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Ping.it is a social link sending platform for quick and personal content recommendations.

Ping.it is a social link sending platform for quick and personal content recommendations.

Go Beyond RSS with Keyword Probes

August 29th, 2013 Posted by Marius Lian View Comments

Dear Ping.it User,

In May this year we launched Probes – small programs that enabled you to create highly targeted content feeds. Though these were based on RSS feeds, they could be filtered by keywords and social parameters, which was not possible to do with any kind of tradtional RSS reader. Thus, Probes opened up a new opportunity to create more targeted, personalized and smart feeds.

Now we’re taking things one step further. We’re going beyond RSS to let you make feeds based on keywords.

To create keyword-specific Probes you simply create them in the exact same way as before but with one difference: we have lifted the restriction to add RSS feeds. You can still add social parameters as before, for example let’s say you are interested in ’surfing’ you can now leave “Specify feeds to probe” empty and add “surfing” to keywords field. Below you can see this kind of targeting in action as I create a probe for stories about the Netflix TV-series ‘Orange Is the New Black’:

You can also exclude keywords. Lets say you want to get rid of stories about “web surfing” you can simply add “-web” to keywords so your keywords field looks like this: “surfing, -web”.

As before you can apply social parameters to really quantify your Probes: variables such as “Most commented stories about surfing” or “Surfing stories with more than 1k likes”.

The only thing we haven’t managed for now is to add social parameters to the “live preview” so what you see in live preview is results returned from the keyword(s). Stick with us, we will be adding these in the future.

A few tips to create good probes:

  • Be as targeted as possible. It is better with keywords like ‘Apple’, ‘Microsoft’ and similar than the general keyword ‘Technology’.
  • Give an descriptive title. ‘Stories About Dolphins’ is better than ‘Various Stories’.
  • If needed describe why you have created it.
  • If your probe creates to many ‘pings’ then adjust it with more targeted keywords or social parameters.

Follow these tips and you’ll have a tool that gets you content that is more interesting and relevant to you than anywhere else.

Last time we updated you, thousands of probes were created, seeking stories on everything from MIT Technology Review to Behavior Habit. The more, better and specific probes you create, the better for the whole community. We’re building a platform of feeds together and this is connecting you to both content and like-minded people in a new and much more effective way than social networks or topic based discovery platforms.

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