free html hit counter RSS Blender: Interesting Prototype - John Battelle's Search Blog

RSS Blender: Interesting Prototype

By - September 09, 2004

Toni Schneider, of OddPost fame, points me to the Blender Prototype, which is a unique approach to monetizing RSS feeds through affiliate links automatically inserted into customized RSS feeds. The prototype (caveat, it’s just that, not a robust commercial implementation) uses Amazon to create related book links in your RSS feeds. Worth checking out, it points us in neat directions. As Toni points out, this idea need not be limited to books…the prototype points to my earlier post on RSS business models as context. Cool!

I’m trying it out, but so far can’t get it to insert book links into my Boing Boing or Searchblog feeds. But then again, I’m probably doing something wrong…

Blender is from the guys behind Nav4, a nifty-looking contextual navigation tool.


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5 thoughts on “RSS Blender: Interesting Prototype

  1. Steve says:

    John,

    Thanks for giving it a spin. It is, as you’ve pointed out, very prototypical. We’re tuning and honing and growing our product set…as well as figuring out our business model.

    I created a feed blending the Searchblog and BoingBoing feeds with Amazon books and it seems to work for me. Give it a spin and see what you think:

    http://blender.waypath.com/query?id=947552c37

    I’m not sure why you’re having trouble, though chances are it’s not your fault, but ours. The UI is equally prototypical right now. If you’re up to it, I’d like to work with you to figure out went went wrong.

  2. Peter Caputa says:

    here’s some conversation on it, too…
    http://worcester.typepad.com/pc4media/2004/09/waypaths_blende.html

    I had no problem using it.

  3. Tony says:

    John Battelle’s Searchblog: RSS Blender: Interesting Prototype

    Battelle’s friend Toni Schneider points him to RSS Blender, a service that inserts new posts linking to Amazon books into your blog feed, based on contextual “analysis” of your other blog posts.

    When I first read Battelle’s description, I assumed that it worked like VibrantMedia, i.e., it would insert links into the body of my posts, thereby compromising my editorial integrity (laugh).

    But the Blender approach is fantastic! Ads in my feed were generally relevant (and reasonably plentiful, about one adv for every four posts), and most importantly, were clearly marked as Blender posts.

    Obviously the prototype only runs against Amazon’s book database, but could be applied to any database of products/services/ads, etc.

    Companies such as Moreover might do well by themselves to consider integrating such a solution into their free aggregated feed offerings.

  4. ID:entity says:

    I also concur the above example works well in bloglines.

    What I like about this approach is I get to chose the value add, thus I create the synergy between the content types, creating the right cold fusion…for me. Pull rather than push, it works.

    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day.”

    “Give him a net, and he’ll feed himself for life”

  5. Peter Scott says:

    Works for me:

    http://www.libdex.com/waypath.html

    Although I would like to use my own Amazon affiliate code!