Curate from your source library

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Cronycle feeds aggregate content from several sources, combining RSS (a standard for sharing web links), Twitter handles (web links shared on Twitter by these handles) and Cronycle Topics (our own automated curated feeds). This article is about our new tutorial for advanced mode for this aggregation: how to curate from your source library.

In Cronycle, there are indeed several ways to create a feed aggregating sources:

  • From the Create Feed option in Feeds: easy mode recommended if you are relatively new to Cronycle and to curation.
  • From the library of sources: our advanced mode, described here.
  • For Cronycle Topics only: search any Topic in the top search bar or on the Discovery page.
Click or tap on Manage all Sources to access the source library discussed here

When should I curate from the source library?

There are different cases when you may want to use the source library:

  • You imported or want to import a large amount of sources, either via an OPML (if you came from another aggregator) or a connected Twitter account. The library is where the results of the import will appear and where you’ll be able to build feeds.
  • Your team shares sources: read more on how to manage sources collaboratively.
  • Over time, you have manually added a large amount of sources, and reached a point where a spring clean is welcome

What does the source library do?

Cronycle’s source library lists all the sources you have added in feeds and imports. It also lists the Cronycle Topics you are currently using. You can add and remove sources, search and filter the listed sources, create feeds to read, and folders to further organize your sources.

A source library in Cronycle

How to use the source library?

Our tutorial here explains how to:

  • Find the sources I am looking for in the library?
  • Add more sources to my library?
  • Remove sources?
  • Create feeds from sources in the library?
  • Use folders? (and what they are)

We’ll keep you posted!

We are currently working on a new view for folders, to let you view and modify them. Stay tuned:

Collaborate on sources for your content curation

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This post is about how to collaborate on sources when doing curation as a team. Cronycle has a unique feature – Source Pooling – that allows just that for Twitter and RSS sources, as well as Cronycle Topics. It is available with our Enterprise plan.

Why collaborate on sources?

A team collectively curating content can share sources for several reasons. Here are a few:

  • Share the load of scanning for relevant news: ensuring there is no duplication of work
  • Read the same content to have same information for discussions and decisions
  • Help junior or non expert team members get to quality content efficiently
  • Share good sources relevant to another team member’s focus – this was the case for our customer Taylor & Francis

If you use it (or consider doing it) for other reasons, let us know. It can help us improve our solution!

What does source pooling do?

Cronycle users who collaborate together are grouped in worspaces which we call “Organizations”. Within an Organization, team members share several work items: sources, feeds, boards, publishing, tags and contacts (for sending newsletters).

When sources are shared, all users within the Organization can see all the sources of all the contributors. If Vijay adds a source, Kate will see it. And vice versa. Before you take the decision to share sources, you may want to consult your team.

Cronycle users primarily build feeds using sources. There are two ways to do that: either from the feeds (easy mode), or from the library of all sources (advanced mode). In this second case, team members can see the amount of feeds the source is used in, and filter by user who added. Soon, we will add more information for each source (total number across the Organization, list of the feeds and their owners, who added and when).

Each team member can then use the sources they and others added to create custom feeds. They can also discuss how best to structure feeds as a team. Note that we are also working on a separate feature to make feeds shared across several team members. More on that soon!

Note that we don’t allow to share newsletter subscriptions, they remain personal.

How to collaborate on sources?

One needs to be invited by an organization admin to join and work collaboratively on sources, feeds, boards and sources. For Enterprise accounts, this happens on the Admin Console, in the Users page.

When you have taken the decision to start pooling sources, go to the Admin Console. Under Resources, select Sources. There is a simple switch to enable and disable source pooling.

Switch on Source pooling to collaborate on sources for your content curation

Depending on the amount of sources across the organization, loading the whole source library could take a little longer. This is particularly true if you connected a twitter account with a lot of followees, or large OPML files with many RSS links.

Now, go to your Source Library (click on Feeds, and then Manage All Sources in the bottom left). You will see that the source pooling switch is also available on this page.

Collaborate on sources for your content curation from the library of all sources

And that’s it: in the source table above, you can see all the sources from your organization, ready for you to build feeds. We will update this post soon, as we will release changes to make it easier to manage large amounts of sources within a team. To stay tuned:

Curate Google Alerts in Cronycle

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Cronycle lets you integrate the widest range of sources, including Google Alerts into feeds.

Feeds are used as a starting point for your information workflow. Other sources you can use to create feeds include RSS feeds, Twitter handles, newsletters, and our own automated Topics. (Note that you can also also add files on boards.)

This posts explains how to create a Google Alert and add it to Cronycle.

Step 1 – Create a Google Alert

First, in Google Alerts, create an alert for the subject you are interested in. You will see it in your list of alerts, such as Artificial Intelligence Ethics in this example:

You can use common syntax elements to shape these alerts, such as + to include content with several words, – to do exclusions, “or” to have several options, “quotes” for specific expressions, etc. Read more about more tricks to optimise your Alert here.

Step 2 – Generate an RSS link from your Google Alert

Click on the pen of the Google Alert you want to follow to show the settings. Select RSS feed in the last option to deliver the alert to.

Save to update the alert. Now, when you hide the options, you will see an RSS icon by the alert. Right click to copy the destination link – a fully working RSS feed URL.

Step 3 – Add the Google Alert in Cronycle

Now, you are ready to add this RSS link to Cronycle. In Feeds, click on Manage All Sources (bottom left).

Paste the link in the input field to add new sources: as soon as the alert is loaded, press on the + icon to save it to your source library. It appears in the list of sources, at the top.

Paste the Google Alert RSS URL in the Add new sources field and add

Next, you probably want to create a feed to see content flowing in from that Google Alert. You can select one or several sources, of different kinds if you want (Twitter handles, RSS, Google Alerts, Topics). Click on “Create Feed” to build your own custom feed.

Select the Google Alert(s) and any other source to group into a feed

You can also start adding keywords to further refine your feed. From there, you can pin interesting content to boards and continue the workflow all the way to publishing.

The resulting feed. A keywords adds more relevance.

Step 4 – Try a smart alternative: Cronycle Topics

While you can do the above to use your current set up, know that we have an alternative to Google Alerts, which we call Cronycle Topics. Our mission is to help you gain time by surfacing relevant content. You can search and preview Topics easily in the Discovery section in Cronycle, or from Add/Create Feeds.

We identify thought leaders, or influencers, per Topic. They are ranked in terms of influence within the community of the Topic, so we are confident they bring value to the discussion. We look at what these influencers share about the topic on Twitter to surface important and relevant content. You can read more about how this works on this post from Vishal, our CEO.

Explore Topics, here with the list of influencers

You can add one to five Topics per feed, and add keywords within Cronycle to you can get content at the intersection of some of our 50k Topics and another dimension.

Feed with 1 Topic (Artificial Intelligence) and ethics / ethical as keyword filters

You can also limit the influencers to take in consideration, by deactivating them individually, and/or by selecting a range.

In feed settings, filter by influencers

To try all this, create an account for free, which gives you all the power of a pro account for 28 days. No credit card required!

How do I add my Google Alerts to Cronycle?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Updated April 3rd, 2019

Cronycle lets you integrate the widest range of sources, including Google Alerts into feeds.

Feeds are used as a starting point for your information workflow. Other sources you can use to create feeds include RSS feeds, Twitter handles, newsletters, and our own automated Topics. (Note that you can also also add files on boards.)

This posts explains how to create a Google Alert and add it to Cronycle.

Step 1 – Create a Google Alert

First, in Google Alerts, create an alert for the subject you are interested in. You will see it in your list of alerts, such as Artificial Intelligence Ethics in this example:

You can use common syntax elements to shape these alerts, such as + to include content with several words, – to do exclusions, “or” to have several options, “quotes” for specific expressions, etc. Read more about more tricks to optimise your Alert here.

Step 2 – Generate an RSS link from your Google Alert

Click on the pen of the Google Alert you want to follow to show the settings. Select RSS feed in the last option to deliver the alert to.

Save to update the alert. Now, when you hide the options, you will see an RSS icon by the alert. Right click to copy the destination link – a fully working RSS feed URL.

Step 3 – Add the Google Alert in Cronycle

Now, you are ready to add this RSS link to Cronycle. In Feeds, click on Manage All Sources (bottom left).

Paste the link in the input field to add new sources: as soon as the alert is loaded, press on the + icon to save it to your source library. It appears in the list of sources, at the top.

Paste the Google Alert RSS URL in the Add new sources field and add

Next, you probably want to create a feed to see content flowing in from that Google Alert. You can select one or several sources, of different kinds if you want (Twitter handles, RSS, Google Alerts, Topics). Click on “Create Feed” to build your own custom feed.

Select the Google Alert(s) and any other source to group into a feed

You can also start adding keywords to further refine your feed. From there, you can pin interesting content to boards and continue the workflow all the way to publishing.

The resulting feed. A keywords adds more relevance.

Step 4 – Try a smart alternative: Cronycle Topics

While you can do the above to use your current set up, know that we have an alternative to Google Alerts, which we call Cronycle Topics. Our mission is to help you gain time by surfacing relevant content. You can search and preview Topics easily in the Discovery section in Cronycle, or from Add/Create Feeds.

We identify thought leaders, or influencers, per Topic. They are ranked in terms of influence within the community of the Topic, so we are confident they bring value to the discussion. We look at what these influencers share about the topic on Twitter to surface important and relevant content. You can read more about how this works on this post from Vishal, our CEO.

Explore Topics, here with the list of influencers

You can add one to five Topics per feed, and add keywords within Cronycle to you can get content at the intersection of some of our 50k Topics and another dimension.

Feed with 1 Topic (Artificial Intelligence) and ethics / ethical as keyword filters

You can also limit the influencers to take in consideration, by deactivating them individually, and/or by selecting a range.

In feed settings, filter by influencers

To try all this, create an account for free, which gives you all the power of a pro account for 28 days. No credit card required!

What’s the future of RSS?

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In the wake of Google Reader and the midst of social media’s reign, the RSS feed chugs along

RSS allows publishers to syndicate information automatically, to deliver content right to users’ fingertips.  They no longer have to check their favorite sites to see if new content has been published—technology does it for them.  But these days, that convenience is commonplace.   Social media enables an even larger audience not only to receive content from the sites that interest them, but to become publishers themselves.  Although few are questioning that RSS has a space in the digital content consumption marketplace, many contend that the space may be shrinking—a theory bolstered by the demise of Google Reader.

Google retired its service, which was the most popular RSS reader, on July 1, 2013, explaining, “While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined.”  (However, many believe this decision had more to do with office politics and Google’s plans for its own social network, Google+.)  A host of worthwhile services, including This Old Reader, Feedly and Flipboard, were ready to take in the millions of Google transplants, but although RSS still has a fierce and loyal following, social media is proving a sufficient alternative for the average user.

“We definitely see more publishers using the option for social networks versus the option for RSS,” notes Bruce Ableson, vice president of client solutions at LiveFyre, a tech company that offers a suite of real-time products that allow users to curate content from various sources and host in one place.  “We still use RSS Feeds all the time, though, especially at the smaller publisher level,” he says.

Although there’s still a huge need for RSS, Ableson notes that publishers seem more incentivized to drive readers to follow them on social networks than to subscribe to their RSS feeds.

“It’s perfectly possible that for many, social media is the new RSS,” says Rob Hicks, founder and chief data scientist of Bright North.   “RSS was all about putting alerts in one place, which is exactly what Twitter does because most media sites have at least added, if not replaced, their RSS with Tweets.”

The problem is, there is a lot of noise to get through.  Twitter isn’t only about signifying a new piece of quality content.  It’s a hodgepodge of hashtags and interactions, making it difficult for users to quickly identify what’s worth reading.  “It makes sense that brands and publishers have embraced Twitter, but whether it does as an effective job as a good RSS consuming platform is another story.  I don’t think it does,” Hicks opines.

What Twitter does do well, of course, is the social aspect.  “Social networks give people the ability to recommend stuff and become pseudo-publishers even if they haven’t written the content they’re sharing.  I might follow someone because they are excellent curators,” says Hicks.  “It adds a new level of curation which you could argue is more valuable than the original RSS thing was in the first place.  I’m not sure I would agree, but I see the argument.”