I’ve started work on a project that will bring multiple news sources together in a single location on our site. This will be used to show news stories, blogs posts, videos, and links to news-related web sites independent of the system or platform the content lives on. The prototype I’ve set up after a couple hours of work can be viewed here: http://devweb.middlebury.edu/systems/newsboard/Default.aspx
It’s important to note that this only contains one news source, no styling, and no configuration options. However, it is a live and dynamic feed of the news items from our site. To do this, I’m using what are called “Web Parts” in ASP.NET. These special controls allow us to store personalization and configuration information in a central database that is retrieved on each page view. The idea is that College Communications will be able to log into this page and rearrange, retitle, and relink any of the RSS feed driven controls (once we have more than one, of course).
I’ll be using the same technology to drive a project that I’m working on later this year, the Personal Dashboard, which will have controls that read information out of your email, calendar, helpdesk tickets, and other sources of information relevent to staff. This dashboard will be totally controllable by each user so you can have the controls and information on your screen (your “portal” if you will) that are most important to you.
I realize this really doesn’t look impressive now, but I’ll be adding a lot more to this over the next few days and will update here with new posts as it goes.