I’m hesitant to launch this cause we’re still hacking (re: breaking) the code, but Kottu.org is functional and I use it all the time.
It basically takes like 30 Sri Lankan blogs/sites that Me, Mahangu, and the World Bank picked. There’s no editorial board as such, if you want to add or remove a site just email me or Mahangu or ask for admin access. I stress remove as well. As the Manolo debacle illustrates, some blogs are better left personal.
Kottu.org is running on Gregarius.net a brilliant server-side aggregator by Marco Bonetti. If you’re unclear what that is it’s OK, Kottu is meant for reading. I’ve been testing for Marco and giving him feature requests which he’s filled brilliantly. I love the tags, especially the display that makes the font bigger if the tag has a lot of posts in it. And it uses AJAX, which lets you.. nevermind. Here’s an early FAQ:
What does kottu mean?
I understand it as the Sri Lankan version of poutine. For non Quebecois readers, it’s like a big mess of roti (uh, like a pancake) and chilis and vegetables and assorted meats. It’s made by some guys chop-chop-chopping the ingredients on the board. If someone could define ‘Kottu’ on wikipedia it would be useful, I’m not really qualified.
What is kottu.org?
Modern websites spit out the content of their posts as XML (specifically, RSS, Atom, or Wu-Tang). Those feeds can be pulled into other places. Kottu.org pulls in feeds from like 30 Sri Lankan blogs and websites so you can get a quick glance at the Sri Lankan blogosphere. It also uses tags, which let you add keywords to posts. For example, all the flames (bitchfests) between people are tagged ”flames’ and filed here: http://kottu.org/feed/tag/flames.
How do I add a tag?
Under the titles it says ‘Edit Tag’. Click that and it’s pretty easy. Separate multiple tags with spaces, and try to use tags that people have already uses. That is, use the most general tag possible.
How do I add my blog, website?
Email me (indi AT indi.ca), Mahangu (mahangu AT gmail.com), or the World Bank (kottu AT worldbank.org).
Do you exercise editorial judgement?
Do we have editorial judgement? If it’s Sri Lankan and has a feed it can go in the Kottu. I guess stuff like advertising and attacks on other people could come up, but it hasn’t yet.
How do I remove my blog, website?
Email me (indi AT indi.ca) or Mahangu (mahangu AT gmail.com)
How do I get a blog?
Try Blogsome or Blogger for good free and fast options. I prefer Blogsome cause it uses WordPress. If anybody really wants I can give them FTP access to part of a server i run, but not much more support beyond that.
If you’re a company you probably want a professionally designed site. Vesses is a good Sri Lankan firm. I do design as well. As far as I know everyone else in Sri Lanka sucks.
How is this better than a personal Feed Reader?
Besides the community aspect, it’s not. Get a Feed Reader.
This FAQ is by no means conclusive. I’m just tired of writing.