Thursday, March 02, 2006

Internet: Web Feeds and Aggregators

Aggregators or Feed Readers such as or are necessary to take advantage of a feature on the web that is gaining momentum. This feature is called the web feed. With an aggregator, people can subscribe to web feeds. In the future, they only need to go to their aggregator to find all the new articles that have been posted to their subscribed feeds. Once limited to blogs and such, web feeds are spreading to many types of web pages.

For example, the new ILS will have a feature that allows customers with aggregators to subscribe to a specific catalog search. If someone really likes a certain author like James Patterson, they can subscribe to that catalog search and their aggregator will notify them when a new article (or book) is added.

You will know if a website is a web feed if it has a little button that says either RSS, XML, or ATOM. Registering for an aggregator is as simple as registering for email. And it is free.

Scan the Hennepin County Library site for an example. See the page that lists all the available RSS Feeds on their site.

Try this article from the Boston Globe.

1 comment:

Audrey May said...

Thanks, Kevin - great explanation and really helpful article. And I love the Hennepin Co website - though it took me some searching to find their community info database links (under Job and Career Services). I really like your blog.