French readers may also discover RssMecano.com, by far the best automatic RSS generator from web pages of news.
RSS Tools and Services - The Best Picks From Sharewood
RSS tools and services play an increasingly important role in the effort to effectively aggregate, syndicate, market and distribute online content.
Photo credit: Eric Ejk
Thanks to RSS feeds, many of your readers need not go and check your home page on the internet every single day to find out what are your latest news. With any web-based RSS reader like Bloglines,Google Reader, Microsoft Live or Kinja anyone can keep himself updated to the many web sites that interest him by simply copying and pasting the URL laying behind those ubiquitous orange tags into their RSS reader / aggregator.
But RSS tools and services also include instruments that allow online publishers and power users to move beyond the standard base by:
- Scraping and Creating custom RSS feeds from sites that do not have any
- Generating your own RSS feeds even if you don't have a web site
- Mixing multiple RSS feeds into so-called newsradars or master feeds
- Receiving your RSS feed subscribed content within your preferred instant messaging tool
- Converting RSS feeds in a variety of other formats
- Tracking and monitoring web pages changes via RSS
- Filtering RSS feeds from unwanted content
- Publishing an easy to access page that simplifies RSS readers subscriptions
- Generating serialized, cycling RSS feeds
- Future-publishing and scheduling RSS post for delayed delivery
- Tracking and monitoring the status of your RSS feeds and the content you read through them
Here is a selection of some of the most interesting and useful RSS tools I have showcased on this site in the last 12 months. The list doesn't pretend to be exhaustive or comprehensive of all the RSS tools and services out there providing such features. You are very wlecome to contribute additional tools and services in the Comments section at the bottom of this article.
- RSS feeds generator enables you to create feeds from any web page in few clicks: Ponyfish
Ponyfish is a web-based tool that allows you to create your own RSS feeds from any web page. All you have to do is simply point Ponyfish to the web page you want to create a feed from, then follow a few steps to setup which types of links you want to include in the feed. The basic service is free. There is also a premium plan that allows you to put advertising and use Ponyfish on a commercial site.
- RSS feeds generator enables you to add RSS feeds to any web page : RSSpect
RSSpect is a service that lets you add RSS feeds to any web page. RSSpect offers three kinds of feeds, so you can add an RSS feed to literally anything you find online: "AnySite feeds" allow you to create update feeds from any website or any document online, even those that you don't control; "MySite feeds" allow you to generate advanced RSS feeds from your own website content, automatically. "Podcast feeds" are specially-designed RSS feeds to be used with iTunes. Free to use.
- Advanced RSS generator creates feeds from static web pages : Feed43
Feed43 is a web-based service which allows you to create a custom RSS feed for any site (which doesn't have one). This process is generally called HTML scraping. Yes, you are reading it right: Feed43 converts free-form HTML or XHTML documents to valid RSS feeds by extracting specific recurring snippets of text/HTML, or by utilizing custom search patterns. This service is definitely for "geeks" or for those who some good technical comptence. To give you an idea of its technical complexity here is the procedure of setting up a feed :
- Find a web page with the content that interests you.
- Create a new feed on Feed43, which points to that web page.
- In feed parameters, define search patterns and output templates for this feed.
- Get the link to your feed.
- Subscribe to this feed using your favorite feed reader (aggregator).
- Optionally, protect your feed with password so no one could alter it.
Feed43 is currently in private beta stage of development. To use this service you must get an invitation code. To get one, say that you have read Robin Good' Sharewood Picnic and apply for it here. Free.
- Simple, non-geek RSS generator to scrape static web pages with no feeds: Feedity
Feedity is an automatic RSS feed generator for non-geeks that has already been featured as a Microsoft Windows Live.com gadget. Feedity simplifies the process of scraping RSS from any web page by offering a user-friendly and simplified approach. Feedity performs content analysis, picks-up the most prominent cluster of hyperlinks and automatically generates RSS web feeds from HTML-based web pages that do not have already an RSS feed. The beta version is free for personal use though I would recommend if you find this tool useful to please consider donating any small money amount to Ashutosh Nilkanth, Feedity generous developer.
- Create an RSS feed even if you don't have a web site: FeedXS
FeedXS is a service that allows you to create as many RSS feeds as you need. Once you have created your feed on FeedXS, people will need a feed reader to be able to read your feed. FeedXS lets you create a feed even if you don't have a web site. FeedXS requires registration. Free to use.
- Generate, store and syndicate your own custom RSS feeds from anywhere: LinkRSS
LinkRSS is a web service that lets you generate, store and syndicate your own custom RSS feeds from anywhere. The editing interface is very simple to use and enables you to produce your feed in a matter of seconds. Nothing to install, nothing to download. LinkRSS is currently in beta and is completely free to use.
- Create a new RSS feed from several existing feeds: Feed Mix
Feed Mix is an RSS editor, which lets you create, edit and publish an unlimited number of RSS feeds. Feed Mix is also able to create a new RSS feed from several existing feeds. Feed Mix gives several useful tools, including a WYSIWYG feed editor, a built-in RSS reader, a blog client, an HTML editor, an image editor, an XML editor and an FTP upload facility. Feed Mix costs $25.95 for a single computer license. Free trial.
- RSS filter and aggregator lets you manage your subscriptions and receive information via RSS or IM: Blastfeed
Blastfeed is a service that allows users to filter the RSS feeds they subscribe to in order to get only the pieces of information they are interested in. Blastfeed pushes information in real time on any media channel, such as email, RSS or IM. Blastfeed can handle any RSS formats available. Free to use.
- Receive any RSS feed via all major instant messengers: InstantFeed
InstantFeed is a service that allows you to receive any web feed (RSS or Atom) via all major IM carriers including MSN Messenger, Jabber, AIM and ICQ. You can add the InstantFeed Button to your bookmark toolbar and let InstantFeed auto-discover feeds on any page or login and add the feeds you want to monitor manually. Free to use.
- Service that sends RSS newsfeeds to your AOL Instant Messenger account: Feed Crier
Feed Crier is a service that sends RSS newsfeeds to your AOL Instant Messenger account. You can subscribe to any RSS feed using your AOL Instant Messenger, get job listings from Craigslist, Simply Hired and others, receive breaking news from thousands of sources and know right away when your favorite blogs are updated. Publishers can give readers an easy way to subscribe to IM alerts from their site. Feed Crier is free up to three feeds. To subscribe to more feeds you need the pro service, which costs $4 per month.
- RSS feeds alerts service sends real-time news updates to your Skype: Anothr
Anothr is a tool which provides real-time alerts for your favorite RSS feeds directly on Skype. You simply need to add "anothr.com" to your personal Skype buddy list. After doing that, you have to subscribe to your favorite feeds to let Anothr know which kind of news you are interested in. Anothr will verify them and send you instant messages everytime there are fresh news. Free to use.
- Set of tools to create, combine and convert RSS feeds: xFruits
xFruits is a service that provides a set of tools to create, combine and convert RSS feeds and also allows you to view the feeds that others have created. xFruits offers a set of four RSS tools to take advantage of:
- Aggregator RSS: aggregates your favorite feeds into a single feed.
- RSS to Web: allows you to change a feed from within a webpage.
- RSS to Mobile: automatically converts your RSS feed to a mobile version.
- Post to RSS: allows you to get an RSS feed of all emails sent to an xFruits mailbox.
Currently, there are four more RSS sydincation tools in the works: RSS to PDF, RSS to Mail, File to RSS and Composer. Free to use.
- Aggregator RSS: aggregates your favorite feeds into a single feed.
- Publish, convert and display custom news feeds on your web site: Feedo Style
Feedo Style allows you to add fresh themed content to your website from any sources with a simple copy and paste. With Feedo Style you can easily convert any valid RSS, RDF or ATOM feed into stylish looking news tickers and boxes that update automatically according to your settings. If your website spans different topics, you can consider creating different Feedo Styles for each type of content. You can use Feedo Style in your online desktop or personalized homepage, like Google's Personalized Homepage, Microsoft's Live.com or Pageflakes, as a replacement for the standard feed boxes. No XML or programming experience is necessary. Feedo Style is free to use.
- Automatic generator of RSS feeds sends email alerts for any web page on the internet: Feedwhip
Feedwhip is a service that detects changes to web pages. Feedwhip sends notifications to your email account whenever the change matches criteria you specify. If you are a webmaster, Feedwhip will keep track of changes to your website, and then send emails to your subscribers. You only need to put a Feedwhip button on your web page. Feedwhip works with just about every web page on the internet, whether or not it provides a RSS feed. Free to use.
- Spam filter for RSS allows cleansing RSS feeds from unwanted content: Feed Rinse
Feed Rinse is an easy to use tool that lets you automatically filter out syndicated content that you aren't interested in. It's like a spam filter for your RSS subscriptions. Simply enter the url for your feeds; You can enter subscription URL' s manually or export an OPML file from your favorite RSS reader (Feed Demon, NetNewsWire, MyYahoo!, Rojo, etc.). In order to set up your filters you can rinse your feeds by keyword, author, tag, etc, or filter profanity and more. Once you have done this operation, your RSS reader of choice simply retrieves your clean feeds. Feed Rinse is currently free to use and provides the mentioned function for up to 5 feeds; Premium packages with addictional features are soon to be developed.
- Create an easy to access page for your readers that facilitates RSS readers subscriptions: FeedPass
FeedPass is a tool that enables you to make RSS easy for any blog or website. You just have to enter your feed URL and FeedPass will generate one information rich page along with subscription buttons and mini-tutorials on RSS that you can easily republish on your site to guide your users through the RSS subscription process. FeedPass also gives you a way to earn money from your FeedPass pages, both for your own content or for links to other feeds. You can create a FeedPass link to any blog or feed and earn money via Google AdSense when people view it. Free to use.
- RSS feeds creator lets you set up, publish and manage serialized web feeds: FeedCycle
FeedCycle is a service that enables you to create, publish and manage cyclic, or serialized, web feeds using the RSS feed format. A serialized RSS web feed is that one which enables a subscriber to receive sequential episodes from within a series of episodes. The subscriber always starts at the beginning regardless when they start their subscription. For example if you have previously published a 10 episode podcast, you can create a cyclic web feed and ensure that your subscribers always start from the beginning. Free to use.
- Future publish and schedule RSS feed content publication: FutureRSS
FutureRSS is a PHP script that converts an RSS feed into HTML and displays only the current RSS feed's items. The FutureRSS script allows webmasters to pre-plan an RSS feed's content items and to publish them all at predetermined dates and times. FutureRSS allows web publishers to prepublish RSS content weeks or even month's in advance. FutureRSS has been developed by the same creators of FeedForAll and if you are a registered user of FeedForAll, the new FutureRSS script is available to you free of charge. Fees for FeedForAll start from $39.95.
- Feed status tracker keeps you updated across multiple computers: Feedlinx
Feedlinx is an online feed reader that tracks the status of your feed items on all of your machines and across all of your feed readers and tells you whether you have already viewed a post before. You just need to add or import your feeds into Feedlinx then you can subscribe to the new addresses that are generated. You can subscribe to the Feedlinx addresses at home, work, or anywhere you want to keep track of your posts. You can even have Feedlinx email your posts to your inbox. The service has been tested with many popular feed readers and supports both RSS and ATOM feeds. The online interface of Feedlinx supports all major browsers. Sign up now, it's free to use.
Scraping and Creating custom RSS feeds from sites that do not have any
Generating your own RSS feeds even if you don't have a web site
Mixing multiple RSS feeds into so-called newsradars or master feeds
Receiving your RSS feed subscribed content within your preferred instant messaging tool
Converting RSS feeds in a variety of other formats
Tracking and monitoring web pages changes via RSS
Filtering RSS feeds from unwanted content
Publishing an easy to access page that simplifies RSS readers subscriptions
Generating serialized, cycling RSS feeds
Future-publishing and scheduling RSS post for delayed delivery
Tracking and monitoring the status of your RSS feeds and the content you read through them
This is a nice page with many useful rss tools and services. I would just like to add my own, though: http://www.composite-rss.com, which is a service that searches multiple feeds for multiple keywords and combines the results into one RSS feed.
If anyone's really desperate to get into Feed Digest, you still can at http://www.feeddigest.com/main/secret
I am just keeping signup levels low artifically until the next version goes live due to a major billing system change. However, so many people e-mail me each day that the 'secret' signup page is now becoming reasonably well known ;-)
Just a small addition to the list of Feed scrapers: http://www.feedyes.com. One of the first (and by far biggest?) creator of RSS feeds. Enter an URL, and get the feed right away.
I personally prefer Zaptxt and then Rasasa for RSS to IM + SMS alerts.
I like FeedFire for the simplest RSS feed scraping. dappit.com is also very good for this and a whole lot more.
Stephen Downes' OPML generator is the easiest and fastest way to bundle RSS feeds in my experience but I'd love to know what other people prefer.
If only FeedDigest would resume accepting new users, that does a great job of filtering, bundling and making RSS feeds displayable in HTML.