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Browse My Stuff

Page history last edited by akarrer@... 13 years, 7 months ago

What is Browse My Stuff?


Browse My Stuff allows the creation of content communities around virtually any topic. 


High Quality Content - The goal of a content community is to provide a high quality destination that highlights the most recent and best content from as defined by the community. 


Easy to Navigate - End users most often are people who are not regular readers of the blogs and other sources.  They come to the content community to find information on particular topics of interest to them.  This links them across to the sources themselves.


Sources - Normally, content comes from from high quality sources such as top bloggers, web pages and other sources as defined by community members. 


Keywords - Content communities are organized according to keywords.   Activities within the community and other kinds of social signals are used to help identify the best content.


Jump Off Point - To be clear all content communities are only jump off points to the sources of the content.  


See below for more on the value of Browse My Stuff to end users and bloggers.




Who is Behind Browse My Stuff?


Browse My Stuff is the brain child of Tony Karrer and was created by his company TechEmpower.  It was initially built because Tony wanted it to organize his content across various topics where he was active.


Each community is a partnership between Tony and leaders / bloggers in that community.  Browse My Stuff provides the underlying capability, but it's up to the community to determine content.




Why Google Ads?


The goal for each community is to provide value to the network of bloggers and to end users who might not otherwise find that content.  However, to provide this it costs money in terms of software development, hosting, maintenance, operations, etc.  Google Ads provide a small (and we do mean small) amount of money that help to defray the costs.  We hope to create enough different, vibrant communities that will allow us to recoup our costs. 


We also would very much welcome sponsors for communities that would allow us to remove Google Ads.  If you are interested in sponsoring, please contact Tony Karrer: akarrer@techempower.com




Value to End Users


Most end users of a content community are people who do not regularly subscribe to the bloggers and other content sources involved.  The goal for end users is to provide high quality, current content organized in a meaningful way.


  • Easy to find good quality content - the community helps to surface quality content.
  • Easy to navigate - keywords make it easier to navigate for people who are less familiar with the space.


Value to Bloggers


Browse My Stuff was designed by a long time blogger with the intent of addressing several pain points that bloggers face.

  • Bloggers most often have a network of fellow bloggers who write about similar topics.  However, this network is not understood to people who are not regular readers.  Blog rolls help.  A content community helps identify members of the network to newer visitors to that network.
  • Other aggregators pull in full-text of posts, Browse My Stuff only displays snippets.  The goal is to push traffic back out to the bloggers in the network.  For most bloggers who participate in a vibrant content community, the content community becomes one of their top referral sources.
  • Other aggregators provide their own commenting capability.  Browse My Stuff does not.  It always pushes users back to the original post.  Comments are made on the original post not on the aggregator.
  • Automated organization.  One of the challenges as a blogger is how to keep my tags/labels/categories up to date.  Adding a new tag means going through older posts to add those tags.  Frankly this is a lot of work.  The keyword widget provides a means of automatically organizing content.
  • Long Tail SEO.  As an individual blogger, you likely write posts that cover several topics.  But you only get to choose one title and URL.  The title and URL are incredibly important for SEO, but having only a single shot makes it hard to do it right.  Because a content community comes from many sources, it can organize the content in a way that provides the best stuff from across the network.  This is attractive to searchers.  As a blogger, if you write a good quality post on a topic that has high social signals, it will be available to searchers using a variety of keywords.  There really is no effective way to do this as an individual, but the network can do it.
  • Low Page Rank and Keyword Terms Only.  One concern that many bloggers have about traditional aggregators is that they will steal search traffic from their blog.  With Browse My Stuff, this is not the case.  Pages are organized according to keywords and therefore it is unlikely that there is a page with a similar title to your post.  Other aggregators create a page with exactly your title.  We specifically do not do that.  In the event that your post title is very similar to keywords on the site, because the very low page rank of individual pages on the site, it is extremely unlikely that the Browse My Stuff page would rank higher in the search results.  In the words case scenarios where someone clicks on the Browse My Stuff page instead of the bloggers post via a search, it is highly likely that the post title and a snippet will appear on that page because of a very high relevance score.  Thus, there's still a good chance that the traffic will be sent to the blog.  In practice, bloggers who participate report that they receive a significant net increase of traffic and that traditional conflicts with aggregators do not occur with the Browse My Stuff approach.
  • Keyword Widget Signals a bloggers topics.  The keywords shown in a widget for an individual blogger is based on the frequency they blog about that topic as compared to other bloggers.  This makes the keywords indicative of the specific topics that each blogger talks about.
  • Participation is Simple.  It is simple for bloggers to become part of the content community.
  • Better Navigation and Search Results.  Navigation and Search results also show related keywords and the "Best" section helps to surface content based not only on relevance, but also based on social signals about the quality of the content.  End users report that this is of significant value.  So do bloggers.  Many bloggers find that they will use the site themselves to find old posts.  Do you find yourself using Google to do a site: search of your own blog because the built in search engine is not good (ahem Blogger)?  Search and navigation within the content community site is better, especially for Blogger/Blogspot blogs.


Here are some unsolicited comments from fellow bloggers about content communities:


"I'm LOVING the way the label widget works!"

"I like your widget a lot. Kind of a linear tag cloud."

"looks pretty cool"

“The cc.mlearnopedia.com community has already benefited me by providing exposure to content I normally would have missed.”

In my view, the value is threefold:

  1. It’s a single location when you can access the cream of blogs and commentary from a diverse range of contributors
  2. Those contributors write some of my favorite blogs … as well as a bunch of really interesting blogs I’m looking forward to getting to know.
  3. It’s an easy-to-use interface for viewing content from the main page area, by keyword or blog name. Similarly, find content using the search functionality.

John Tropea - Library Clips

"blogs on a topic have proved their worthiness (blogosphere self regulates reputation) and coalesced into one convenient space."

"a brilliant blog aggregation site"

"Basically, it’s a convenient one stop shop daily read on what a bunch of bloggers are saying about Communities and Networks."


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