Over the last two nights, I put some time into building out a rough proof of concept showing some of what can be accomplished via a good aggregator and Drupal's taxonomy structure.
We've been thinking about/using aggregation in a variety of ways for the last couple years, but the development of the FeedAPI has created some pretty amazing possibilities faster than we could have hoped. I've been meaning to build out a site like this for the last few months, but a couple of recent conversations stirred me into actually doing it.
What has been fun about building out this proof of concept was how quickly the site came together. It's rough, and has no graphic design component at all, but the core functionality came into place quickly.
The results are here, and I'll include the brief description from the homepage of the site.
First, the useful details:
This site is designed to show the utility of a single location as a collection point of content from disparate sources, and how that content can then be re-organized by use of keywords to categorize the content that has been imported.
On this site, all imported content retains all keywords added to the post by the author. Additionally, new keywords are added to posts on import to allow for the content to be searched and organized in other ways.
A brief technical overview:
If you are not a geek, you can stop reading here. If you are a geek, read on!
This site uses Drupal as the main framework.
As this site is a proof of concept, we kept things light. The only core modules in use are Menu, Search, and Taxonomy. This site uses no path aliases, and the theme is the lightly modified Zen theme that ships with DrupalEd.
Aggregation is handled by the FeedAPI, and extended by the Feed Element Mapper.
The Similar By Terms module handles the content recommendations that can be seen alongside posts (see here for an example).
The Views module generates several of the screens for displaying and navigating the imported content, and the Views Bonus module extends these views.
Finally, CCK is installed and enabled (although, for this implementation it could probably be eliminated if necessary); and HTML Corrector is installed to clean up any unclosed tags that on imported feeds that could break the layout.
For those keeping track of such things, this site has taken a grand total of six hours to build, including this writeup. The functionality of this site is all achieved using modules and code currently available within the Drupal community.
One group of folks deserve a special mention: the team of people behind the FeedAPI module. For those interested, you can see a lot of the discussion at the RSS and Aggregation group. They planned and executed a great project, and without their work this site would not be possible.