We’ve revamped the ePublish Yourself! Newsstand to better serve your interests. We now have a wider selection of the best bloggers in the ebook sector, the addition of thumbnail images where available to accompany article listings, and improvements to the filtering mechanisms to weed out extraneous, off-topic articles and better capture those stories in the ebook world likely to be of interest to you.
John Jerney, resident developer extraordinaire, explained the mechanisms and rationale behind the latest version of the newsstand:
“All of the news feeds are based on RSS (Really Simple Syndication); it’s a way for websites to make their content available as a stream in a syndicated fashion so that others can subscribe to it and then display links to that content. We use RSS and we use a tool (this is sort of inside baseball) called WPR RSS Aggregator, so we actually have a tool within WordPress that performs that aggregation and goes out and collects those feeds. At regular intervals (we do it every fifteen minutes) we go out to a number of different sources and pull their RSS feed. There are two or three different categories of sources. One is literally Google and Bing searches, so it is a collection of Google and Bing news. The first level of curating has to do with coming up with search terms, a search string that filters out some of the unwanted material.”
John continued, explaining the other approaches used in the newsstand:
“The second level: on the right hand side we identify specific analysts. That is the main news. It comes from Google, Bing, and magazines, publications such as Publishing Perspectives, Digital Book World, a number of those types of publications. We are always adding to them, as well. Once we get the RSS feed, we do another level of filtering within WordPress—their level of filtering and then our level of filtering. That is the main news feed in the middle of the newsstand page. On the right hand side there are individual people that we have identified as leading analysts or commentators or thought leaders both in terms of individual analysts and authors—people like Joanna Penn, Nate Hoffelder, Sabrina Ricci, and others. We also have authors who analyze in addition to the writing, sharing how-to information and tips about independent authoring (such as Joe Konrath).
As you’ve probably guessed, the idea is to give you a relevant, easily scannable page that captures the latest news and insights into ebook publishing, updated multiple times during the day. Take a look and let us know what you think and feel free to spread the link to the ePublish Yourself! newsstand around as a useful resource for others.
We can’t replicate the personality and character of those eclectic brick-and-mortar newsstands that are pleasant diversions whenever exploring a city (such as the one in the lead image, which is located in the London Borough of Croydon), but we’ll do our best to keep things lively and interesting.