Become a Power News Consumer

Anyone can become a power news consumer by taking advantage of the wealth information being published via RSS newsfeeds. You just need to learn where to find the feeds and how to read them. Bloglines, is a tool that allows you to do both and I hightly recommend it if you haven't already found an aggregator that meets your needs.

It's easy to create your own account. If you want to, you can even "seed" your own new bloglines account with subscriptions collected and organized by someone else.

For example, UtahNewsJunkie, has created a public Bloglines list of some Utah newsfeeds. Click on "export" to download his OPML. Save it to your drive and then import it into your own news aggregator [Tip: if it shows 0 feeds when you import it, go back and highlight the XML file, save it as text using wordpad or notepad, then reimport it].

After you've imported the complete file, click on "edit" and just delete en masse those feeds that don't interest you.

You'll notice that some Utah papers such as the Herald Tribune and the Utah Chronicle syndicate with their own RSS feeds.

But what about those that don't? Here's a tip that may help.

Moreover Technologies harvests news from more than 7,000 of the most reliable online sources, including premium international and regional publications, and corporate and government press pages. Content is intelligently categorized and ranked for quality by an experienced editorial staff.

Moreover content includes the Deseret Morning News. The Deseret News doesn't provide it's own RSS feed, but you can get a free "second-hand" feed via Moreover.

One way to do this is to create an RSS feed based on a query string. I did it using Moreover's CompleteRSS "Create a Custom News Feed" tool - http://www.completerss.com/tools/moreover.aspx .

I entered the query string "the deseret morning news". It created this feed:

http://p.moreover.com/cgi-local/page?query=%22The+Deseret+Morning+News%22&o=rss&n=50.

I made one customization. Once you have the feed url, you can add "&n=50" (or whatever number you want) to have it retrieve the last "n" number of headlines.

If you just want to read the headlines with your web browser instead of a news aggregator, just eliminate the "%o=rss" from the URL and bookmark it. Then, instead thumbing through the morning paper with your cup of joe, just can get your news by going through your bookmarks.

Try this for other papers, radio and television stations, and let me know how it goes.

You can use this technique for creating custom newsfeeds, too.

Say for example you want a feed about news of the Utah ski industry.

Using the Custom Feed Creator, experiment with various search terms until you get optimum results. For example, choosing an "and" search for both Utah and skiing and modifying it for the most 75 headlines, results in:

Feed: http://p.moreover.com/cgi-local/page?query=%2butah+%2bskiing&o=rss&n=75
Read Online: http://p.moreover.com/cgi-local/page?query=%2butah+%2bskiing&n=75

What if you want to track a publicly traded Utah company in the news? First, you'll want to get the stock market symbol using Yahoo's ticker symbol lookup. Enter "nu skin" for example and you find that the ticker symbol is NUS.

Then go back to the Custom Feed Creator and enter a search query along with the ticker symbol in the stock symbol field. A feed for the last 25 headlines for Nu Skin would be:

Feed:
http://p.moreover.com/cgi-local/page?query=%2bnu+%2bskin&b=NUS&o=rss&n=25
Read Online: http://p.moreover.com/cgi-local/page?query=%2bnu+%2bskin&b=NUS&n=25

Whew! This is a lot of work. If you don't want to create your own feeds, you can use those that Moreover has already created on a variety of subjects.

Here are just a few:

Utah News: http://p.moreover.com/cgi-local/page?feed=300&o=rss

Online Content: http://p.moreover.com/cgi-local/page?index_onlinecontent+rss

Cyberculture: http://p.moreover.com/cgi-local/page?index_cyberculture+rss

Blogging News: http://www.moreover.com/cgi-local/page?c=Blogging%20news&o=rss


Moreover provides a list of over 300 other pre-built feeds. Click on the "feed url" for any topic, such as "Travel Industry News" or http://www.moreover.com/cgi-local/page?o=html&c=Travel%20industry%20news , and it displays the latest 30 or so headlines. To get the RSS feed for each topic, cut out the "o=html&" and add "&o=rss" to the end. The feed for this topic becomes http://www.moreover.com/cgi-local/page?c=Travel%20industry%20news&o=rss.

Once news in put in RSS XML containers, you can do just about anything with it. Moreover headlines, for example, can be delivered by email. Just send a blank e-mail to on-index_[feedname]_d@e.moreover.com.

Are you interested in more than just news headlines?

UtahJobsJunkie reminds us that RSS is one of the most useful tools for monitoring the Utah job scene (for example, Salt Lake City Employment Spot and its feed.

You can also use RSS to search eBay (eg. http://www.completerss.com/tools/auctionscout.aspx) and track Salt Lake City Weather Alerts and its feed.

There is virtually no limit to what RSS can do for you and for furnishing the citizens of Utah with useful information!

Posted by Ray Matthews on September 21, 2004 at 06:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | Send this story to a friend!
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