08 RSS Lab exercises

Your goal today is to find feeds for your term project. First, finish the exercises from last class. There's a couple more general things that I want you to do after you finish those exercises but before you start today's activities.

A point that I might not have made clear the other day: When you are searching for blogs, you're going to come across both blogs and blog entries in the results. Sometimes the blog that you find is exactly on target, and is almost exclusively about your topic. Lovely; you'll definitely want to subscribe to that blog. Other times the blog entry is one of only a few from that site that seem to be about your topic; you can see that it contains useful information, but only some of it will ever be about your topic. In this instance, I encourage you to note this blog entry on a page in your wiki. We will later learn how to filter RSS results from specific sites based on keyword search. Until that time, you need to make sure you don't lose those sites that might be useful in this way.

If you use bloglines as your RSS reader, you should be sure to work through how-to-share-a-bloglines-blogroll.

  1. Use the tools in Technorati (and other searchable feed databases — see bottom of page) to easily find more popular blogs that you might want to add to your feed list.
  2. Be sure to investigate Blogpulse and Iterend. These are both good tools (in different ways) for following developing stories.

Searchable subject indices

  1. Now, you're going to explore the searchable subject indices of RSS feeds.
  2. You're going to browse Syndic8.
    • Browse, search, and add any feeds for your project that look useful.
  3. Now you're going to try the NewsIsFree site.
    • Browse, search, and add any feeds for your project that look useful.
  4. Next up is the RSS Network site.
    • Browse, search, and add any feeds for your project that look useful.
  5. Next, you're going to use the Yahoo Search Directory.
    • You can subscribe to updates to a specific category within the Yahoo Directory. Do so if you would find this useful.

Exporting and importing lists of feeds

After you have subscribed to a few feeds, I want you to work through the process of exporting your links and then importing them into another feed reader. From your chosen RSS reader, look for the option to "export" your subscriptions. Save it to a file. Then go to a different RSS reader and look for the option to "import" subscriptions. Do it.

The ability to export and import sets of subscriptions means that you are not tied to a RSS reader, even after you have built up a significant set of subscriptions.


Searchable subject indices of RSS feeds (with browsing)

  1. Yahoo Directory — RSS feeds of updates to specific Yahoo Directory categories
  2. Syndic8 — a directory of RSS feeds
  3. NewsIsFree — directory of RSS feeds
  4. RSS Network
  5. Financial Investing RSS feeds

Searchable RSS feed databases

  1. Bloglines Search
  2. Technorati
  3. Google Blog Search
  4. NewsIsFree
  5. Blogs.com
  6. Iterend
  7. Blogpulse
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