Awasu » Shouting out into the void
Monday 7th July 2008 3:50 PM [General]

A post came my way today that talked about Awasu's channel reports:

The feature that I find lacking in the readers I've looked at is the ability to export selected articles to an attractive and customizable report format that can be cut and pasted into an email.

The closest I’ve found so far is a reader called Awasu. As you review your feeds, you can move any feed items you want to save to a “workpad." You can set up as many workpads as you want, and create reports from these workpads. That's a start. But the report formats (templates) provided are fairly basic. While you can customize them, it's not quite as straightforward a process as I'd like.

With posts like this, I normally get in touch with the author and have a chat with them about what they found difficult to use and how they would like to see things improved. But in this case, they've made it difficult to post a comment (you have to sign up) and there's no email address or any other way to contact them :wall:

Blogging has often been described as having a conversation but if you set up your blog like this, you're really just shouting out into the void. The blog doesn't seem to support trackbacks either so unless Cindy is subscribed to us, she's not going to even know about this post and miss the chance to request some new Awasu features.

Having said all that, her comment is spot-on, the supplied report templates are a bit basic. We used to have the same problem with the channel summary templates, the idea being that we supply some simple, easy-to-understand templates so that people could work with them and come up with their own. However, I have to admit that a certain amount of laziness on my part 😳 was to blame (I don't really like working on that kind of stuff) but I rectified this once I realized that it was important to have some cool templates come with Awasu as standard.

I've long held that channel reports are one of the most useful features of Awasu, letting you do something useful with all the information coming in, and so it's important that they look just as good as the channel pages, out of the box. So the 2.3.4 release will be pushed back a bit so that we can provide some better report templates.

Sigh, it never ends... :whip:

3 Responses to this post

Taka:

I agree the Channel Reports are a huge value to us.

We created custom (html and email) templates to integrate RSS feeds in our internal workflow.

This allows us to share, publish and distribute RSS feeds to multiple users and departments on pre-defined schedules.

We found the resources provided via the help, wiki and forums was adequate to get us on track.

I can understand an Awasu end user with no html, template knowledge or experiences not being able to leverage this excellent feature of Awasu.

I would suggest a Template wizard creator:
- Pick you style
- Pick your (report)Variables
- Pick your output format
- Pick the schedule
- Press Test (Publish)
- Tweak
- Done

Vidconf

>>> I would suggest a Template wizard creator

Isn't this just the existing New Channel Report Wizard? 🙂 The only problem is your first step - there currently aren't many styles to choose from, which is what I was talking about in the original post.

I was thinking about providing a bunch of different styles but making them *really* easy to change i.e. heavily commented and mainly controlled by a bunch of parameters defined at the top of the page (e.g. colors, logo image, etc.). This way, users get a choice of styles straight out of the box but it's also easy to tweak them. The channel templates are quite complex because they have to do a lot but channel reports are much simpler so it should be a lot easier to understand and change.

BTW, I just added a new section to the wiki, if you feel like contributing 🙂

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