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RSS 101

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Setting Up an Aggregator

Now that I have shown the nuts and bolts of the RSS specification, let me show you how to register an RSS feed to an RSS Aggegrator . For this example, we'll use FeedReader. There are many free Aggregators available on the web. For a list of available Aggregators, please go here. Each reader will vary a bit in terms of how the blog registration process works, but all will follow this general process.

  1. Locate the RSS feed.
  2. Register the URL of the feed in your Aggregator.
  3. Save.

    The example that I will use here is to show you how to locate the RSS feed for the Reuters News Service and register it to FeedReader. (You can download a free copy of FeedReader from the Internet here.

    If you have not downloaded and installed FeedReader, please do so now.

  4. Start FeedReader
  5. Go to the Reuters News Service site in your Internet browser.
  6. You will want to look on the Web page for an icon that displays the text, XML or RSS, as shown in Figure 5. The icons will link to an RSS-compliant XML file.
    Figure 5

    Figure 5 The XML and RSS icons that most RSS feed providers use have become quite common on web pages that host RSS feeds.

  7. Once you locate the XML icons, as shown in Figure 6, click one of them. (As of this writing, clicking on the XML icon on the main page will take you to a page that offers a number of RSS feeds. Reuters has its news feeds segmented into many categories.)
    Figure 6

    Figure 6 Some web sites will have many RSS feeds from which to choose.

  8. Click an XML icon from among the news categories. This will display the XML feed of your selected category.
  9. Click the New Feed icon in FeedReader. This will open up an Adding New Feed dialog box.
  10. Copy the URL of the RSS feed into the Adding New Feed dialog box. (I chose the RSS Feed for the Top News category. Please see Figure 7.)
    Figure 7

    Figure 7 You register a RSS-compliant blog or news feed by letting the Aggregator know the URL on the Web in which the RSS-compliant XML file can be located.

  11. Click the Next button on the FeedReader, which will display the Title of the Reader, as shown in Figure 8.
    Figure 8

    Figure 8 The Aggregator displays the channel's title element, as defined in the RSS Specification as the title for the RSS feed.

  12. Click Finish. The Reuters Top Stories feed is now registered with the RSS Aggregator, as shown in Figure.9
    Figure xxx

    Figure 9 A registered RSS feed.

    Once the RSS feed is registered, the Aggregator will check the XML document periodically to see whether any new items have been added to the feed.

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