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Since this is quite a conceptual question which might involve a bit of discussion, I've made it a community wiki

I'm working on a site that will work as a fairly simple aggregator of content from various sources including several Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook accounts. Updates will occur on a periodic basis, at which point feed data will be fetched and updated in a local store. A single page on the site will display the latest set of content; other static pages will be updated occasionally.

I'm building the site on top of WordPress to facilitate easy management for a non-technical editor.

My initial prototype stored details of each feed item's content (e.g. title, link, description, image) in a custom built database. However, since beginning the WordPress side of things, I'm wondering if it wouldn't make more sense to use the existing WordPress database for this purpose - i.e. store each feed item as a WordPress post (in wp_posts) and additional data in wp_postmeta. The category/tag model could be used to differentiate Twitter items from Flickr ones, etc. This would give the advantage of using just a single database, and also making all WordPress functions available for the management of individual post items.

Does anyone have an opinion on this, particularly any 'gotchas' or possible pitfalls that may arise from such an approach?

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2 Answers 2

On a previous aggregator site I ran I had good success with the FeedWordPress plugin.

The only real issue is to be careful of having permission to aggregate the sites that you've chosen or, alternatively, have a clear opt-out form if someone decides they no longer wish you to include their blog on your aggregator. The last thing you want is to get the reputation of a splogger!

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FeedWordPress looks like it has potential - thanks for the tip. Do you have any experience using it? BTW, we're only aggregating our own content (e.g. messages that we've tweeted, photos we've created and uploaded to flickr) so I don't envisage any problem there. –  Bobby Jack Aug 11 '10 at 8:09
    
Yes, I've used it on a couple of sites if you have any questions –  Glenn Oct 13 '10 at 22:06

This is called lifestreaming and I think you should look at Managing News and this thread.

There are also plugins for WordPress that do this, sure.

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