How to build an RSS digital dashboard using Manila and Radio (a low tech approach). The concept is simple. In addition to getting new posts from news sites and other weblogs, RSS feeds can contain data from corporate systems. Sales data, financial data, supply data, data from partner systems, etc. Using this method, employees could get up to the minute data from multiple applications on a single webpage — a personal digital dashboard.
So, for example, I could be a sales manager at a Fortune 500 company. I want to track information available to me from multiple corporate applications, and I don’t want to run the client software for each app on my desktop. I only want the data. So, in order to offer employees better access to data, the IT department is convinced to spend a couple of days to create granular RSS feeds for the main corporate apps (CRM, ERP, financial, etc.). Here is what the feed could look like:
Using Radio I merely subscribe to the feeds I want to monitor form a list on the Intranet (using the news subscription page). Every hour I get all the latest data from each of the apps. Further, I can take any of this data, add an annotation/comment/POV, and publish it to my K-Log. Sweet. I could also create published views of this data using the Multi-author tool for Radio (this tool lets me select the feeds I want to group and publish them to category specific weblog).
Manila works in a similar fashion. I can publish feeds I want to subscribe to using a simple macro. Using Manila, create a new page for your site (a story), place the macro below in the “source view” of the editing box. Here is the macro:
boxTitle:”Nanotech News”, align:”center”, width:200,
titleBarColor:”#FFFFFF”, boxFillColor:”#FFFFFF”, timeZone:”PST”,
hspace:0, vspace:0, maxItems:20)}
Note: replace the URL for the RSS feed I have in the above with the feed you want to monitor, change the name, and presto. You now have a page on your site with the data from the RSS feed. In fact, using Manila you could build a complete portal of aggregated newsfeeds without much technical knowledge.
If I was really motivated, I could use Radio’s outliner to build a directory of aggregated feeds.
Digital dashboards should be something anybody can create, customize, and control. Don’t let your IT department launch into a multi-million $$ universal application portal when a simple approach like this could be accomplished in days for short dollars. [John Robb’s Radio Weblog]