Wikitravel:8 November 2006
I've been hanging out with Jack Herrick of wikiHow while we've been here in San Francisco. They've done some pretty neat stuff with MediaWiki (the software we both use) over there. One thing I think has been really successful for them is that they have a daily RSS feed of interesting howtos.
Now, we have RSS feeds on Wikitravel, but they're just the built-in RSS feeds for Recent Changes and New pages and such. Not very interesting for people who aren't really dedicated... actually, they aren't really interesting for anybody. I'm a Wikitravel junkie and I don't subscribe to any of the built-in feeds. I'm not sure if anyone else does.
But we have information that gets updated pretty regularly that would be great to be in a feed, even for people who only read the site once in a while. I think we could make a cool daily or almost-daily RSS feed with entries from the Discover section, from Travel News, Destination of the Month, Off the Beaten Path, and Collaboration of the Week. I think it'll be really readable and interesting for casual readers and raise the profile of Wikitravel. Hopefully it'd attract more readers and keep them coming back to Wikitravel (and, hopefully, editing and participating).
The tricky part is going to be automating the process. I can probably write some quick software to scrape the above items and make a decent channel, but it might get tricky... especially figuring out the difference between when an item has changed versus when it's a new item. I'd like to figure out a way to do it generally, so if we develop some new features or change the way we do the current ones, we can keep the feed working through the changes. I'd love some suggestions.
For more project-oriented info, I'd like to make a feed for the Logbook, too. I'd also like to make the Logbook more like the Pub -- so the latest posts show up on some page automatically, but they fall off the end automatically too. --Evan 14:06, 8 November 2006 (EST)