RSS and the New Ecology of the Web
Dept. of Computer Science, EMU (Emeritus)
- RSS 101
- The Ecology of RSS Feeds
- RSS and LINGUIST
Part 1. RSS 101
Feeds and aggregators - basic concepts.
Feeds and Aggregators
- Feed is a file in
recent items in a resource collection. A feed resides on
a web server and is accessed
via a URL.
- Aggregator is a client program that supports
subscribing to feeds, polling for updates, and displaying
new content to the user.
- Common types of aggregators are desktop (NewNewsWire,
web based (Bloglines,
My Yahoo), and browser based
(Firefox live bookmarks, Safari 2.0, IE 7).
Who Provides Feeds?
- online newspapers
- weather sites
- online stores
- social bookmarking sites
- (etc etc)
Static vs. On-Demand Feeds
- Static: Stored in a file that is updated in sync
with the resource.
- Dynamic: Generated on demand.
Part 2. The Ecology of Feeds
Feeds are simple data objects that can be sliced and diced
in various ways.
Feeds as Objects
- Structure: simple, regular
- Format: open, non-proprietary XML
- Access: URL
- Content: Serialized references to recent items in a resource collection
Implications of the Above
- Feeds are creatures of the wild
- It is easy to write software to:
Advantages for Providers
- Free advertising
- Improves search engine ranking
- Drives traffic to the provider's site
Part 3. RSS and LINGUIST
How can LINGUIST use RSS and related technologies to
benefit itself and its users?
- Difficult to get exact usage figures.
- Web server logs record hits - can get statistics from them.
- But: One hit on a feed may correspond to many users.
- Can republish feeds through
feedburner.com, which will gather usage statistics.
Linguist query feeds?
- RSS version:
- Site-wide query:
- RSS version:
- Requires users accounts (login/password)
- Can use unique key to authenticate URLs
uses this system with its personalized RSS feeds
- Maybe also restrict
advanced services (such as query
feeds) to registered users.
- Register LINGUIST feeds with a feed indexing site.
- Feed autodiscovery via <link> elements.
- Site registration system for personalized services.
- Site-wide query facility, with RSS feeds.