07 RSS Intro

We are going to introduce the topic of RSS feeds.

Class held on 09/24/2008. Student notes are available on this page. Possible questions are available on this page.

Class structure

  1. Go through “At beginning of class” information
  2. Go through slides for RSS Intro lecture.
  3. Demonstrate bloglines.
  4. Work on exercises.

At beginning of class

On your own

  1. You should go to the SiteMaker page for this class.
    • Enter your personal information under "Student".
    • If you have completed a wiki-based assignment (blog entry, industry update, notes, or questions), then enter that information under "Add Wiki Assignment".
    • Do this now.
  2. Be sure to read the announcement about extended office hours that I'm holding to discuss your term project topics.
  3. Go over any other announcements you might have missed since last class.
  4. Check who is doing class notes for today.
  5. Check who is doing industry updates for next class.
  6. I will return blogs next class. Why? Two reasons: 1) I want to have more turned in before I assign these grades. 2) I want you to have entered this information into SiteMaker so that I can test the grade recording process.

I'll go over

  1. What this class should be like so far
  2. Any questions about this class so far this semester? Where we're going? Anything at all?
  3. Next class you'll be turning in the search tool data analysis assignment.
  4. Next class your first status report for the term project is due. You will not be turning anything in on this date. However, you will need to update your SiteMaker page and the list of student wikis.
  5. Industry updates: No one signed up for one, so I'll do it.
    1. A first look at Google's new phone
    2. Google does to books what it did with YouTube
    3. Will Google renew the browser wars of the 1990s?
    4. Google's 10th birthday site
    5. What will America decide?

My notes

The Internet is changing all of the time. New resources are being added at a phenomenal pace in millions of different sites. You can't keep up with everything on your own. You need help.

It's all about getting computers to work for you, to work while you're not using it. Use the computer to search through information so you don't have to. Use the computer to deliver information to your email inbox or to a specific Web page so you don't have to go get it. You don't have to remember to do the query.

You still have to define the search. You probably have to spend more time up-front when defining the query.

  1. RSS
    1. What it stands for
      • Really Simple Syndication
      • Rich Site Summary
      • RDF Site Summary
    2. RSS is an application of XML.
    3. RSS is an open definition so anyone can use it.
    4. RSS is a standard widely adopted by millions of Web sites
    5. If you have a Web site that is updated relatively frequently, it makes sense to put these updates into an RSS feed.
  2. Compare HTML and XML
  3. For our purposes, what are the benefits of XML (and, hence, RSS)
    1. Can easily be translated into HTML for display purposes
    2. Can specify "fields" that can be searched
  4. So, what does this mean for RSS?
    1. RSS a common representation for lots of databases and lots of Web sites
    2. This common representation means lots of tools can be specially written to work with that standard (send it, search it, slice it, dice it)
  5. So, what does this mean for you?
    1. Saved time
    2. Saved attention
  6. Classes of RSS feeds
    1. Blogs
    2. Newspaper articles
  7. Online feed readers
    • Why not feed reader application?
  8. Where can you find RSS feeds
    1. In RSS feed directories (with search)
    2. In searchable subject indices of RSS feeds (with browsing)
    3. On RSS-enabled Web pages
    4. Created keyword-based feeds at search engines
  9. Types of RSS feeds
    1. Static feeds
    2. Keyword-based feeds


Online feed readers

Where can you find RSS feeds

  1. In RSS feed database (with search)
  2. In searchable subject indices of RSS feeds (with browsing)
  3. On RSS-enabled Web pages
  4. Created keyword-based feeds at search engines

RSS feeds from Wikidot

  1. RSS feeds for a separate page
  2. Be notified: RSS feed guide
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