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Marshall's Web Tool Blog

Training and Consulting in New Tools for Effective Web Use

This site is an archive of posts that I hope you will find useful. Please visit my new site at Marshallk.com.

How to Find RSS Feeds

Alexandra Samuel, a fellow RSS evangelist, and I were exchanging some emails last week and she mentioned that many people have a hard time finding RSS feeds that they want to subscribe to. (See intro to RSS if needed.) I thought I'd write an entry here about some ways I recommend that people find RSS feeds of interest to them.

  1. Search by subject in directories and RSS search engines, like Feedster, Feedminer, and 2rss.com
  2. Make sure you know how to recognize a feed when you see one. Common links to feed URLs appear as orange buttons reading "RSS" "XML" or sometimes "ATOM." Sometimes it's just a text link reading something like "Syndicate this site." Those buttons are links that you should copy the URL of and paste them into your feed reader. Sometimes there are buttons to subscribe with one click via your feed reader (MyYahoo, MyMSN, Newsgator, Bloglines, etc.)
  3. Firefox and Safari users will be notified any time a site they are on offers an RSS feed (in Firefox there is an orange button that appears in the bottom right corner of the browser.)
  4. Just about all news organizations, and many sites that have regularly appearing new content, offer RSS feeds. Hopefully this will be more and more true over time. You really can take it almost for granted already, though, that a site with news will have an RSS feed.
  5. All Blogspot (Blogger) blogs have RSS feeds, whether their authors know it or not. Just add atom.xml to the end of the URL and that's the feed for that blog. For example, marshallk.blogspot.com/atom.xml was my default RSS feed, before I upgraded with Feedburner. Now my RSS feed URL is in the sidebar of this blog's front page.
  6. Many sites that should have an RSS feed, but don't, can have a simple one created for them via Feedfire.com. I love that service, but I hope that someday I won't have to use it anymore.
  7. All Furl and Delicious users and tags have RSS feeds. For example, if you want to get the feed for everything I save in my Furl account, you can find that feed URL here. But if you want to just find what I save under topic RSS regarding search, those results and the feed for new ones are here. Likewise, if you want to grab the feeds for everything anyone tags with regarding a particular topic, I recommend you do a search at Tagcentral, where your results page will show you lots of feeds from different tag search engines.
  8. Other people like Gataga, though I haven't used it much. It's a cross platform tag search engine, with search results available as an RSS feed.
  9. Speaking of search, why search for your topic of interest manually, only when you remember to? You can easily set up persistent search feeds in many search engines that offer RSS feeds of your search results. That way, whenever the engine finds something new as a result of your search, you'll see that item in your RSS feed reader! I wrote about persistent search to RSS here.

Soon you'll have so many feeds you'll never surf for news again. The next step is learning how to best organize your feed reader, something I'll write about later.

Related: My Furl archive of everything I save related to RSS is syndicated on the sidebar of this blog's front page, and be viewed and searched here. That content itself also has its own RSS feed!

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