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News (RSS) aggregation

August 25, 2003
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rss-icon.jpg After advice from Stefan, I have discovered news aggregators to be a great way to keep updated about favourite blogs and news.

RSS stands for really simple syndication and is an XML representation of an article. All the layout and formatting information is left out and left is raw information. Most common information is creation date, title, summary and full text.

RSS feed aggregators will scan RSS feeds that you define at specified interval and notify you when updates are available.

How to get started
First find out whether the blog or news you are following are available in any syndication format. Most common are RSS in various versions.

LiveJournal blogs have their RSS feeds at http://www.livejournal.com/users/<username>/rss. Movable Type blogs will often have an index.xml with the RSS feed. InfoWorld has many interesting RSS feeds.

When you have a collection of feeds you would like to monitor its time to get the software. A good list can be found here.

I have tested the FREE Feedreader and recommend it. Stefan has had good experience with the commercial NewsGator that works as a Microsoft Outlook plug-in.

There, now it is much easier to keep up with your increasing amount of information.



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