Tag: rss_feed

Finally, an outstanding online RSS reader

I have had issues with Google Reader (Google’s online RSS/feed reader) in the past but in the latest update to Google Reader, released today most of those issues have been addressed.

Google Reader

Lots of people are posting opinions on this from Marshall Kirkpatrick on TechCrunch to Robert Scoble on Scobleizer to Richard McManus on the ReadWrite Web and all the reviews are effusive in their praise!

I’m not surprised. This time Google seem to have got it right. The old “Lens” look of the old Google Reader was, to my mind, sacrificing usability for looks. Now, you have a reader with a simple, fast interface not lacking in functionality. It even has a river of news option with an infinite scroll. And if you liked the old interface you can revert to that in the settings page too!

Added functionality includes the ability to create folders, bulk delete subscriptions, star, share, email and tag posts.

Several commentators have pointed to the continuing lack of integration with Google’s Blogsearch but personally with the dire state that is in, I think this is a good thing!

I have been slow to recommend online rss readers in the past but I think with the new Google Reader that has just changed.

Video search via rss

Yahoo! have posted a nice instruction set on their blog, detailing how to subscribe your copy of iTunes to video searches of interest so that you are constantly fed relevant updated video casts!

Basically, to do it you simply use the RSS url generator to generate the RSS feed for your video search, add that to iTunes and watch the videos as they arrive in iTunes (or if you have one of the new Video iPods, you can watch them on that!).

I will be talking about other uses for RSS tomorrow evening at the IT@Cork RSS event – hope to see you there!

RSS tips

Steve Rubel has written 10 tips on power using RSS (why does everyone write 10 tips and not 9 or 31 or something?).

Anyway, some of the tips are very useful like the “building feeds for your favourite writers” tip and some are just plain silly (i.e. the “Got a Car? Subscribe to its RSS Feed”).

One suggestion Steve missed out on is to use RSS in your job search. I have written previously about indeed.com and how they trawl all the major jobs sites gathering all the vacancies, they allow job hunters to search for jobs and they give them an RSS feed of that search!

So, I have a feed for Chief Blogging Officer in the Cork region with a salary of over 250,000 euro – as soon as that job is advertised, I’ll see it in my RSS feed, and I’m as good as hired! Ok, I’m being a little facetious, there is no facility to enter your salary expectations in the indeed.com job search but the point remains, I think this would have been a better tip than some of the ones Steve mentioned.

If you would like to know more about RSS, I am giving a presentation for IT@Cork next Tuesday (25th) at 6pm – RSS for non-techies! in the National Software Centre. See you there.

What exactly is RSS?

Have you heard about RSS and wondered what exactly it is? Well in technospeak RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and it is a family of XML file formats for web syndication. To put it more simply, the technology behind RSS allows internet users to subscribe to websites that have provided RSS feeds so that they are notified when there are updates to the site. RSS feeds are typically used by news websites (RTE, BBC, Reuters, CNN, etc.), weblogs (blogs) and more recently by search engines and other search services to provide a perpetual search.

To Subscribe to an RSS feed from a website you need the site’s RSS feed address (i.e. http://www.tomrafteryit.net/feed/) and an RSS feed reader. You can install a feed reader on your computer so that you have access to it on your desktop, or if you prefer you can use an online feed reader. If you are not comfortable installing software on your computer then an online feed reader might suit you best. Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of commercial and free RSS feed readers. Google has recently launched an online feed reader called Google Reader, Yahoo! has one in its MyYahoo service and Microsoft has one on its Start.com site.

How do I know where a site’s feed is?
A sites RSS feed is typically linked to with a small orange button with white writing on it which might say one of the following: RSS, XML,Webfeed, Feed, or Subscribe.

Why would I want to use RSS?
RSS is a push technology, where the information you want is delivered directly to you – unlike browsing, where you have to go looking for the required data. Search engine RSS feeds are particularly powerful because they allow you to search for a term of interest (your company’s name, your competitor’s name, your market segment) and subscribe to an RSS feed for that search. This RSS feed will now constantly deliver new information on that search term as it arises on the internet. In the field of market intelligence, this is one of the most powerful tools ever seen.

If you’d like to know more about RSS or to see it in action, feel free to come along to the IT@Cork RSS Event on the 25th of October.