Integrating RSS Into Your Web Site

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Presented at Computers in Libraries 2007 in Arlington, NV on 15 April 1007

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Integrating RSS Into Your Web Site

  1. 1. Integrating RSS into Your Web site Part 1: Introduction Michael Sauers Technology Innovation Librarian Nebraska Library Commission Computers in Libraries 15 April 2007
  2. 3. Introductions <ul><li>Name </li></ul><ul><li>Library </li></ul><ul><li>Position </li></ul><ul><li>Does your library use RSS? If so, how? </li></ul><ul><li>Why are you here? </li></ul>
  3. 4. What is RSS? <ul><li>Depending on who you ask it stands for either “Really Simple Syndication”, “Rich Site Summary”, or “RDF Site Summary”. </li></ul><ul><li>“Really Simple Syndication” is the de facto definition today. </li></ul><ul><li>RSS is an XML language for syndicating news items on the Internet. </li></ul>
  4. 5. The History of RSS <ul><li>RSS 1.1 (update to RSS 1.0), RSS 3.0 (a new, independent project), and “Simple Sharing Extensions” (an update to RSS 2.0 by Microsoft) have all been proposed but have had no impact yet. </li></ul>
  5. 6. How does RSS work? <ul><li>The information provider creates an RSS file. </li></ul><ul><li>Users subscribe to the file via an aggregator. </li></ul><ul><li>When the author updates the RSS file, the user is automatically notified of the new items and may read them on their schedule. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Implications of RSS <ul><li>Information received in a single location </li></ul><ul><li>Information received in quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced need to visit the originating Web site </li></ul>
  7. 8. Are there different versions of RSS? <ul><li>Yes. In fact, there are currently eight different versions: RSS 0.90, 0.91, 0.92, 0.93, 0.94, 1.0, 2.0, & Atom Feeds </li></ul><ul><li>Each has different features from the author’s point of view. </li></ul><ul><li>Today’s aggregators support all of the versions transparently. </li></ul><ul><li>RSS 2.0 & Atom are the most common. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li><?xml version=&quot;1.0&quot; encoding=&quot;UTF-8&quot; ?> </li></ul><ul><li><rss version=&quot;2.0&quot;> </li></ul><ul><li><channel> </li></ul><ul><li><title>BCR: The Third Indicator</title> </li></ul><ul><li><link>http://www.bcr.org/publications/thirdind/</link> </li></ul><ul><li><description>The Third Indicator, published monthly, is a technical memo focusing on OCLC products and services. It includes general OCLC news as well as detailed technical information on cataloging, reference and resource sharing. Announcements of new OCLC developments are also included.</description> </li></ul><ul><li><lastBuildDate>Tue, 21 Sep 2004 21:37:39 GMT</lastBuildDate> </li></ul><ul><li><generator>ListGarden Program 1.01</generator> </li></ul><ul><li><docs>http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss</docs> </li></ul><ul><li><item> </li></ul><ul><li><title>WorldCat Resource Sharing Training</title> </li></ul><ul><li><link>http://www.bcr.org/publications/thirdind/2004/august/augsharetrain04.html</link> </li></ul><ul><li><description>If you'd like to see what WorldCat Resource Sharing looks like and learn more about it, visit the OCLC Web site at www.oclc.org/ill/migration/ or view the WorldCat Resource Sharing tutorial at www5.oclc.org/downloads/tutorials/firstsearch/sv/rsbasics/intro/index.html/.</description> </li></ul><ul><li><pubDate>Tue, 21 Sep 2004 19:29:47 GMT</pubDate> </li></ul><ul><li><guid isPermaLink=&quot;false&quot;>thirdind-2004-08-21-19-29-47</guid> </li></ul><ul><li></item> </li></ul><ul><li></channel> </li></ul><ul><li></rss> </li></ul>What does RSS look like?
  9. 10. How can I find feeds? <ul><li>Feedster </li></ul><ul><li>Bloglines </li></ul><ul><li>Blogrolls A list of blogs/feeds read by another blogger </li></ul><ul><li>Look for the orange icon… </li></ul>
  10. 11. How do I subscribe to a feed? <ul><li>Look for an orange icon: </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on your aggregator, the subscription procedure may range from copying and pasting the link to right-clicking and selecting “subscribe”. </li></ul>
  11. 12. More RSS icons <ul><li>“ Support the Common Feed Icon” by Rogers Cadenhead http://www.cadenhead.org/workbench/news/2872/support-common-feed-icon </li></ul>
  12. 13. A standard icon? <ul><li>The move is to establish this icon, originally proposed by the Firefox, folks as the syndication icon. </li></ul><ul><li>Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 will use this icon. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.feedicons.com/ </li></ul>
  13. 14. Podcasts <ul><li>Uses RSS to syndicate audio content </li></ul><ul><li>RSS 2.0 <enclosure> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Like adding an attachment to an e-mail </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Audio Formats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MP3 (Open Source) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AAC (Apple Proprietary) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>iPod not necessary </li></ul>
  14. 15. Podcasts in iTunes
  15. 16. Notable Feeds <ul><li>Librarian.net www.librarian.net </li></ul><ul><li>LISNews www.lisnews.com </li></ul><ul><li>The Shifted Librarian theshiftedlibrarian.com </li></ul><ul><li>The Travelin’ Librarian travelinlibrarian.info </li></ul><ul><li>Tame the Web tametheweb.com/ttwblog </li></ul><ul><li>Unshelved www.overduemedia.com </li></ul><ul><li>PaperCuts papercuts.tscpl.org </li></ul><ul><li>Gizmodo www.gizmodo.com </li></ul><ul><li>Security Now! www.grc.com/securitynow.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Inside The Net & This Week in Tech (TWiT) thisweekintech.com </li></ul><ul><li>Boing Boing boingboing.net </li></ul><ul><li>Google News </li></ul><ul><li>isbn.nu </li></ul><ul><li>del.icio.us </li></ul><ul><li>flickr </li></ul>
  16. 17. Integrating RSS into Your Web site Part 2: Reading Feeds Michael Sauers, BCR Internet Librarian 2006 22 October 2006
  17. 18. What is an Aggregator? <ul><li>An aggregator is a type of software that retrieves syndicated Web content that is supplied in the form of a web feed (RSS, Atom and other XML formats), and that are published by weblogs, podcasts, vlogs, and mainstream mass media websites. -Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>It’s what you need to retrieve and read RSS feeds. </li></ul>
  18. 19. What are the different types of aggregators? <ul><li>Standalone Clients </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FeedReader , Radio UserLand </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PIM add-ins </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pluck, NewsGator, intraVnews </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Browser add-ins </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Firefox , Sage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web-based </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bloglines , NewsIsFree </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A list is available @ http://www.lights.com/weblogs/rss.html </li></ul>
  19. 20. RSS file in Firefox
  20. 21. RSS file in IE6
  21. 22. RSS file in IE7b3
  22. 23. RSS file w/ associated style sheet
  23. 24. Why do I need an aggregator? <ul><li>Most importantly it makes the content of the feed readable </li></ul><ul><li>Checks for updates automatically </li></ul><ul><li>Notifies you of new information </li></ul><ul><li>Displays only new items for you </li></ul><ul><li>May allow you to sort and save information </li></ul>
  24. 25. Types of Aggregators <ul><li>Client </li></ul><ul><li>Add-on </li></ul><ul><li>Built-in </li></ul><ul><li>Server-based </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based service </li></ul>
  25. 26. FeedReader (client)
  26. 27. Pluck (add-on for IE)
  27. 28. Firefox 1.5
  28. 29. Netscape 8
  29. 30. IE7beta 2
  30. 31. Feed on Feeds (server)
  31. 32. Bloglines (Web-based service)
  32. 33. Subscribing to a feed
  33. 34. Bloglines Toolkit (for Firefox)
  34. 35. Subscribing via the Toolkit
  35. 36. The Bloglines Bookmarklet
  36. 37. Integrating RSS into Your Web site Part 3: Creating Feeds Michael Sauers, BCR Internet Librarian 2006 22 October 2006
  37. 38. How do I create a feed? <ul><li>Hand-rolled You type the markup and the content </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-automated You type the content, software generates the markup. </li></ul><ul><li>Fully-automated You put the content in your blog and software generates a feed based on that content. </li></ul>
  38. 39. FeedSpring
  39. 40. FeedSpring
  40. 41. FeedSpring
  41. 42. FeedSpring
  42. 43. FeedSpring
  43. 44. FeedSpring
  44. 45. FeedSpring
  45. 46. FeedSpring <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local installation limits mobility and posters to a single computer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No built-in FTP. Must transfer the .xml file to the server manually. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Still in beta (but what isn’t these days?) </li></ul></ul>
  46. 47. RapidFeeds: FeedManager
  47. 48. RapidFeeds: FeedManager
  48. 49. RapidFeeds: FeedManager
  49. 50. RapidFeeds: FeedManager
  50. 51. RapidFeeds: FeedManager
  51. 52. RapidFeeds: FeedManager
  52. 53. RapidFeeds: FeedManager
  53. 54. RapidFeeds: FeedManager
  54. 55. RapidFeeds: FeedManager
  55. 56. RapidFeeds: FeedManager <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Registration does not work with newer e-mail addresses. (Insisted my .info address was invalid.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not allow publishing to another server so if the company disappears, your feed goes with it. </li></ul></ul>
  56. 57. ListGarden
  57. 58. ListGarden
  58. 59. ListGarden
  59. 60. ListGarden
  60. 61. ListGarden
  61. 62. ListGarden <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Depending of type of server installed on, may not be secure. (i.e. no passwords on cgi-bin directories.) </li></ul></ul>
  62. 63. RSSxl
  63. 64. RSSxl
  64. 65. RSSxl
  65. 66. RSSxl
  66. 67. RSSxl <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Solid knowledge of HTML required to get parsing correct. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Works better on pages with simpler layouts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The validation code “will change each month and you will need to visit this page for the new code.” (Though I’ve found feeds continue to work without updating the code.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ If you are using this tool to publish an RSS feed from your website, then you must include a visible HTML link to www.wotzwot.com on your site next to the link to your feed like the following: ‘Powered by RSSxl’” </li></ul></ul>
  67. 68. Sabifoo
  68. 69. Sabifoo
  69. 70. Sabifoo
  70. 71. Sabifoo
  71. 72. Sabifoo
  72. 73. Sabifoo <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Third party service could disappear at any time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Doesn’t always work well with Yahoo! Messenger and AIM. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not interpret HTML in posts. </li></ul></ul>
  73. 74. Twitter <ul><li>What are you doing now? </li></ul><ul><li>Post via: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SMS </li></ul></ul>
  74. 75. Twitter
  75. 76. Twitter
  76. 77. Twitter <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>140 characters per post </li></ul></ul>
  77. 78. RSS Calendar
  78. 79. RSS Calendar
  79. 80. RSS Calendar
  80. 81. RSS Calendar
  81. 82. RSS Calendar
  82. 83. RSS Calendar
  83. 84. RSS Calendar
  84. 85. RSS Calendar <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No importing from existing calendars </li></ul></ul>
  85. 86. Integrating RSS into Your Web site Part 4: Republishing Feeds Michael Sauers, BCR Internet Librarian 2006 22 October 2006
  86. 87. Integrating feed content into your Web site <ul><li>Grab content from multiple RSS feeds </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce and/or mash it </li></ul><ul><li>Republish it on your site </li></ul>
  87. 88. rss viewer
  88. 89. rss viewer
  89. 90. rss viewer
  90. 91. rss viewer
  91. 92. rss viewer <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Third party </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has a way to combine multiple feeds (feed combiner) but only those that are pre-programmed </li></ul></ul>
  92. 93. RapidFeeds: MySite
  93. 94. RapidFeeds: MySite
  94. 95. RapidFeeds: MySite
  95. 96. RapidFeeds: MySite
  96. 97. RapidFeeds: MySite
  97. 98. RapidFeeds: MySite
  98. 99. RapidFeeds: MySite
  99. 100. RapidFeeds: MySite
  100. 101. RapidFeeds: MySite <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Registration does not work with newer e-mail addresses. (Insisted my .info address was invalid) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Code supplied is longer than all others as it contains all the CSS. Would want to move that to an external file. </li></ul></ul>
  101. 102. RSS2HTML
  102. 103. RSS2HTML
  103. 104. RSS2HTML
  104. 105. RSS2HTML
  105. 106. RSS2HTML
  106. 107. RSS2HTML
  107. 108. RSS2HTML
  108. 109. RSS2HTML
  109. 110. RSS2HTML <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Third party service. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimal customization / limited to their templates / can’t make it look like your site. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did not work well on some feeds and not at all on others. (No luck with GoogleNews. Mixed results with Flickr.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Given a URL to embed with, not a script, which forces embedding via iframe . </li></ul></ul>
  110. 111. Feed2JS
  111. 112. Feed2JS
  112. 113. Feed2JS
  113. 114. Feed2JS
  114. 115. Feed2JS
  115. 116. Feed2JS <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Third party (but you can download and install it on your own server which is recommended) </li></ul></ul>
  116. 117. FeedDigest
  117. 118. FeedDigest
  118. 119. FeedDigest
  119. 120. FeedDigest
  120. 121. FeedDigest
  121. 122. FeedDigest
  122. 123. FeedDigest
  123. 124. FeedDigest
  124. 125. FeedDigest
  125. 126. FeedDigest
  126. 127. FeedDigest
  127. 128. FeedDigest <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Third party service. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited to five feeds in free version. </li></ul></ul>
  128. 129. Scrolling RSS News Ticker
  129. 130. Scrolling RSS News Ticker
  130. 131. Scrolling RSS News Ticker
  131. 132. Scrolling RSS News Ticker
  132. 133. Scrolling RSS News Ticker <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Third party </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shows small advertisement </li></ul></ul>
  133. 134. RSS Scrollbox Widget
  134. 135. RSS Scrollbox Widget
  135. 136. RSS Scrollbox Widget
  136. 137. RSS Scrollbox Widget
  137. 138. RSS Scrollbox Widget <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Third party </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shows small advertisement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ad free, local-hosted version available for $35. </li></ul>
  138. 139. Grazr
  139. 140. Grazr
  140. 141. Grazr
  141. 142. Grazr
  142. 143. Grazr
  143. 144. Grazr <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Third party </li></ul></ul>
  144. 145. LibraryThing Blog Widget
  145. 146. LibraryThing Blog Widget
  146. 147. LibraryThing Blog Widget <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires JavaScript </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires LibraryThing account </li></ul></ul>
  147. 148. Integrating RSS into Your Web site Part 5: Advanced Feed Manipulation Michael Sauers, BCR Internet Librarian 2006 22 October 2006
  148. 149. FeedBlendr
  149. 150. FeedBlendr
  150. 151. FeedBlendr
  151. 152. FeedBlendr
  152. 153. FeedBlendr <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Could not get OPML importing to work. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Third party service could disappear at any time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“If this blend is not accessed for more than 2 weeks, it will be removed from the database and will need to be recreated.” </li></ul></ul>
  153. 154. FeedBurner
  154. 155. FeedBurner
  155. 156. FeedBurner
  156. 157. FeedBurner
  157. 158. FeedBurner
  158. 159. FeedBurner
  159. 160. FeedBurner
  160. 161. FeedBurner
  161. 162. FeedBurner
  162. 163. FeedBurner
  163. 164. FeedBurner
  164. 165. FeedBurner
  165. 166. FeedBurner
  166. 167. FeedBurner
  167. 168. FeedBurner
  168. 169. FeedBurner
  169. 170. FeedBurner <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Since by using this you get a new feed URL, it is not recommended you use it on existing feeds. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your feed will be relying on a third party to work. If the company goes under, your feed will disappear. </li></ul></ul>
  170. 171. Feed Crier
  171. 172. Feed Crier
  172. 173. Feed Crier <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only three feeds for free </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free version advertisement supported </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Works only with AIM </li></ul></ul>
  173. 174. ZapTXT
  174. 175. ZapTXT
  175. 176. ZapTXT
  176. 177. ZapTXT
  177. 178. ZapTXT
  178. 179. ZapTXT <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t handle feeds that require logins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes reports a feed as “not valid” and there’s nothing you can do about it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Searches on multiple keywords are “OR” searches. “AND” searches don’t seem to be possible. </li></ul></ul>
  179. 180. Mail2RSS
  180. 181. Mail2RSS
  181. 182. Mail2RSS
  182. 183. Mail2RSS
  183. 184. Mail2RSS <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bloglines doesn’t like the RSS2.0 feeds, use the 1.0 link instead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mail automatically deletes after seven days </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feeds are limited to 20 items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential security issue when using Subscribe with Bloglines bookmarklet (next slide) </li></ul></ul>
  184. 185. Mail2RSS
  185. 186. RssFwd
  186. 187. RssFwd
  187. 188. RssFwd
  188. 189. RssFwd
  189. 190. RssFwd
  190. 191. RssFwd
  191. 192. RssFwd <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some (including me) argue that converting RSS to e-mail defeats the purpose of RSS. </li></ul></ul>
  192. 193. Feed2Podcast
  193. 194. Feed2Podcast
  194. 195. Feed2Podcast
  195. 196. Feed2Podcast
  196. 197. Feed2Podcast <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your feeds are read by a computer generated voice. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-English words are not well supported. </li></ul></ul>
  197. 198. Contact information <ul><li>Michael Sauers </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://travelinlibrarian.info/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://del.icio.us/travelinlibrarian/cil2007/rss </li></ul>

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