Content Aggregation Project using Python

With time being of the essence in the twenty-first century, we see the rise of a situation wherein people want to stay on top of things but don’t have the time to do so. That is why, in the last couple of years, there has been a phenomenal rise in the number of news aggregators on the web.

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Such platforms help people get a chance to skim through all the major headlines without having to go to multiple sources to look at them. Content is king now, and with so many options available for users, each website is fighting nail and tooth to stay ahead of the rest of the competition. Content aggregator tools help websites get more visibility and reach out to more people, and on the whole, is quite beneficial to both the user and the publisher. In this Python Project, we will be trying to create a content aggregator tool of our own using Python fundamentals.

Project Description

All of us have at some point run into a website that gathers content from all corners of the web onto a single page, from where we can choose the ones we like, and head on over to that respective blog. Not only do such blogs help us save time, but they also provide a platform for content generators to showcase their work. Content aggregators do not pay the publisher to get rights to their work, as they give them due credit and publish the work under the original creator’s name. Hence, the only real cost of running an aggregator is whatever it takes to power the technology used to do so. As we will see in this project, that technology isn’t all that expensive or advanced.

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What is a content aggregator?

A content aggregator is any tool that gathers, collects and accumulates content pieces such as articles, social media posts, videos, images, updates and press releases from different types of media outlets and then displays all that information via links on one single page. They greatly increase the accessibility of such pieces of content and also help users have a one-stop destination for all the information they need.

For instance, if you are looking for any news or updates related to technology, all you have to do is head on over to Techmeme, which is one of the best tech-based content aggregators available. Similarly, some other examples include, Feedly, PopURLs, AllDraft, and AllTop.

Concepts Used

  • Algorithm Making
  • Arithmetic Logic Fundamentals
  • URL scraping
  • Web Framework Fundamentals
  • Python programming
  • Basics and coding on Django
  • Data Parsing
  • Bootstrapping
  • Database Management

Hardware and Software Required

  1. A suitable OS- Windows/MAC/Linux
  2. Python 3 and upwards installed
  3. Django framework
  4. Bootstrap
  5. Databases and Storage

Advantages of Python Content Aggregator

  • Pulls relevant information from all over the web
  • Automatic updation of information
  • Timely delivery of new information
  • Users save time and effort
  • Python is easy to learn and use
  • Powerful filtering capabilities
  • Highly customizable platform

Project Implementation

The major steps involved are:

  1. Curate a list of sites from which you want to gather and collect data.
  2. Use libraries like HTTP request sender and BeautifulSoup to scrape the required content off these sites.
  3. Background content management implementation using apscheduler.
  4. Saving the scrapped content on a database.
  • First and foremost, create a web-crawler type application in Python.
  • This crawler will be used to parse and scrape content from a list of sites you provide.
  • Start with a few sites that you think will have the best content. Expand this list once you can arrange for more storage or when your database expands to hold more data.
  • Also, check whether the websites you have listed support API as this allows the web crawler to scrape data.
  • Record the parsed data into a database on the MongoDB platform or Django platform as per your convenience and experience.
  • Use a MySQL database to store metadata required by the web-crawler for indexing.
  • Set-up a web-page on Wordpress and design its layout.
  • Configure sources, keywords and build SEO reputation for that website.
  • Categorise the posts that you have scraped and assign relevant filters on WordPress to organise the content.
  • Send the data over from the database to the WP and your content aggregator is good to go.
  • You may need to install BeautifulSoup4 to send HTTP requests on your web crawler.

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Content Aggregation using Python
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2022-05-19

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