RSS and its use in Libraries
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RSS and its use in Libraries

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A presentation by Mr. Sukhdev Singh, NIC New Delhi, during National Workshop on Library 2.0: A Global Information Hub, Feb 5-6, 2009 at PRL Ahmedabad

A presentation by Mr. Sukhdev Singh, NIC New Delhi, during National Workshop on Library 2.0: A Global Information Hub, Feb 5-6, 2009 at PRL Ahmedabad

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RSS and its use in Libraries RSS and its use in Libraries Presentation Transcript

  • RSS and its use in Libraries Sukhdev Singh
  • First of all let us see what RSS can do?
  • Even before that let us see how we can keep ourselves up-to-date in the Era of Internet
    • Blogs
    News Journals Databases Keeping yourself Up-to-date Go Get It
    • Blogs
    News Journals Databases Keeping yourself Up-to-date Guests are Welcomed
  • RSS is the new way of keeping yourself up-to-date
    • RSS (which, in its most recent format, stands for "Really Simple Syndication")
    • Some expand it as - Rich Site Summary
  • By RSS Feeds
    • Easily stay informed by subscribing the latest content from the sites you are interested in.
    • You save time by not visiting each site individually.
    • Your privacy is maintained unlike subscribing to each site's email newsletter
  • What all is Required for this?
    • A PLACE to mix the new content of your interest
        • RSS READER
    • and Content in Special Format
        • RSS Feeds
  • RSS READERs
    • Desktop Softwares
      • http://www.download.com/RSS-Tools/3150-9227-0.html
    • Online Services
        • http://reader.google.com
        • http://my.yahoo.com
        • http://bloglines.com
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  • http://www.bloglines.com/
  • Even smart cell phones have means to read RSS
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  • Where to get RSS Feeds
    • Blogs – Most are RSS Enabled
    • Web sites - Check for buttons
    • Databases –
        • Execute your search query
        • Create RSS Feed
  • Connecting READER with FEEDS
    • Clicking on RSS Button will reveal the URL of the RSS Feed
    • Copy the URL
    • Paste the URL in your READER and subscribe the FEED
  • OK, we will take an example
  • Say for Example
    • I am interested in News – Let me know what current News are reported by NDTV.COM
    • I read blogs, so let me know what is latest on Peter Suber’s Blog.
    • I want to know what all new articles are deposited in my favorite repository - http://openmed.nic.in
    • What all new articles are added in my favorite database - PubMed - on the topic “Medical Informatics in India”?
  • Ok, we will use Google Reader as our RSS Reader for this example http://www.google.com/reader/
  • Login
    • Look for Add Subscription
  • Click on Add Subscription
  • We will now subscribe to RSS feeds One by One
    • Let us first add Feed from News Site i.e.
    • NDTV in our example
  • Open a New Window in your browser go to the site i.e. NDTV.COM
  • Click on RSS button and Get URL of your RSS Feed for News
  • Just Look URL. COPY it with Ctrl + C
  • Paste the URL Here Ctrl+V
    • Wow, Your News are Here
  • Now let us subscribe a blog! Remember M ost blogs are RSS enabled So no need to look for any Orange Button. Just enter the blog URL
  • Now let us add a feed from Blog now.
  • Repeat steps for Adding Subscription
    • Wow, Blog feed is here
  • To subscribe RSS Feed from any site Look for Orange Buttons Click and get the URL
    • Now for Repository.
    • Look for RSS Button .
  • Look for URL Above and Copy it.
  • Add Subscription
  • And it has been done!
  • You can also create / customize an RSS feed to suit interest. However the site should provide such facility Let us see how we can create an RSS Feed on PubMed Database Site on a Query
  • Now let us create a feed from PubMED
  • Enter your Query as you do normally.
    • In Display Menu - Click on Drop Down Option for RSS
  • Click on Create Feed
  • Look for Small Orange Icon – and Click it.
  • Copy the URL of the Feed.
  • Add Subscription
  • And no surprise, It is Done
  • You can Manage yours RSS Subscriptions
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  • See them all at one place. No need to visit each site.
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  • You can even Export or Import your subscriptions to / from Other Readers
  • We have seen the usefulness of RSS. Now let see what is this RSS?
  • Blogs Saved Searchers Social Bookmarking Wikis News Syndication Isn’t that R eally S imple?
  • RSS
    • Stands for “Really Simple Syndication”.
    • Can also stand for “Rich Site Summary”, or “RDF Site Summary”.
    • “ Really Simple Syndication ” is the default expansion of RSS nowadays.
  • RSS is written in XML language for syndicating information items on web.
  • XML Source Code of RSS <?xml version=&quot;1.0&quot; encoding=&quot;windows-1252&quot;?> <rss version=&quot;2.0&quot;> <channel> <title>NDTV News</title> <description></description> <language>en-us</language> <link>http://www.ndtv.com</link> <copyright>&#169; Copyright 2006, New Delhi Television Ltd.</copyright> <pubDate>Wed, 21 Jan 2009 16:13:17 GMT</pubDate> <category>National News</category> <image> <title>NDTVNews</title><url>http://www.ndtv.com/images/ndtv.gif</url> <link>http://www.ndtv.com</link> </image> <item> <title>Surya Kiran trainer jet crashes in Karnataka, pilot killed</title> <pubDate>Wed, 21 Jan 2009 13:29:00 GMT</pubDate> <description><![CDATA[<p><a href=http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20090080888><img align=&quot;left&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/m/mapkarnataka1.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;Surya Kiran trainer jet crashes in Karnataka, pilot killed&quot; style=&quot;margin-right:5px;margin-top:5px;width:70px;height:70px;&quot; /></a>A pilot of an Indian Kiran trainer jet was killed in a crash on Wednesday morning near Bidar in Karnataka. </p><br clear=&quot;all&quot; />]]></description> <link>http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20090080888</link> <keywords>crash, pilot, Karnataka</keywords> </item> </channel> </rss>
  • RSS when viewed in Browser
  • RSS Format
    • RSS feed is an XML file containing a list of  items  or  entries .
    • items are identified by links and can have some metadata associated with it.
    • The most basic metadata for an item includes a title for the link and a description of it.
  • For example, a simple entry of an ‘item’ might look like
    • <item> <title>Title of an item in feed</title> <link>http://link.domain.com/item</link> <description> This is the description of the item. </description> </item>
  • Some Important Tags
    • rss – it is used to mark the global container.
    • channel – is used to mark the distributing channel. It has several descriptive tags and holds one or several items. 
  • Container
    • <?xml version=&quot;1.0&quot; ?>
    • < rss  version=&quot;2.0&quot;> < channel >      ……
    • …… </ channel >
    • </ rss >
  • Required tags for the channel  
    • title - The title of the channel. Should contain the name. link -   URL of the website that provides this channel. d escription - Summary of what the provider is. i tem.   At least one item tag for the content of the feed.
    • < rss  version=&quot;2.0&quot;> < channel >      < title > Channel Title </ title >          < link > http://www.xul.fr/ </ link >      < description > Some Description </ description >        < item > 
    • … ..
    • … ..     </ item >      </ channel >
    • </ rss >
  • Each  item  tag must hold these tags:
    • title . Title of the article. link . The URL of the page. description . Summary of the article.    
    • < item >  
    • < title > Surya Kiran trainer jet crashes in Karnataka, pilot killed
    • </ title >            < link > http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20090080888
    • </ link >     < description > A pilot of an Indian Kiran trainer jet was killed in a crash on Wednesday morning near Bidar in Karnataka
    • </ description > 
    • </ item >
    • <item>
    • …… .
    • </item>
  • Format looks too complicated? Don’t worry
    • In practice you will perhaps never need to create an RSS Feed manually.
    • For all practical purposes you will be using RSS Enabled content managers or some other tools to exact data from pages and generate Feeds.
  • How does RSS work? Content Provider Content Consumer
  • How RSS Feeds are created?
    • Manual Markup You markup the content manually.
    • Software Assisted You just type in the content in forms .
    • The software generates the markup.
    • Publishing Platforms
    • You simply use RSS enabled publishing platform / content manager.
  • Software Assisted
    • Manual mark-up is not required.
    • Number of software options are available to assist in creating RSS Feeds.
  • One such software is
    • Download from http://usablelabs.org/feedspring
    • http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/Feed-Spring-Download-20514.html
    • Just fill in few forms and it will generate XML file i.e. RSS Feed
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  • http://www.feedforall.com/download.htm
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  • http://www.webreference.com/cgi-bin/perl/makerss.pl
  • RSS enabled Publishing platforms Content managers Database based applications Modern Library Automation Softwares
  • Modern publishing and content management platforms are RSS enabled
    • Blogging platforms like – Blogger, Wordpress, Livejournal, Movable Type
    • Some popular open source, server-side, portal content management systems such as PostNuke , (php), PHP-Nuke ,(php) phpWebLog (php), SlashDot (Perl), Squishdot (Zope), Rusty Foster's Scoop (Perl), Roller (Java), and Drupal (php) can also create and display RSS feeds using their built-in news aggregators.
  • WEB 2.0 Applications are RSS enabled
  • http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/List_of_web_2.0_applications
  • http://oedb.org/blogs/ilibrarian/2008/the-100-top-web-apps-for-2008/
  • Database Driven Applications
    • Database driven applications can easily be made RSS enabled by creating reports (displaying items) in XML format for RSS Feeds
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  • PERL Script used in OpenMED (EPRINTS) TO Generate RSS Feed
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  • Libraries and RSS
    • Libraries are ideal candidates for adopting and using RSS to their advantage as
      • Information Producers
      • Information Gateways
      • Information Consumers
  • Libraries as Information Producers
    • As information producers, libraries maintain their web sites providing information about its services, new additions, announcements and other many other information tools like OPAC
  • Libraries Can -
    • Create an RSS feed for new additions to the online catalogue
    • Create an RSS feed tied to a library card account for hold notifications and/or overdue materials.
    • Create an RSS feed for new programs and events posted on the library website.
    • Create an RSS feed for the library’s electronic newsletter.
    • Create an RSS feed for press releases and other media advisories.
    • Create an RSS feed for library closings, including emergency closings.
    • Create an RSS feed for library job openings
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  • As a gateway to information, libraries can:
    • Subscribe to a few RSS feeds, such as local news websites, and share the content on the library’s website.
    • Subscribe and share RSS feeds of interest to library users.
    • Compile list of useful RSS feeds with suitable annotation to help users to pick up feeds of their interest.
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  • Libraries can Re-Publish RSS Feeds
    • Create RSS Feeds from databases like PubMed on “queries” that might be of interest to various departments of parent institute of the library
    • Subscribe to RSS feeds of interest to library users and re-publish them
  •  
    • Content of RSS feeds can be displayed from websites by running suitable scripts at web servers.
    • When someone visits such websites these scripts get activated.
    • Scripts extract RSS Feeds from providers’ websites and display items with appropriate links to providers’ pages.
    • Let us take a simple example of Re-publishing RSS Feeds for special interest groups
    • Say there is a university department for “Medical Informatics”.
    • Faculty and Students would like to be alerted on what all is being published on “Medical Informatics”.
  • Generate an RSS Feed by suitable query
    • For our example we will select a site that allows to publish RSS Feeds for free.
    • http://suprglu.com
    • (There are many such services)
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  • Libraries as consumer can subscribe to Feeds of Interest to Librarians
  • http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=RSS
  • Conclusion
    • RSS is a new way of delivering and consuming information
    • Librarians and Libraries should exploit this technology to effectively promote the content they produce
    • Help their users to select appropriate feeds
    • Re-Publish selective RSS Feeds to cater special target groups
    • Use this technology to keep themselves up-to-date in this era of Information Explosion
  • Further Reading:
    • RSS - A Primer for Publishers & Content Providers (M.Moffat) - convincing rationale for RSS and valuable Q&A - http://www.eevl.ac.uk/rss_primer/
    • Searching RSS Channels for News (Utah State Library) - http://www.rssgov.com/rsssearchworkshop.html
    • RSS Tutorial for Content Publishers and Webmasters (M. Nottingham) - http://www.mnot.net/rss/tutorial/
    • Set Up a Simple Syndication Feed Using RSS (L. Angelius) - http://www.devx.com/xml/Article/10790
    • RSS FAQ (Ed Pimentel) - http://radio.weblogs.com/0105060/categories/blogging/2003/08/26.html#a1637
    • RSS 0.92: A Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide to Creating Your First Document(M. Trump) - http://www.jamsterdam.com/rss092/
    • PHP and XML: Parsing RSS 1.0 (K. Yank) - http://www.sitepoint.com/article/560/2
    • Explanation of RSS, How You Can Use it, and Finding RSS Feeds (M.Fagan) - http://www.faganfinder.com/search/rss.shtml
    • What is RSS and how can it serve libraries? http://eprints.rclis.org/2531/1/RSS_and_libraries_EN3.pdf
    • Library 2.0: RSS Feeds Dynamic Uses for Special Libraries http://www.sla.org/pdfs/sla2007/hartrssfeeds.pdf
    • 10 Ways Libraries Can Use RSS - The Moxie Librarian http://moxielibrarian.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/10-ways-libraries-can-use-rss/
  • THANKS Slides can be downloaded from: http://blog.sukhdevsingh.com/2009/02/rss-and-libraries.html or http://www.slideshare.net/sukhi/rss-and-its-use-in-libraries