Are you finding it increasingly difficult to stay on top of technology news, your competitors, and what the alpha geeks are doing? Are you missing opportunities because there are too many email lists and web sites to track on a daily basis? By using an RSS newsreader, you can have information from a variety of Internet sources delivered as it becomes available.
Today, thousands of web sites offer news and information with RSS (which can stand for RDF Site Summary, Rich Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication), an XML-based format for syndicated content. These web sites distribute news, product announcements, discussion threads, weblogs, and other assorted content. With RSS, you can customize the content, both general and specific, that you want delivered (and automatically updated) to your desktop or web application.
With the flood of information available today, the real challenge is discovering a way to find, organize, and filter the information that's most important to you.
RSS news feeds can be read by a variety of desktop and web applications. Although an RSS feed isn't particularly pretty to read, the special formatting helps other applications present the news you're after, in the style you want. Your first step is to get a desktop, web, or hybrid application that will read RSS feeds. Review the various options and give one a try, or check out one of these applications:
AmphetaDesk, developed by Kevin Hemenway (a.k.a. Morbus Iff), is an open source, cross-platform news aggregator that runs on the desktop but presents news in a browser.
Figure 1: AmphetaDesk
NewzCrawler is an inexpensive, easy-to-use desktop newsreader with a lot of features and flexibility.
Figure 2: NewzCrawler
NewsGator runs in Microsoft Outlook. It's unobtrusive, inexpensive, and easy to use.
Figure 3: NewsGator
Meerkat, on the O'Reilly Network, is already populated with a variety of technology-related RSS feeds.
If you would like to stay on top of all the new books, articles, stories, and weblogs from O'Reilly, we offer a variety of RSS feeds you can use. The list below covers our main feeds. Or, look for the logo on our pages. Clicking on it will take you to the feed for that particular page. Then you can cut and paste the URL into your application.
|RSS Feed Name||RSS Feed Location|
|O'Reilly Book Releases||www.oreillynet.com/meerkat/?_fl=rss10&t=ALL&c=5822|
|O'Reilly Network -- General||www.oreillynet.com/meerkat/?_fl=rss10&t=ALL&c=916|
|Weblogs -- General||www.oreillynet.com/meerkat/?_fl=rss10&t=ALL&c=5209|
|Weblogs -- .NET||www.oreillynet.com/meerkat/?_fl=rss10&t=ALL&c=5574|
|Weblogs -- Java||www.oreillynet.com/meerkat/?_fl=rss10&t=ALL&c=5565|
|Weblogs -- Mac||www.oreillynet.com/meerkat/?_fl=rss10&t=ALL&c=5566|
|Weblogs -- LAMP||www.oreillynet.com/meerkat/?_fl=rss10&t=ALL&c=5567|
|O'Reilly Contributed Hacks||www.oreillynet.com/meerkat/?_fl=rss10&t=ALL&c=5826|
|O'Reilly Network Safari Bookshelf||safari.oreilly.com/NewOnSafari.asp|
For more information on adding an O'Reilly Network RSS feed to your web site, see our informational page, Get the O'Reilly Network on Your Web Site, to get started.
If you're interested in other news feeds, try searching syndic8.
For more information on how to publish your own RSS feeds, see O'Reilly's Content Syndication with RSS. You can also search for RSS on XML.com.
Glen Gillmore is a technical Jack-of-all-trades, having experience with a variety of platforms and technologies.
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