I put query out on the NTEN affinity group for nonprofit blogging about widgets. Reed Stockman from AFP Blog (Associate of Fundraising Professionals) told me that he is using a widget called RSSMIX to combine feeds and republish them on their Master Blog. He notes that this widget is useful because it: a.) easily allows them to show the most recent news from some of the topical blogs b.) drives traffic c.) fairly easy to install.
He goes on to mention that they're still learning about their audience and how they access the content on the organization's blog. He points to google analytics as a tool they have started using to track their audience.
He also mentioned the widgets don't automatically attract an audience (install a widget and they will come isn't the way the to think about it.) He uses a wide variety of ways to promote readership including, links from their main site, email signature links, promotion in organization's print publication, and promotion in their e-newsletter.
I asked, is it really easy to set up? Like cut and paste simple? His response, "As usual there are several steps. It took some experimentation but it seemed fairly straight forward. The newsbox
explanation seemed clear and also the wizard tools seemed flexible.
This isn't the only widget that uses RSS stream headlines or content from feeds. A quick search on widgetbox and found a few more. These include:
RSS Scroll Box - allows you to add up 3 RSS feeds that scroll up the page.
RSS Feed Widget by MuseStorm - pulls any RSS feed into your blog or web page