Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

RSS Newsmastering Engines And Syndication Servers Just Around The Corner: Grow Your RSS Content Into A DataBank

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Due to the enormous and ever-increasing information flow we are all submitted to, the only way to improve our ability to access and use the information that is really important to us, must take place by scaling up one notch our ability to filter, aggregate and access relevant content.

Photo credit: Ana Schaeffer

This role is being played out in part by bloggers and news outlets who do indeed manually pre-select, edit and filter and aggregate relevant stories according to their area/theme of coverage from a much larger news inventory.

But the manual approach can only do so much to the intelligent search, filtering and aggregation of content, while the information tsunami keeps growing in size day after day.

It is therefore the role of a new breed of more advanced RSS aggregators -or as I would call them, newsmastering engines - to provide the processing power and technical infrastructure needed to manage this huge amount of diverse information in ways and times that a human being could not possibly match.

From my point of view, such up-and-coming aggregating and filtering engines represent one of the most interesting and powerful addition to the universe of news media and independent publishing that is about to take place.

With them, RSS extends its usefulness beyond its ability to be a uniquely effective content delivery and distribution mechanism into becoming a content management and filtering engine for the creation of new content feeds, highly targeted topic-specific news feeds, competitive intelligence reports both for the large organization as well as for the small and medium-sized online publisher and newsmaker.

HitSyndicaat is a new server-based RSS aggregator engine which provides top-class performance, scalability and a powerful query engine.

HiT Syndicaat has been originally conceived as an enterprise-targeted, syndication server solution, designed to aggregate, filter and output RSS content based on specific criteria and conditions.

Unlike other web-based RSS aggregators as Bloglines, Microsoft Start, Kinja, Newsgator, HiT Syndicaat is not meant to be a front end to read your preferred RSS-based news feeds. What it does best is to provide access to full archives of RSS-based content while providing the means to aggregate and work on only selected sources or groups of them.

Say for example that you would like to aggregate and republish within your organization one news feed that reports about new disease research taking place in Africa, or about all of the breaking bids and tenders for a specific type of service across selected regions of the world, or more simply monitor all instances of press and news coverage related to my company. How do I go about that with the available tools?

Right now there isn't any one tool, outside of the rare objects I describe in my RSS NewsMaster's Toolkit that allows a newsmaster to do all of this in one easy and integrated fashion.

Right now there isn't anyone tool, outside of the rare objects I describe in my RSS NewsMaster's Toolkit that allows to do all of this in one easy and integrated fashion.

Most of the work has to be done manually and even those companies that have long understood the potential and value of this (e.g.: Myst Technologies) have been unable (or unwilling) to come out with a dedicated product or service capable of these features.

It seems in fact that most efforts on this front, including mine, have been driven by talented individuals who, by patching together available tools and empirical knowledge have started to produce quite interesting results on this front.

So, it appears to me that the time is more than ripe for welcoming new tools and services giving us and the enterprise the power to search, filter, splice and remix content in multiple ways. Unless this is made into a tool that is as easy to use as a browser, the talented information librarians, researchers and emerging newsmasters will not be able to express and leverage the enormous potential these new breed of tools will be able to provide us.

HiT Syndicaat is (like at least a few others who are still underground), a newsmastering engine that is built around a very powerful text search database solution called Apache Lucene, and with a growing set of features that could provide great potential to the savvy news editor and online publisher.

What you can do with a powerful newsmastering engine like HiT Syndicaat or with other similar new tools that will be announced in the coming weeks is the following:

a) Aggregating together multiple RSS/Atom feeds into one new unique master feed without limitations and without adding advertisements in the newly created feed.

b) Combining together standard RSS feeds and "future search" feeds into new masters. This is one of the most powerful applications of the rip, mix, feed approach and can produce outstanding results.

c) Applying filters to any individual aggregate feed as well as to the final re-mix.

d) Aggregating RSS-based content that is normally not accessible or "visible" by the major search engines.

e) Eliminating automatically content duplicates by checking both title and content similarity.

f) Generating output in multiple customizable formats including RSS, Javascript, HTML.

g) Integrating an evolved alert system that can tap and monitor any combined feed for unique keywords or other variables while immediately alerting authorized subscribers.

Not only.

Click the above image to enlarge it

Thanks to HiT Syndicaat, you will soon be able to enable all of your RSS-based content to be fully searchable in a number of ways, including enabling it to become fully searchable via one of the most interesting search engines out there: A9.

What's the advantage?

A9 allows you to run searches that span news and content sources that you specify. For example a normal query run on A9 can provide multiple parallel search results columns reporting to me results coming from Google, the Amazon bookstore, Wikipedia, the Creative Commons search engine, my online bookmarks and my surfing history, and also from any number of other A9-enabled content sources I have chosen to activate within it.

Want to give it a try? Try this:

Go to A9 and click on "Add Columns To Your Search Rersults" which appears as a text link on the right hand column of the A9 home page.


In the new A9 page that has appeared input the title "robingood" inside the field called "Search Columns" now appearing in the center of the page.


Now click on "Try" or "Add" (better) to add this feed archive to the A9 search engine.


Run a search. I suggest something rather precise like this very topic we are talking about here: "newsmastering" or for example "web conferencing" where I have also lots of unique content. You can use quotation marks like in a normal search engine to make sure you are receiving only perfectly matching results.

You can try the same with another large aggregated set of feeds. In the same box "Search Columns" now add "BBC ALL". You can now search also across all of the BBC news content.

The beauty of A9 used in combination with these sets of aggregated news feeds is that you can customize your search experience in ways that are yet completely unavailable on the more traditional Google, Yahoo or MSN search engines.

This and more is what you should be expecting from this soon-to-emerge new breed of RSS aggregators and re-publishing tools.

Note: If you have lots of RSS-based content, are technically competent and are interested in becoming A9-search-enabled, please contact Giovanni Guardalben at gianni[at] .

Readers' Comments    
2005-06-19 21:08:07


Hi Robin,

I love your thinking about newsmasters.

Here's what I'd like to do: copy clips from various podcasts and edit them together to make one MP3.

For example, I love Photoshop Elements 3. Sometimes a podcaster will mention Photoshop Elements 3 (maybe for one minute of their podcast). I would like to copy all those mentions and paste them into a longer podcast that is focused totally on Photoshop Elements 3.

Do you know if there are any programs that would help me do that?

And do you know if it's legal?

Thank you!


posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, June 15 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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