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[Osdc-list] opensource.com/education planet

About 2 weeks ago, a few of us (myself, Jeff, Mary, Greg, Max, Karsten) kicked around the idea of a "newsroom draft" planet-style aggregator of author blog feeds. I took 5 minutes and threw a few author feeds together to see what that might look like for the education channel - it's kinda ugly, but it works.


To paraphrase Karsten: "This is a feed of individual opensource.com author blogs to gather some ideas around articles. Think of this as a pre-pre-pre-draft — like the whiteboard/corkboard of ideas in a newsroom."

This would *not* be on the front page of opensource.com - these blog posts aren't articles, they're not curated or polished. This would be a way for potential authors (and editors) to "overhear the conversation." The people who write for the edu channel also think about edu stuff all the time, we just don't necessarily filter a lot of what we're thinking into "oh, this would be good for osdc."

The way I see this working is that it would be linked to from http://opensource.com/participate, where people are already interested in "peeling back the hood" a bit. Approved authors for a channel could feed in (topical) posts from their existing blogs, and so the feed would be a gathering of thoughts the other authors are kicking around on a given topic, and we'd put a disclaimer at the top that this wasn't official opensource.com content, but more a "watching our (awesome) authors think out loud" thing.

(shamelessly cribbed from http://planet.sugarlabs.org/):

Planet Opensource.com/education is a collection of personal blogs by Education channel contributors to opensource.com. Our authors write about what excites them about open source and education; in the spirit of free software, we share and criticize—that is how we learn and improve and encourage participation by newcomers. Enjoy, and join the conversation.

And then perhaps the following conversations might ensue...

"Ooh, that would actually make a nifty article."
"Oh, I didn't think of that as an opensource.com article, you're right - can you help me rework it?" "Wow, three posts on this topic in the same day by three different people. Let me ask the opensource.com authors list and see if we can get a summary article with all three perspectives." "Hey, this is the sort of thing opensource.com authors talk about and how they share their ideas? That's not intimidating at all... I could do that, and write articles for opensource.com myself."

In terms of more formal implementation, there's a Drupal module that does the same thing: http://drupal.org/handbook/modules/aggregator, so this would be pretty easy to fold into the existing opensource.com site.

Thoughts? I find this valuable for myself, at least, to hear what other authors are thinking - in a way that automatically hits my inbox, instead of having to rely on people thinking to push emails to the osdc-edu-authors list on a topic.

Would others find this useful?


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