It’s not the most exciting bit of technology in the world, but it could be very useful.
I read an awful lot of stuff on the web – thanks to Google Reader, it’s made really easy. Lots of people don’t have the time to do so, and are quite grateful to have useful items pointed out to them. I usually do this by putting links up on my Twitter profile, and the occasional link round up post here on the blog.
The trouble is that Twitter is a very ephemeral medium, and if people miss links, or don’t record them anywhere, then finding them again can be very tough. I’m also slightly uncomfortable that someone else has a hold of all this data! What’s needed is a way to record these things for posterity, and perhaps create a conversation around them.
So, in about an hour of fiddling, I made the Kind of Digital Exchange. It simply publishes links to stories I find interesting, with tags to enable easier searching, and the ability for people to leave comments.
As well as the main site, you can grab the RSS feed, get the results by email or follow the firehose on Twitter.
It’s very basic – just a bog standard WordPress instance and the free, open source, P2 theme. The interesting bit takes place away from the site, where I have set up the wonderful IFTTT to pump items I star in Google Reader into Exchange as posts within WordPress. This means that for me to share something via the site, I just click a single button.
It doesn’t have to be just me though. I’d be delighted if others could contribute. Using IFTTT as the spine, it’s easy to pull content in from other sites, whether Google Reader as I do, or maybe through Delicious bookmarks.
So, if you’re keen to start contributing links to the site, let me know and we can get it sorted. Of course, you can start commenting on links right away!
Will this become the digital engagement equivalent of something like the awesome Hacker News? Probably not. But it didn’t take long to put together, and if people find it useful, then that’s alright with me. Of course, if lots of people find it useful, I’ll throw some resources at it to give it a makeover and start to add some functionality. Stuff like:
- user liking or upvoting of the best content
- user tagging of articles
- ability to reshare links on other networks
…and I am sure there’s a lot more too. There’s a page to share ideas.
So do please go and have a look, and maybe get involved. I was asked the other day where people in government can go to find examples of innovation and creative ideas. Other than say ‘look on Twitter’ it was hard to muster a proper response. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to say – ‘look on the Kind of Digital Exchange!’.