Friday, August 22, 2008

Thanx e-Junkie, You're Great

I got this from my e-Junkie back office.


How to aggregate news using RSS feeds

Posted on December 9, 2006, 9:59 pm by cipher27 under Tips, Tutorials, Guides & How-Tos

With the introduction of Web2.0, the internet has spawned many useful technologies chief among which is the RSS. RSS is variously defined as Rich Site Summary, Really Simple Syndication & RDF Site Summary. What ever the definitions might say RSS is a super simple way for users to keep up with frequently updated sites and read the content through feed readers or news aggregators. RSS can be compared to TiVo, TiVo lets you record shows to view at a later time as per your convenience the RSS feed performs a similar function by allowing you to download latest news to the computer to be read later. RSS feeds can be compared to newsletters in that both provide news on a periodic basis and requires very less user intervention once it is setup, unlike newsletters a user does not need to send subscribe mails when he joins the site and an unsubscribe mail when he no longer wished to receive the newsletter with RSS, the user simply deletes his subscription to the news feed.

RSS enables users to view information from different sites in a single unified interface that a user is familiar with, the user need not know the URL of the site or know how to navigate through the site as long as he has subscribed to the RSS feed, any new information is delivered to his computer automatically. While RSS is a boon to the end user the Publishers stands to profit enormously from this technology too. RSS enables a site operator to maintain his loyal fan base by providing the users with timely updates and thus attract more users. RSS can be used as an effective marketing tool by publishers, Publishers can deliver offers and product related information to its wide user base through RSS thus enabling them to market their product in an easy and convenient manner.

Once a user learns how to add an RSS feed subscription for a site the method is pretty consistent for all sites that provide RSS feeds, thus enabling even the most novice user to subscribe for content from various sites. With RSS a user is in control of the information he wishes to receive, the user can choose to delete a subscription in case he is not interested in it or finds it offensive.

With RSS instead of a person visiting the site to read what has been published the published content is instead pushed to the user who has subscribed to the service and enables a user to aggregate news from several sites and read them at his/her convenience. The feed reader can be set up to check the sites for updates at predefined intervals and download them to the computer automatically. With the growing popularity of handheld devices such as smart phones and PDA’s and media players the popularity of RSS feeds is growing as the content from several sites can be downloaded to the devices so that they can be accessed offline at a later time. Another advantage of RSS feeds is that the site content is presented in a simple plain text format with minimal graphics thus enabling the users to get what they want without intrusive Image ads or popups. While some content providers include interstitial text ads the ads are related to the content and are non intrusive. RSS can be used to syndicate any kind of content and enables users to download the latest content like Podcasts without user intervention.

Typically RSS feeds provide information like current events,job listings deals and rebates etc. RSS feeds contain a headline and a small summary describing the piece of news and often contain links to full featured content,while other sites syndicate the full content of the article or news item through RSS. Sites providing RSS feeds usually indicate it by providing a small button such as the one at the beginning of the article or that display an XML button.

How to subscribe to RSS feeds

RSS feeds cannot be read directly as they are just XML code, to read RSS feeds you need a RSS news reader or news aggregators. RSS news readers are available both as stand alone applications as well as are integrated into most modern browsers. This site provides a huge list of RSS news readers for the windows desktop.

If you are using the popular Mozilla FireFox browser then a built in method of subscribing to RSS feeds exist. RSS feeds subscriptions are called as live bookmarks in FireFox. Once you find a site that offers RSS feeds you can subscribe to them by clicking on the RSS icon in the location bar or the address bar. Once subscribed the Updates can be accessed from the bookmarks menu or from the bookmarks sidebar. This site provides an easy to follow tutorial on adding live bookmarks.The Latest version of Internet explorer also allows you to subscribe and manage your RSS feeds.

While FireFox provides live bookmarks it is not suitable for everyone a lot of extensions exist which can make subscribing to RSS feeds as easy as using a mail client. Sage is an lightweight FireFox extension that allows you to manage RSS subscriptions discover new feeds and has search integration with Technorati and RSS search integration using which you can search for new feeds that interest you. Wizz news reader also supports integration with FireFox 2.0 live bookmarks and allows you to manage your RSS subscriptions.If you are not into desktop applications or dont want to use built in RSS readers in the browser or don’t want to install extensions then you can use several online news aggregators Google provides Google news reader which can be used to subscribe to RSS feeds. Yahoo! Mail Beta also offers an inbuilt RSS news aggregator. NewsGator also offers an online news reader .

We hope that this article helps you in discovering the many wonderful sites on the Intenret that offer RSS and helps you have more productive time on the net.


But that's not all that e-Junkie is up to. Take a look under the hood.

No comments: