WP-o-Matic – early experiences

I’ve been having some fun playing around some more today with this plugin. The first thing that I should say is thank you Guillermo, as it really has been enjoyable. 

I’ve successfully managed to do what I suggested would be possible earlier, which was to take a specific RSS feed – I created a BBC news feed based on the phrase “Barack Obama”, and as the news items arrived, I set the plugin to find the full names of Obama, McCain and Palin, to change them into some stupid words/phrases, and to make each one of them a link to another site. 

You can see an example blog post here. As you can see, this could very easily be abused. The beauty of swapping out names and nouns is that with minimal effort you can ensure that you are sufficiently different to avoid duplicate content penalties, but also, because the original content is likely to make good semantic sense, the variant version will also look like proper English to a machine, even if it might look odd to a real person.

What could you do with this?

Here’s an example. Say you decided, on the basis of this old data, that you wanted to pick up some of the traffic that might be attributable to the most popular misspelling of “Britney Spears”.

Well, you could mash up whatever feeds you could find about Britney Spears, change all the instances of Britney to Brittney (or Brittany), pick on some other likely words to occur and change them as well, to try to avoid being seen as a duplicate – so “chanteuse” replaces “singer”, “fling” replaces “marriage” and so on… You could also link all instances of the full misspelling back to your main target page. The possibilities are endless, although one might argue that you would not be adding much to the richness of human experience.

I have had a few issues. Whatever setting I used to control dates (ie whether I gave precedence to the feed’s dates or not) I found that importing my delicious feed put the older posts at the top on the initial load. Once it was in there, and I added a new bookmark, the new story appeared in the correct place at the top as I would have expected.

Feeds from Yahoo Pipes seem not to work yet, which someone has already reported. I’ve also had some problems sorting out automatic updating using Cron, but that’s nothing to do with the plugin.

It’s worth noting that this plugin is currently a release candidate, which means that it still has a few issues to be ironed out. Good luck with getting to a full first release.

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One Response to “WP-o-Matic – early experiences”

  1. satheesh says:

    Dear friend,
    I too have made a similar but better plugin called YAAB-Autoblogger. Yaab has all features of wp-o-matic and in addition it can create automatic blog carnivals in your site. Also it supports SMS blogging and Youtube cloning. Ebay product syndication and automated content rewriting are upcoming features. After all I myself is a doctor ( not a programmer ). I started making this plugin for my personal use, but when I doveloped it, it was highly impressing and I have planned to release it for public. Kindly download it from http://www.psypo.com/yaab , try it and if possible please review it in your valuable blog
    Thank You
    Satheesh

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