Friday Feast #42: The World of RSS Feeds
There is a plethora of information available about RSS (RDF Site Summary), feeds, feedreaders, and tools. Today’s Friday Feast lists some of the more helpful ones I’ve recently found.
Summaries, Complete Posts, or Both?
Like Jeffrey Zeldman and for the same reasons, for now I’m far more inclined to provide linked summaries or “teasers” rather than full posts for my RSS feeds. While I do feel content is king and should hold its own weight, Jeffrey makes some important and well-written points about content and design. Eric Meyer is posting summaries and discusses his approaches, too. On the other hand, Dori’s readers want the full posts with their RSS feeds. So we’ll see where this all ends up.
I’m also planning to add categorized feeds soon. I’ve noticed that some sites offer summaries, full posts, and other choices, too. The world of RSS feeds is new territory for me, so I’m just beginning to get my feet wet, whether reading them or providing feeds. I welcome feedback.
RSS Feed Readers
There are also an increasing number of RSS feedreaders available.
- During the past couple of weeks I’ve tried Amphetadesk and WildGrape NewsDesk.
- Check out an exceptional annotated listing of RSS Readers by Haiko Hebig, RSS Feed Reader / News Aggregators Directory.
- Nick Bradbury’s latest software adventure is an RSS feedreader, FeedDemon. I’ve been a major fan of Nick’s work since the first beta version of HomeSite long ago followed by TopStyle. You can check out screenshots and preliminary information now, and he’ll start beta testing FeedDemon soon. I’m sure I’ll be writing more in the days ahead about how it’s going. I wish Nick all the best with his latest adventure.
As usual for the wonderful Internet, you can find plenty of resources online, too. Here are a few:
- Connecting Interested People to New Web Content With Syndication and Aggregation
An excellent (and redistributable) slide presentation about RSS with links to resources. By Doug Ransom.
- Introduction to RSS
Helpful introduction to the world of RSS, including syntax, validating your code, syndication, aggregators, and resources. By Andy King, WebReference.com.
- Really Simple Syndication
An article providing background information about RSS, where it is today, possible future directions, and thoughts by Sam Ruby.
- RSS For Non-Techie Librarians
Good introduction to the benefits and how-to-instructions for utilizing RSS feeds to conveniently review a multitude of sites and resources. By Steven M. Cohen, June 2002.
- RSS Tutorial for Content Publishers and Webmasters
Provides a helpful introduction to RSS feeds, how to create good feeds, tools available, and resources to more information. By Mark Nottingham.
- Using RSS News Feeds
A tutorial at WebReference on how to write a Perl script to convert RSS feeds to HTML to add them to your website via SSI or similar method.
- What is an RSS Channel, Anyway?
Insightful introductory article about what an RSS channel is, the uses and components of an RSS channel, and channel definitions and terms. By Mark Nottingham.
- What is RSS?
A helpful introductory article about RSS that provides a brief history, a helpful chart about RSS versions and compatibility, samples of RSS, and even how to write a simple program to read RSS feeds. By Mark Pilgrim for XML.com, December 2002.
- Where Next for RSS?
Opinion piece by Tim Bray about RSS, where it’s going, what to read RSS with, and the bonuses and drawbacks. By Tim Bray, January 2003.
Registering and Finding RSS Feeds
If you build one, will they come? And where can you find existing RSS feeds? Look around at the sites you visit for icons—they may indicate RSS, RDF, XML, or something similar, and those will link to the site’s RSS feeds. I’ve also listed a few resources below to register or find feeds:
- Explanation of RSS, How You Can Use it, and Finding RSS Feeds
Helpful tutorial about using RSS feeds, RSS aggregators, finding RSS feeds, directories, search queries, topical feeds, blogs and forums, and links to helpful resources. You can also use Faganfinder to locate RSS feeds, weblogs, and more. Helpful information provided by Faganfinder.
- Finding More Channels
Amphetadesk’s info for locating more RSS feeds.
Register your feeds or find feeds at Feedster.
- InfoWorld RSS Feeds
InfoWorld provides a helpful page that concisely explains RSS, provides a FAQ, and includes resources to find feeds, including their own, of course.
- RDF Ticker
Find RSS feeds or register your RSS feeds at the RDFTicker site. RDFTicker software also available for download.
As the title indicates, rssSearch is a search engine for RSS feeds, harvesting and indexing the RSS/RDF files produced by weblogs across the Internet. As of this post there are over 32,000 weblogs and almost 900,000 articles available through rssSearch. By FS Consulting, Inc.
Create, modify, and register your UK RSS news channels.
Register and find RSS feeds at this major RSS portal.
- Syndicate Your Page
Helpful service to register or set up your feed.
- Syndication Subscription Service
A syndication subscription service for RSS content consumers, RSS content producers and aggregators.
Movable Type RSS Templates
Here is a listing of RSS-related specs and modules.
- Resource Description Framework (RDF)
W3C’s RDF specification, information, and resources.
- Resource Description Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax Specification
W3C’s specifications for RDF syntax.
- RDF Site Summary (RSS) 1.0
Specs for RSS, an XML application.
- RDF Site Summary 1.0 Modules
Main page for RSS modules and information.
- RDF Site Summary 1.0 Modules: Content
These specs are for the actual content of websites.
- RDF Site Summary 1.0 Modules: Dublin Core
These specs provides Dublin Core string literal values, semantics for RSS.
- RDF Site Summary 1.0 Modules: Syndication
These specs provide syndication information to aggregators and others regarding RSS feeds, such as how often the content is updated.
- Dave Beckett’s Resource Description Framework (RDF) Resource Guide
Comprehensive resource for all things related to RSS - documents, specs, publications, discussions, presentations, browsers, editors and tools, applications, tutorials, Semantic Web, personal opinions, and more.
- Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI)
Dublin Core’s site with information, specifications, resources to more information, tools, events, and more.
- Microcontent News
Online Magazine for Weblogs, Webzines, and Personal Publishing
- The Semantic Web: 1-2-3
RDF and the Semantic Web. By Morbus Iff (aka Kevin Hemenway)
- Weblogs Compendium: RSS Resources
You’ll find links to tutorials, newsfeeds, RSS readers and aggregators, and more, all related to RSS.
- WebReference: RSS
Not to be missed is WebReference’s section on RSS where you’ll find tutorials for beginners through advanced programmers all about RSS.
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