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Programming Social Applications by Jonathan LeBlanc

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The Feed Application

The last application type we’ll look at is used quite often by publishers trying to syndicate their feed out to a different source, such as an application in a social networking container. Many times, publishers just want to take an XML or RSS feed of their news content, apply a stylesheet, and link every story back to its originating source—most often, their website. This application model certainly provides easy and fast integration, but easy is not always good.

The reasons why publishers choose to implement such applications are usually fairly simple. Either they don’t wish to devote much engineering effort to the application until they see a return on investment (i.e., an increased number of active users), or they don’t want to provide all of their content on another site since they don’t have all of their same tracking and marketing mechanisms within the application context.

First of all, publishers who use this method tend to either not integrate all application views, or populate each view with exactly the same content. We discussed the reasons why this type of application model tends to fail in the earlier section The Copycat View Application, so I won’t reiterate those points here.

Besides the view issue, the major drawback to this application model is simply that the implementation is shallow and doesn’t provide any value for a user. In this instance, the only difference between using this application and reading through an RSS feed of the same content ...

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