Online Journalism lesson #10: RSS and mashups

This was the final session in my undergraduate Online Journalism module (the other classes can be found here), taught last May. It’s a relatively brief presentation, just covering some of the possibilities of mashups and RSS, and some tools. The majority of the class is taken up with students using Yahoo! Pipes to aggregate a number of feeds.

I didn’t know how students would cope with Yahoo! Pipes but, surprisingly, every one completed the task.

As a side note, this year I kicked off the module with students setting up Twitter, Delicious and Google Reader – and synchronising them, so the RSS feed from one could update another (e.g. bookmarks being published to Twitter). This seems to have built a stronger understanding of RSS in the group, which they are able to apply elsewhere (they also have widgets on their blogs pulling the RSS feeds from Twitter & Delicious; and their profile page on the news website – built by Kasper Sorensen – pulls the latest updates from their Twitter, Delicious and blog feeds).

7 thoughts on “Online Journalism lesson #10: RSS and mashups

  1. Adrian Short

    For websites/pages without feeds you can now generate a feed automatically in Google Reader.

    Just go to “Add Subscription” in Reader and paste in the URL of the page you want to follow. Reader will automatically create a feed — with a public URL — of updates to that page. You can read it in Reader and share the feed URL anywhere you like. So this is not only a way of making a feed for someone else’s page that doesn’t have one, but also for your own site if there’s no better way of doing it in the short term.

  2. Paul Bradshaw

    Thanks Adrian – Google didn’t have that feature when I originally delivered this presentation, but it did occur to me that it would come in useful when I come to talk about it again. Thanks for laying out exactly how they would do that.

  3. Marsha

    Hi Paul, I recently stumbled upon a Google beta site where you can create RSS feeds from searches in google – can’t for the life of me recall it’s name ATM but I was just wondering you had used it or anything similar and if you found it reliable and useful?

  4. Marsha

    Of course, pressed send and the name came to me – Google Alerts…but then you probably already knew that 😉

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