Webfeed Grab Bag

Here are some items related to webfeeds that have caught my interest lately…

TOP OF THIS LIST: E-mail v RSS, let us move on… by Alex Barnett (Online Customer Experience Manager with Microsoft UK), May 22. Useful matrix, with links, which demonstrates why the now-perennial debate over whether e-mail publishing is dead should be laid to rest. Bottom line: E-mail and webfeeds are complementary.

Read the rest of this list…

  1. Your Online Paperboy, by Heather Green, BusinessWeek, Dec. 20, 2004. Need to explain webfeeds to your parents? To your grandparents? This article will probably do the trick. (Thanks to Social media for this link.)
  2. Newspapers with RSS: A List, The Media Drop, Dec. 10, 2004. it’s not comprehensive, but it’s a good start.
  3. Feeds: Not just for blogs. The Seattle Public Library is rolling out a slew of new webfeed-based services. you can now generate a feed based on searches of the library’s catalog, and get a feed reminding you to return borrowed items. Listen to the Jan. 21 episode of Future Tense for more details.
  4. Feed Me: A toy for bloggers could disrupt real Web businesses, by Peter Kafka and David Whelan, Forbes, Jan. 10. Excerpt: “Much hype has swirled around RSS’ presumed ability to allow blogs to subvert big media. That’s a romantic presumption. The likelier disruption will come in areas such as classifieds, search and e-commerce. RSS lets big companies increase their reach-Amazon.com now streams catalog updates to its Web resellers-while letting little guys into the game.” (Thanks to Social Media for this link.) Of course, Forbes’ reportorial record on feeds has been spotty, so take what you find there on that topic with a grain of salt.
  5. Feed Submitter: This cool, free web-based tool by Thomas Korte is a great way to attract a larger online audience. Enter the URL of your webfeed and your e-mail address, and it will submit your feed to be listed in 15 major feed aggregators (Feedster, etc.).
  6. Webfeed Fetishizing, New Media Hack, Dec. 24, 2004. Excerpt: “I’m getting the feeling that webfeed aggregation is in for a big hype bubble this upcoming year. Vacuous buzzphrases like the network is the blog and personalized information hypermarkets are starting to get traction. Besides there’s now a conference providing, awareness, clarity, education, deal-making and strategic business opportunities surrounding the emergence of online media syndication. Uh, yeah…”
  7. The Role of RSS in Science Publishing, by Tony Hammond, Timo Hannay, and Ben Lund, D-Lib Magazine, December 2004. Excerpt: “Beyond providing a basic alerting service, we note that science publishers are also offering RSS feeds for a whole range of other news services – jobs, product data, events, etc. But it is not just news of the moment that RSS is suited for. Another important use case is to build up and maintain an archive of RSS feeds that constitute a repository of structured data. Why is this useful? Simply that RSS provides an open means of structuring or packaging metadata, and many code libraries are available to applications to parse this data transparently. But RSS is not just for syndicating textual information, it is also being used to transmit complete scientific data sets…” (Thanks to Lockergnome for this link.)
  8. IceRocket debuts a free feed builder. I haven’t tried it yet, but a Search Engine Journal seems enamored with it. Worth a look.
  9. RSS Feeds Hunger for More Ads , by Cyrus Farivar, Wired News, Oct. 15, 2004. Brief overview of the efforts of several online ad companies which are pioneering this field.
  10. News Headlines at the Denver Public Library: The home page of the Denver Public Library web site now features news headlines from Reuters and other major news outlets. Such syndication is a great example of how libraries can leverage webfeeds. Steve Outing discussed this in a Nov. 11 E-Media Tidbits posting.

2 thoughts on Webfeed Grab Bag

Comments are closed.

  1. As the developer and maintainer of a webfeed directory, I am NOT impressed by IceRocket. I’ve had a large number of feeds submitted from there, and have the following complaints:

    1) The items in the feed are all linked to the same URL–not to individual post pages or specific anchors within the page. (This may not be true of all of the feeds, but it is true of all the feeds I’ve checked).

    2) The feeds have all been submitted to the same category, and it’s virtually always the wrong category. I’m assuming that IceRocket has a form for submitting feeds to many directories at once, and that they’re not asking their users to set things specific to particular directories. Makes sense for their users, but it’s a nuisance for me.

    3) Many of the feeds look like advertisements in RSS format, not real feeds (ie, they don’t look like they’re going to be periodically updated–they’re just static documents). Obviously, this is the fault of the people making the feeds, not the service, but it turns me off to the service.

    4) Somebody using their service keeps submitting feeds that appear almost identical to feeds they’ve already submitted.

    For now, when I see the rss.icerocket.com URL, I’m immediately prejudiced against approving the feed.

  2. Recent RSS and Blog News
    Amy Gahran, editor of Contentious Blog has a list of interesting RSS and blog related news and articles.

    On the top of the list is a link to Alex Barnett, an Online Customer Experience Manager blog. There is a matrix that compares the use of e-mail …