I wrote about RivalMap back in April, focusing on how we were using it and why it is valuable to my team. What I didn’t tell you then is that our early experiences as a user, which were a result of my work with Andrew going back to before I joined NewsGator, led to an interesting partnership opportunity that is being announced today.
“The addition of an automated news service, which makes use of NewsGator technologies, adds a new level of functionality to RivalMap,” said Kris Rasmussen, fellow Co-founder of RivalSoft. “RivalMap now brings together relevant news and feeds in one place where they can be harnessed collaboratively. RivalMap is tremendously valuable for companies that need to monitor their market and identify important updates and trends.”
[From RivalSoft Announces RivalMap(TM) 2.0 and Partnership With NewsGator — New Web-Based Service Dramatically Improves How Companies Maintain Market Awareness]
The backstory is that we were using RivalMap and I mentioned to Andrew that having integrated news feeds would make clipping and tracking content a whole lot easier. Not surprisingly he said, to paraphrase, “yeah we have heard that from almost everyone” to which the opportunity to take advantage of NewsGator’s APIs for subscription management and content pulling was born.
What I really like about the RivalMap integration is 1) it’s a proof point that our APIs are complete and functional as the RivalMap team built this with little input from us and 2) integrated content in applications really does add value, I know because my last month of using the beta version with the content engine has been marked by dramatically richer usage of the service.
The RivalMap integration is also really smartly done. Rather than embedding a traditional RSS feed reader with clipping capabilities in the app, what they did was build a subscription management feature that you can use to add a specific feed URI to begin pulling content from, or search for feeds using keywords.
They have also taken advantage of our Smart Feeds, which are essentially persistent search feeds we publish based on a keyword or multiple keywords you provide. For example, a Smart Feed for “NewsGator” will pull in content dynamically from a wide range of sources, including the 2.8 million feeds we poll in our network to Twitter, FriendFeed, and Linkedin messages. It’s a very powerful feature that casts a very wide net across more content sources than any individual could track on their own.
The content presentation aspect is simple and to the point, it displays content from each data source and then collectively. What’s interesting is that the more I use this feature area the more I see small turns of the screw that can be made to make it even better and more broadly integrated into the app which leads me to conclude that integrated content is not just a bolt-on feature for content intensive apps but rather a deeply integrated strategic set of functions that form a foundation for services like this.