Aggregators

2010 Short LIst: Time-to-Adoption: One Year or Less
New Topic in 2010.

Aggregation is the process of transparently gathering together distributed pieces of online content based on an interest in the topic(s), the author(s), or other shared characteristic(s). RSS readers are one way to aggregate data, but with the increase in personal publishing, new tools for aggregation are emerging. Using these tools, readers can easily track a distributed conversation that takes place across blogs, Twitter, and other publishing platforms, as well as pull in relevant resources from news feeds and other sources.

Some educators and students are seeking alternatives to course management systems, preferring to open their discussions and make use of a variety of tools instead. Aggregation can reunite course discussions that once took place within CMS forums, even if they are scattered among different platforms and tools. Aggregation can allow a class to visualize its conversations in new ways. Information is available when and where the reader wishes, in almost any desired format.

Relevance for Teaching, Learning & Creative Expression

  • Using sites like Wiggio (http://wiggio.com), students with different majors and class schedules easily manage group projects without meeting face-to-face.
  • Students of journalism stay up-to-the-minute with an aggregation tool from the Associated Press that provides news from around the world directly to their mobile phones (http://www.apnews.com).
  • Students and instructors find relevant research materials using a website that aggregates professional documents (http://www.docstoc.com/documents/education).

Examples


For Further Reading


6 Online Email Aggregators that Do More Than Just Aggregate
http://mashable.com/2008/08/18/email-aggregators
(Palin Ningthoujam, Mashable.com, 18 August 2008.) A number of email sites collect additional information and gather it together for easy viewing.

12 Twitter Stream Aggregators to Make You Smarter
http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/02/12-twitter-stream-aggregators
(Lee Odden, Online Marketing Blog, 17 February 2009.) A variety of tools are available to locate resources or find relevant content on Twitter.

Finally, Zensify's iPhone app shows key word trends across your social network
http://eu.techcrunch.com/2009/05/27/finally-zensifys-iphone-app-shows-key-word-trends-across-your-social-graph
(Mike Butcher, TechCrunch Europe, 27 May 2009.) Zensify aggregates comments from Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, Flickr, YouTube, and more.