Dynamic Content Feeds on Microsoft.com

Posted by bink on July 15 2004, 1:01 PM. Posted in Communities.

We launched a new service last Thursday providing Microsoft.com Web sites with dynamic, scoped content feeds that are RSS-enabled.

These automated content feeds include things like:

  • Security bulletins
  • articles by MVPs
  • most active Newsgroup discussions
  • recent KB articles
  • most popular Downloads
  • MVP biographies
  • Webcasts
  • the blog feeds that Tim mentioned below in his post last Friday

... and in the news few weeks we'll add additional feeds like upcoming Chats and Events.

Internally, we refer to these feeds as “Smart Components” because once an editor has deployed them 1) they update themselves automatically with fresh content each day, and 2) they can be scoped by the site editor to show content for any product, technology, language, etc. desired.

So, a site manager can set these controls to show Downloads and KB articles from Visual Studio, or hot newsgroup discussions in Japanese that related to Windows Server 2003 clustering, etc.

As I mentioned, editors can also expose RSS feeds for this content so that users can subscribe to them.

This afternoon, the first site on Microsoft.com launched with these new content feeds: the Exchange Server Community welcome page and newsgroup overview page (thanks to Khiota, Margery, Jim, Dave, et al). You can see the RSS feeds activated here too. (Actually, the 1.0 version of these components launched back in September and are already scattered across about 60 sites on Microsoft.com, but they aren't really called out as being dynamic feeds, we only had 4 content feeds, and there was no RSS capability, so you may not have noticed them...)

In the weeks and months to come, we will look to add additional feeds, fine-tune the ones we have, probably scrap the ones that folks don't find useful, and otherwise continue our exploration of how to make content more contextually relevant and accessible to our customers, while also hopefully making things easier for our friends who run the various Web sites on Microsoft.com (no more manually programming a list of top downlods, relevant KB articles, etc.).