As with many other curious webloggers today, I tried out Kinja, a new web-based RSS aggregator tool. It is intentionally simple, not offering the power of most other aggregators in favour of being more palatable to new users.
After trying it out, I was a bit surprised to see that my list of sites was automatically shared to the public. I don’t mind sharing my site list, and I even do like the idea of having lists be shared by default, but I would have appreciated some warning.
Then, while reading some of the rationale behind Kinja, the mention of how it was modeled after the format of a weblog, in reverse-chronological order, led me to think that Kinja could work well as a free weblog aggregator for public consumption, rather than just personal use.
More and more aggregated weblogs have been cropping up lately, especially in the open-source development world. For example, there is an aggregated Gnome weblog, an aggregated Fedora weblog, and many more. There is even an open-source project to develop the code behind these aggregators. Well, Kinja may be a quick and simple way to produce an aggregated weblog.
Setting up an account does require an unique email address (I have email addresses up the wazoo, so this wasn’t a problem). As an example, I created an aggregated weblog for the Weblogs of 84 Fitzroy St. — the building in which I work along with several other webloggers.
While I don’t expect this is really the intended use of Kinja, it can only be good for them, since their revenue is generated by advertising. The only thing that is really missing is having an RSS feed of the aggregated weblog — something I can imaging Kinja doesn’t have because it is already an RSS aggregator. Maybe they’ll add feeds for this purpose.
Update: Perhaps this is obvious, but something I forgot to mention in my original post: many weblog platforms allow you to have RSS feeds per category. So, if there were a group of weblogs that all talked about their cats, and about technology XYZ, you could aggregate the RSS feeds from their “technology XYZ” categories and people interested could get the groups view, without seeing pictures of their cats.