Blogs are nice and all, but what really got me hooked on RSS was the ability to monitor commercial news sources, and even better, to receive regularly updated, customized search results automatically via RSS feeds. You can get current news from a particular publication, by subject area, or keyword.
I've been experimenting with RSS news delivery for a while now, so I thought I'd share the information I've found with you. I will continue to add sources to this entry as I find them.
News Feeds by Publication
For more, see:
- Technology at Harvard Law - Feeds
- Radio Userland's list of the top 100 most subscribed-to RSS feeds.
- NewsisFree List by Name (Duck, here come the popup ads!) I spotted several law-related ones including CNN: Law, Top Legal Headlines from Findlaw, and many more.
You can, of course, simply visit your favorite news web site, and look around for any mention of RSS or the telltale orange icon.
News Feeds by Topic
Yahoo News offers RSS feeds galore. Categories available via RSS are listed on the Yahoo RSS page. Click on an icon for the category of news you want to receive, then cut and paste the URL into your aggregator.
Topix carries feeds for local news, and many other very detailed categories. To find topics of interest, just run a keyword search and Topix will display the related possibilities. To see an example, take a look at my Bloglines shared feeds, click on KM, and check out the feed from Topix on knowledge management.
NewsIsFree offers a number of RSS feeds on different topics. You can search by category, name, date or language. You also have the option to create a feed for areas like "Top News", but I tried that out just to test it and had thousands of articles show up everyday. I've changed it to the Society-Librarians category. We'll see how that works!
If you visit NewsisFree, be forewarned, the pop-up ads are a tad on the aggressive side, so you might want to turn on your pop-up blocker. You can pay a subscription fee to get rid of those nasty ads and also create custom feeds and news searches. So I guess it has to be said, news isn't really free.
Specialty News Feeds
RSSQuotes tracks stock prices.
EDGAR Index is a subscription-based service offering customizable RSS-based alerts of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. They offer a handful of free RSS feeds, in addition to their pay service ($4.95 per month).
PC World RSS Feeds offers a general tech trends feed, as well as feeds that monitor their most popular hardware and software purchases from their Product Finder.
CNET's News.com covers technology-related news. The RSS feeds offered are quite general, for example, personal technology. They do offer keyword email alerts, so hopefully more customizable RSS feeds will be along shortly.
This is where the real power is, creating custom news searches on keywords, company names or anything else you want to track. This area is also a moving target right now with limited options from the traditional sources (with a few notable exceptions.) But where there's a vacuum, there are always people who will try to fill it. As you'll see, there are RSS fanatics out there creating tools to create RSS search feeds when they aren't offered by the sources themselves. Just be aware that these tools could disappear at any time.
Yahoo! News Search RSS URL Generator - Some nice gentleman named Jerry has created a page that will build a Yahoo RSS feed from a Yahoo News search. Put your search terms in the box, grab the URL from the resulting page, and you're good to go. Well, almost. When I click on the heading for the search in Bloglines, I go directly to the complete Yahoo search result. If I click on an individual item, I get an error message. BUT, and I realize this isn't elegant, if you go up to the URL that generates the error, and take out the first part before the Yahoo address, it will work.
Moreover News - Construct a RSS feed with a ticker symbol or keyword by substituting "keyword" in the following URL with your search term: http://p.moreover.com/cgi-local/page?k=keyword&o=rss. I believe this finds articles with your keyword in the title only. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
RocketNews - Hmmm, on Friday there was a orange xml icon for search results. I hate to be picky, but it didn't work. On Sunday, it's gone. This week it's back, but I still can't get it to work. So here's hoping it will be in working order soon because RocketNews has excellent current news coverage. Until then, you can monitor RocketNews searches using their own web-based RSS aggregator. Just be aware that you can ONLY use the aggregator for RocketNews content.
Google News - Currently Google News offers email alerts, but no search results via RSS. So a couple of enterprising individuals set up web pages that would the trick for you. It seems that Google is getting cranky about this kind of thing, so don't get too attached to these web applications. XMLMania.com - Google News RSS/RDF Feed Generator - Oops, this one has been closed down by Google. So it's back to Voidstar which still seems to be in operation. For more information, see Google Moves to Block RSS Scraping, Internet.com, April 1, 2004.
Google Alert doesn't monitor news, per se, but rather, new additions to Google's search results. Register with Google Alert and you can opt to view all new items meeting your search criteria via RSS, or email if you prefer.
Westlaw Intraclips via RSS offer the most flexibility in terms of defining your feed. Select your database, create a Westlaw search, save it as an Intraclip, and there you go. You will have to pay for the full-text articles you retrieve ($2.75 per article, retail), and the updating takes place only 3 times a day, but you can't find a better selection of premium sources available via RSS.
I've set up several sample newsfeeds from several of the sources listed here. If you'd like to view them, just go to my Bloglines public subscriptions.
There's lots of news out there so keep your eyes open for the orange XML/RSS icon. RSS feeds are being added by the minute. I couldn't possibly list them all and definitely don't know them all! If you find a great source that I don't mention, please comment and share with the group.
I've collected this information from a variety of sources. Among them are:
- Steven Cohen's blog, Library Stuff, and book, Keeping Current: Advanced Internet Strategies to Meet Librarian and Patron Needs .
- Genie Tyburski's Virtual Chase & TVC Alert
- Jenny Levine's Computers in Libraries presentation, Unleashing the Power of RSS.