Ernie Hsiung
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Note: As of April 2, the feedly Ning App is temporarily unavailable.

As Network Creator, you can create a Ning Network about a topic you find interesting. And chances are, you probably read a lot of stuff online to stay up-to-date — you read blogs, web magazines, online journals, things like that. You could go read every piece of content one website at a time, but there are different web applications that let you read online content in one handy place.

One tool that let’s you do this, is recent Ning Appathon winner feedly, which was originally created as a browser toolbar that grabs the content of blogs and other pages around the internet, and then displays it in a magazine-style format. Think of it as a feed reader like Google Reader, but with a really pretty presentation.

How is this useful for your Ning Networks? Simple — if you already read a bunch of content from around the web from sources you already trust, feedly allows you to publish these really pretty pages to your Ning Networks. Do you run a Ning Network on hip-hop culture and just happen to bookmark a lot of hip-hop sites on your browser? You can use feedly to take articles or blog posts from those web pages, wrap them up in a pretty package, and then show it off as a page on your Ning Network for your members to browse. It’s a little bit like having your own customized magazine that edits itself!

Here’s how to get started with feedly:

  • Download feedly for your web browser. It’s available for Firefox and Chrome, with a beta for Safari. If you already have bookmarks for your browser, feedly will take the content from those sites and import those bookmarks for you. And if you’ve put them into categories, feedly has gone in organized everything for you.
  • If you don’t have any preset bookmarks, you can always explore feedly for content by subject:

feedly-hiphop

If you want to create a category feed with the included websites, click on “+” to create a new category;  all the feeds in that category can be exported as a page on your Ning Network. (Note: We’ve found it the easiest to integrate into a Ning Network when the category name doesn’t include spaces.)

Or you can add a page to feedly directly by clicking on the “+f” link next to the link in the browser bar:

feedly-toolbar

So now, I’ve created a category with a couple of feeds and it’s time to share that content to the members of my Ning Network! I’ll do that by clicking on the embed button on the feedly page, the icon that has the two squares on it:

embed-feedly

See that link to the Ning Widget that I circled in red? All you have to do is add that URL to your Ning Network. You can do that by following the instructions below:

  1. Visit your Ning Network’s “Add an Application Page”, using the following URL structure:
    http://YOURNINGNETWORKNAMEHERE.ning.com/opensocial/ningapps/addByUrl
  2. Enter the Ning App URL that was generated for you when you clicked on the “Embed” button. The URL should be in the following format: http://www.feedly.com/mix/{{{user id}}}/{{{category}}}
  3. Click on the “Add Ning App” button.

You can also view Feedly’s documentation on enabling Feedly Mixes as well as tips to optimize your feedly experience.