete Selected or click the trash can icon to the right of the feed.

’tags and word filters on the My Feeds page as well. Just click the Tag or Word Filter label, add a new word, edit, or delete an existing one, then press enter to save.

My Channels

PostRank Adding tags to feeds creates channels, which enables grouping of feeds on a similar topic. For example, 10 feeds with a “small_business” tag will automatically become a single channel containing all the posts, as specified by your feed customizations, from those 10 tagged feeds.

The My Channels page displays all channels created, plus an aggregate “All” channel containing all your subscriptions, and the number of feeds in each channel. Channel feeds can be exported to your favourite feed reader with the click of a button.

PostRank PostRank Firefox Extension

The other big new addition to our toolkit is the PostRank Firefox extension. Once installed and authorized for your PostRank account, it enables you to view the PostRank score for any post you’re reading at a glance — without having to leave the page!

You can create and manage customized RSS subscriptions from the extension (click the icon to launch it).

The extension is fully integrated with our site, so your subscriptions will always be synced.
The extension also features the Top Posts widget, which uses Thematic PostRank analysis to show you a site’s best content over time.

A great way to get an overview of a site’s posts and determine potential subscription interest. The AideRSS team is really excited about this launch, as many of the features are the direct result of community requests.

Of course we’re all ears for feedback, questions, and additional suggestions on how we can make the user experience even better. The best ways to get ahold of us are via email, Twitter, or Get Satisfaction.

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