THERE IS NO doubt that the social web is important these days, with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ being the most prominent examples. When used correctly, services like these can be excellent platforms to promote content, collect stories, and encourage communication. It is only natural that most sites today have some sort of integration with popular social web services, even if it’s only a simple Share on Facebook or Send to Twitter button or link.
Before you dig into the various techniques used to display and connect to the social web, it is important not to forget the most obvious integration tool offered: RSS feeds. For the simplest solution, you can use the RSS widget that ships with WordPress, and it easily lets you show off content from an RSS feed. And today, any social web service, app, community, or whatever has an RSS feed for you to play with, which means that a lot of the integration of these services you may want can be done using RSS. From showing off your latest tweet to mashing up a lifestream, it’s all about RSS most of the time.
So when you want to flash your latest finished book saved to aNobii (www.anobii.com), consider the RSS feed (or its widget) before you start looking for plugins or hacking your own solutions. Chances are, the service that you want to show off your latest actions, saved items, or whatever from already transmits this data with RSS.
That being said, it’s time to get your hands dirty!