Introducing News to the website

Posted on January 15, 2013 8:47 am by | Content | Content Curation | Internal | PR | Social Media

I’ve introduced a new section to the website. News is a place to get caught up on the latest in a variety of communications-related subjects.

I decided to set up the News tab after reading a guest post on ProBlogger by Brian Lippey, who runs Guitar Shop TV, a community for guitar lovers. Lippey writes that he wanted to add a social news platform “that could deliver top guitar content from across the Web directly to our blog and allow users to participate on a social level.” That research, he said, led him to ROCKZi.

For now, using ROCKZi to deliver news is an experiment, but so far I like what I see. Like the Storify stories that populate my Resources section, ROCKZi news pages are embeddable, which means you visit them here on my site. I’m planning to noodle around with ROCKZi’s customization capabilities in order to increase the relevance of the news, but for now, it’s just what ROCKZi delivers. I’m starting with three categories: Public Relations, Employee Communications and Social Media. News pages already existed for PR and Social Media, and I set one up from scratch for Employee Communications.

It took less than 10 minutes to set up all three pages.

ROCKZi PR news page on site

Lippey notes that traffic to his site has increased 25% since embedding ROCKZi in August, along with the average time spent on the site. “Our readers started to come back to our site more often to educate themselves on guitar-related news that had been shared by others in our community. And when they are on our site scanning they headlines, they do more than just read.” That’s because ROCKZi includes tools for commenting on stories, voting stories up Reddit-style, and submitting your own content.

You can also search the contents of any news page. As of last October, TechCrunch reported ROCKZi had garnered some 2 million page views.

ROCKZi is from search engine Blekko, which also recently introduced Iziki, a search engine designed specifically for tablets. (I find myself using Izik on my Nexus 7 far more often than Google because it accommodates the way you use a tablet, with categories you can search by swiping sideways instead of scrolling down.) In a blog post, Blekko says the site launched with 30 top-level topics, “but with undreds of existing blekko slashtags, the possibilities are vast. In turn, social signals generated by ROCKZi users will translate into search signals that we can use to identify the highest quality search results.”

Take a look at the ROCKZi news and let me know what you think, and if there are other categories I should add.



  • 1.Shel,

    Is there no RSS feed specific to those channels?

    When I try to access the RSS feed, I just get your main blog's feed.

    Chris | January 2013 | Long Island, NY

  • 2.Chris, I've put out feelers to ROCKZi to find out about RSS feeds, but have not heard back. There's no support or contact information on their website and they haven't responded to a tweet. I haven't found any documentation on RSS for ROCKZi boards. I could guess why they haven't enabled RSS, but it would only be speculation. I'll let you know if I ever hear back from them or learn anything useful from another source.

    Shel Holtz | January 2013

  • 3.How exactly do you embed it? Looks like you can't embed directly into page or post, but must embed in some php file? Thanks for any help.

    Yvette | January 2013 | United States

  • 4.Oh, never mind...I figured it out.

    Yvette | January 2013 | United States

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