WP-O-Matic is a nice little third-party plugin for WordPress that uses the SimplePie php class (thanks to Patrick and Andy for the link to this amazing set of aggregation resources for both WP and MediaWiki) to grab an RSS feed and automatically use it to create posts in your blog. The interface is “dead simple” (to quote John Maxwell, one of the many highlights of NV 2007). All you do is copy and paste the RSS feed and then select the category it should be posted within. That’s it!
Here’s a look at the interface:
So, why might this be useful? Well, I started thinking about it some, and I there are a couple of possibilities.
- Cross-posting blog articles that you may want to preserve on your own blog but also would like to share on other blogs you may be associated with. For example, UMW’s Division of Teaching & Learning Technologies has been framing out a series of WordPress and MediaWiki spaces on a separate Bluehost account where we can begin to centralize some of our content, ideas, tutorials, and other resources that are specific to our collaborative work. WP-o-Matic is perfect for this. Just install it on the blog you want to post on in addition to your own. Then tag one of the categories on your personal blog as, for example “dtltblog” -keep in mind that WordPress will create a unique rss feed for each of the categories you create. After that, grab the category feed (in this example “http://yourdoamin.com/category/dtltblog/feed”) from your personal blog and feed it into the WP-o-Matic plugin. Now every time you post to this specific category on your own blog it will also be posted on the additional blogs you added this feed to.
- Now extend this example to a series of student blogs who are using their own blog to post for several different classes. With this plugin they can login to a class site, copy their category feed in, then every time they post to that category they have updated their own portfolio as well as the relevant class site! Simple as pie!
What I really like about this is that you’re able to keep a majority of the posts you publish on the web within your own blog, while at the same time using categories and their feeds to quickly publish the relevant posts to the other distributed blogs you may be contributing to. This solves some of the questions surrounding the work/personal line of a blog that some of us, at times, wonder about. Not necessarily a remarkable idea conceptually these days, but definitely a lean, quick and easy tool to accomplish sharing posts amongst several blogs.
In fact, this post is a real-life example. I have installed WP-o_Matic on umwdtlt.org (a site under development) and used the “dtltblog” tag to send this post over there. Here it is in action!
A couple of additional notes: this plugin is currently in an early beta and does not yet deal with flickr feeds well and chokes in WPMU for the moment. Also, the next version promises a link in the distributed post to the original site it was published on.