Now that RSS is everywhere, there are RSS resources everywhere as well, and sometimes it's hard to wade through everything you find with a Web search.
Where do you begin? With RSS tutorials online. Here's a starter list of good tutorials you might want to check out:
www.w3schools.com/rss/default.asp A useful multipage RSS 2.0 tutorial (Figure 1.7).
Figure 1.7. Here's the start of w3schools' RSS tutorial.
www.eevl.ac.uk/rss_primer A thorough primer, easy to use and understand.
www.mnot.net/rss/tutorial A helpful primer and overview. It shows you how to work with the different versions of RSS, and includes tips as well as links to RSS tools.
www.rss-specifications.com/create-rss-feed.htm Good tutorial text on creating RSS.
http://rssgov.com/rssworkshop.html Part of the Government Information Locator Service site. As the site boasts, "In this workshop you'll learn how to create, validate, parse, publish, and syndicate your own RSS news channel."
Here's a list of the official RSS and Atom specifications and where to find them online. If a feed you've created doesn't work in your RSS reader, take a look at the rules for the version of RSS or Atom you're working with (as discussed in Chapter 3, "Creating RSS Feeds," you can also check your feeds onlinejust go to http://feedvalidator.org/):
RSS 0.90 www.purplepages.ie/RSS/netscape/rss0.90.html
RSS 0.91 http://backend.userland.com/rss091 and also seehttp://my.netscape.com/publish/formats/rss-spec-0.91.html
RSS 0.92 http://backend.userland.com/rss092
RSS 0.93 http://backend.userland.com/rss093
RSS 1.0 http://web.resource.org/rss/1.0/spec
RSS 1.1 http://inamidst.com/rss1.1/
RSS 2.0 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss (Figure 1.8)
Figure 1.8. The RSS 2.0 specification page at Harvard Law.
You can also find information on the RSS specifications at www.rss-specifications.com/rss-specifications.htm.
Additionally, there are tons of articles on RSS online, some on very interesting topics. For example, here are a few articles that review and compare RSS readers:
www.pcworld.com/resource/printable/article/0,aid,116018,00.asp Good article on RSS and a review of 18 different RSS readers (Figure 1.9).
Figure 1.9. A PC World article compares 18 RSS readers.
www.mediathink.com/rss/whitepaper.asp Compares 12 RSS readers.
Some Yahoo Groups provide discussion and support:
Here are some articles on the best ways to write and use RSS:
Here's an article on how advertisers are moving into RSS feeds (unfortunately!):
At Syndic8 you'll find a page on RSS statistics (Figure 1.11) such as the number of feeds Syndic8 tracks, what fraction of people use version 0.92 versus 2.0, and so on:
Figure 1.11. You will find various RSS statistics on Syndic8.
For more information on RSS, such as the percentage of people who use what version, click the RSS link at the top.
In fact, there are even RSS feeds on RSS, which makes sense if you think about it. What better way to spread the word on what's new in the RSS world than with RSS feeds? Here's a starter list of RSS feeds on what's happening in the RSS world:
Dave Winer's site RSS feed www.scripting.com/rss.xml (Web site: www.scripting.com)
RSS and Atom tips RSS feed www.lockergnome.com/rss/rss.php (Web site:http://channels.lockergnome.com/rss)
Robin Good's Independent Publishing News RSS feed www.masternewmedia.org/index-independent_publishing.rdf (Web site:www.masternewmedia.org/independent_publishing.htm)
Here's a good starter list of interesting sites that have RSS feeds:
The New York Times www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss (Figure 1.12)
Figure 1.12. As you can see on the RSS feed page for The New York Times, there's a feed for just about every part of the paper.
The Christian Science Monitor www.csmonitor.com/rss
The Motley Fool (for financial advice) www.fool.com/about/headlines/headlines_rss.htm
Moreover.com http://w.moreover.com/categories/category_list_rss.html (more than 300 feeds listed)
National Weather Service www.weather.gov/data/current_obs
CBS MarketWatch www.marketwatch.com/rss/default.asp
To select the RSS feeds that are right for you, check the list of RSS directories earlier in the chapter. The Syndic8 searchable feed directory (www.syndic8.com/feedlist.php), for example, lists 103,396 RSS feeds.
Also, there are RSS tools available for download (I'll provide many more RSS tools in the book):
Atom2RSS (www.2rss.com/software.php?page=atom2rss) Converts Atom feeds to RSS feeds.
NewsAloud (www.nextup.com/NewsAloud/) Reads RSS feeds aloud.
WebNews.TV (www.webnews.tv/) Reads RSS feeds and other news sources aloudusing an animated penguin!
Take-Off (www.take-off.as/index.htm) Converts RSS feeds to database format and displays them in other formats, such as PowerPoint.
You can also find a list of RSS tools at www.socialtext.net/rss-winterfest/index.cgi?great_rss_tools. For a list of Atom tools, you can go to www.atomenabled.org/everyone/atomenabled/.
And that's itnow you're ready to get started reading RSS feeds, so just turn to Chapter 2.