Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, September 17, 2004

RSS Wave: Good Examples Of Newsmaster Sites

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As I have been introducing with increasing vigor the notion of a new professional role called the newsmaster, I have received many inquiries about how this fits into corporate information management strategies as well as into online entrepreneurial news business.

The most frequent request has been the one of showing some real, living examples, of "newsmastering" at work.


I have therefore decided to devote this article to showcase some very interesting examples of newsmastering work that are accessible on the Web and, of course, via RSS.

In them you will see how wide is the range options that one could really consider when exploring this new fascinating publishing opportunity.

This article is also intended as a public reference space to list more real-world examples of tightly-focused newsfeeds and information channels that smartly aggregate, filter and syndicate news from multiple sources.

If you are aware of other niche channels like these ones, please add them to the list via the comments area at the end of this article.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter News
An Example of Content Aggregation, RSS and Community.
The Complete Harry Potter news coverage from top fan and official sources, updated automatically throughout the day.
RSS newsfeed:

Harry Potter News is probably one of the best examples of effective commercial newsmastering accessible out there. The strategy, philosophy and tools are in line with the classical newsmastering approach. Here is an excerpt from the About page:

"There are a multitude of Web sites that post news and rumors about the Harry Potter world. The Harry Potter Automatic News Aggregator (HPANA) was created to monitor several of the top news sources on the Web and provide near-instant alerts when new information is published.

This unique service is accomplished using custom, automated scripts that go to each source, capture data in whatever format is provided (text, HTML, or XML), parse the headlines and summaries, and finally index them in a database.

The next step is to organize the data on HPANA's Web site and to create public news feeds that can be used in RSS-compatible programs. Rich Site Summary (RSS) is a broadly supported XML-based technology that makes it possible for Web sites to distribute their content in a standard, summarized format. Desktop programs such as FeedReader and Trillian Pro (for Windows), and NetNewsWire Lite (for Mac) read RSS and display it however the reader chooses.

Using these tools, readers are essentially delivered a consolidated view of the information they want, almost as soon as it's posted, while providing credit and links back to the original source.

By indexing the news in a powerful database, many features not previously available become obvious: full-text searching, linking related stories together, and more. These are the services HPANA's Web site tries to provide."

Massimo Curatella's Newsmaster Network


All of the sites in Massimo Curatella's network are automatically updated and produce direct income through the use of Google AdSense ads.

Game News


  • GameBlogs
    GameBlogs is an aggregation site for blogs which discuss Games, Games Research & Theory and Game Industry Issues. GameBlogs is a 'blog community' - an aggregation site for blogs which regularly discuss Games and Games Research. The basic idea is simple: bloggers register their game-related blog, and GameBlogs simply keeps an updated register of posts - a single, aggregated, searchable view of the best game-related blogs around the web.

    A simpler, still effective newsmastering approach probably bordering into what most would call a group blog.

  • Game Grene
    Daily news service for the world of gaming
    RSS newsfeed:

Planet Planet sites

Powered by an interesting piece of Python software called PlanetPlanet, here is a small sample of a large pool of very geeky news sites aggregating content from a multitude of bloggers working on a specific topic.



Education - Learning - Technology

One-stop source for today's top writers in educational technology. Edu RSS retrieves weblog RSS feeds from across the Web and stores them here.
RSS newsfeed:

One of the earliest and most effective newsmastering resource available online. Created by Stephen Downes it offers multiple views, a search facility and the ability to filter and select only selected content categories.

Health - Alternative Medicine


The NewsTarget network utilizes a different approach to newsmastering by "pre-aggregating" selected news content from a great number of different news sources and focusing on quality opinionated news commentary.

Something worthwhile reading is this excerpt written by Mike Adams, the mind and hand behind the NewsTarget Network. He writes in the About page of the Newstarget Network:

"For each story selected for the Newstarget Network, editors introduce the basic facts of the news (a new study was released, an event took place, etc.) and then devote the majority of the page to commentary and analysis on what the news really means. What's the story behind the news? Who benefits from the news publicity? What fundamental problems in society does the news highlight? How might we use this information to be healthier or happier?

No Spammy Ads
In addition, NTN seeks to provide this information in a non-spammy format, with no animated banner ads, no pop-ups, no pop-unders, and no screen spam.
...NewsTarget Network presents a fresh, clean interface that focuses on content, not advertising.

No Advertiser Influence
Today, the nation's most respected newspapers (USA Today, the New York Times, etc.) are embroiled in credibility scandals involving journalists who simply invented "facts" and interviews in order to meet a deadline. Those are the scandals that have made the front page news, but the real (untold) scandal is the advertiser influence on newspapers, magazines, and cable networks. Advertisers supply the financial lifeline for these news organizations, and behind closed doors, they also heavily influence the nature and content of stories published by those organizations. At the NewsTarget Network, we accept no advertising directly from advertisers. Our ads are posted and selected by Google, outside of our control or influence. In this way, advertisers have no influence over our content, and by reading a NewsTarget Network site, the difference is immediately obvious: we're not afraid to tell the truth about what's happening in this country and around the world, no matter what potential advertisers it might annoy."

Here the sites:

One of the most interesting services (still in alpha) to experiment with some newsmastering is Frassle at

But, stay tuned, as in the next RSS Wave article I will share exactly this. Some of the best newsmastering tools and services you can start using now.

Readers' Comments    
2008-02-19 23:18:23

Dave Johnstone

Interesting article. I never thought of the term newsmaster before...very appropriate!

I've been following for quite a while now without even thinking of it as a newsmaster run site.

Thanks for the perspective.

2005-12-20 14:42:20

Magazine Casino

Nice liste for a futur technology

Use with minor website of my ring

Right Result

2004-11-17 00:42:53

Nathan Slaughter

Here's an example of newsmastering. I work for a financial planner. It's just the two of us. She wants newsbriefs in the morning, a recap at day end, and a check for significant stories before every meeting.

Why is this necessary for a solo practice? ...Our clients are newsmasters (who isn't these days) and they don't want counsel from someone who knows less about what's happening than them.

Thanks for the word, Robin.

2004-10-30 19:48:45


I'm not sure if this is (or not) a form of newsmastering. I'm using RSS feed driven content, parsed into HTML on my site using BlogBomb - to add an element of frequent change to the content. See an example:

The links below each go to a similar page with a different article, and feed driven relevant content. Instead of the pre-written article, I could easily insert ones pulled from an article database.


2004-10-15 18:49:25

Todd aggregates news stories, scientific studies, and reports from organizations on the intersection of health and environment. About 100 articles are added each day, and all content is categorized and made available through customizable RSS feeds.

2004-09-27 05:54:49


Hi Robin,

We did a project close to this kind of thing a while back too,

You can see a list of the most popular Rollups here (this page loads slowly sorry):

And here's some of my favorite examples:

2004-09-21 00:38:42

M. Ford

I really like Daily Rotation, which I dub
'The Daily Rotten':
Quick Loading Headlines From 300+ Tech Sites
You Pick The Sites. We Snag The Headlines!"
It's a quick way to keep up with the tech scene.
Despite RSS, sometimes this is better.

and for specialized medical news, I like:
I wrote about it here:

2004-09-17 22:03:32

Dave Roberts

2 other examples include

One is sports, the other health

Hope they are of interest. Both use rss to tell others and to gather the content

Dave Roberts

2004-09-17 22:02:19


Nice list. Also, I like the Reblog idea. They've even got the "how-to" on their technology.

posted by Robin Good on Friday, September 17 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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