Wisconsin Feeds Talk, 10/19/2005

Feeding Frenzy!!!

j Baumgart

j’s scratchpad


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

j gave this presentation for the Special Libraries Association Wisconsin Chapter on Wednesday, October 19, 2005.

Raise Your Hand If You …

[About twenty library and information science professionals and students were in the audience.]

  • Know what XML feeds (RSS, Atom, etc.) are [about half of the room]
  • Receive feeds [a few hands]
  • Use an aggregator or news reader [same few hands]
  • Are here because you personally want to learn more [most hands]
  • Are here because your employer is considering or already using the technology [about the same number]
  • Have coded your own XML feed [no hands]


  • Powerful way to distribute and receive content
  • XML file on a server
  • Usually distributed when there’s new content
  • Most people use software to read them
  • Possible to route feeds to Web sites

Why Should Librarians Care?

  • Feeds are great and powerful
  • Librarians have not only a role in using feeds, but also encouraging their clients to use feeds.
  • If we drive technology in our organizations, we probably have a role in encouraging others to use feeds.

XML Feed Headers, 1

<?xml version=”1.0″?>

<!– RSS generated by UserLand Frontier v9.0 on Thu, 13 Oct 2005 14:53:25 GMT –>

<rss version=”2.0″ xmlns:dc=”http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/”>


<title>j's scratchpad</title>

XML Feed Headers, 2


<description>A blog about news librarianship and related topics, like blogging, feeds, wikis, copyright law, and journalism.</description>


<pubDate>Wed, 12 Oct 2005 04:00:00 GMT</pubDate>

<lastBuildDate>Wed, 12 Oct 2005 21:51:07 GMT</lastBuildDate>

XML Feed Headers, 3


<generator>UserLand Frontier v9.0</generator>

<category domain=”http://www.weblogs.com/rssUpdates/changes.xml”>rssUpdates</category> <managingEditor>jkbaumga @ [e-mail address]</managingEditor>

<webMaster>jkbaumga @ [e-mail address] (j Baumgart)</webMaster>

Blog Post in XML, 1


<title>Reminder: Feeding Frenzy in Wisconsin, Registration Deadline Monday (10/17)</title> <link>http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/jkbaumga/2005/09/30#a4003</link>

<description>There's way too much space at my upcoming talk in Madison, Wisconsin. […]</description>

Blog Post in XML, 2

<dc:creator>j Baumgart</dc:creator>

<category>Professional Development</category> <guid>http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/jkbaumga/2005/10/12#a4054</guid> <comments>http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/jkbaumga/comments?u=jkbaumga&p=4054&link=http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.law.harvard.edu%2Fjkbaumga%2F2005%2F10%2F12%23a4054</comments> </item>

Create a Feed

  • Bug the content creators until they get a feed
  • Write your own
  • Third-party solutions
  • Keep copyright and licensing issues in mind

Feeds are Easy

  • Let’s put one online!

Feed Examples: Web sites and Weblogs

2 Main Kinds of Feeds

Differences between Reading a Feed and a Site

  • Lose niceities of the Web site
  • Stream of content with no distractions
  • Easy to find what’s new
  • Lose links on sidebar, etc.


  • Aggregators read feeds
  • Many kinds
  • Good aggregators should handle various feeds and files
  • Public vs. private aggregators

Desktop Aggregators

Library/Librarian Podcasts

” target=”_blank”>http://libraryclips.blogsome.com/2005/05…

[j added this slide after the talk.]

Use of Feeds by Libraries

Use of Feeds by Libraries, 2

” target=”_blank”>http://directory.edufeeds.com/index.php?…

Events via Feed

” target=”_blank”>http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/jkbaumga/20…

Search Results via Feed

  • Tag feeds: