E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

Syndication

RSS2PDF – Increasing the Availability of Your RSS Feeds

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

For as long as I can remember, and while I have been maintaining both my Intranet and my Internet weblogs, I have always been a fan of RSS : Really Simple Syndication. RSS is one of those protocols that you just cannot ignore if you want to be kept in the loop about what is happening in different web sites and to follow up on a number of different weblogs. I am sure that by now you are all familiar with RSS and one way or another you may be using whatever RSS Newsfeed reader that may meet your needs.

However, and despite all that, I think that it may be also a good time to check a new RSS related offering that is available at the moment as a Beta product. It is called RSS2PDF and it is probably one of those offerings that may revolutionise some of the aspects of what RSS is all about. The offering itself will allow you to convert any RSS Newsfeed into a .PDF file that you can then take with you wherever you may go or that you can print out if you wish. So RSS2PDF is just the perfect solution for people who are on the road and do not have the possibility of staying connected all the time and who may not necessarily need to get busy using an RSS Newsfeed client.

It works very simple. You just need to enter the URL of the feed or the OPML file, then select the format, chose if you want to have images or not and you just need to click on Make PDF. And voilá ! Ready to go. All your favourite feeds in .PDF format for you to take them with you wherever you may go. As far as I can see this may be the easiest way to get content from your feeds and make it available through .PDF, which is probably one of the easiest ways of reading through information without having to learn new tools.

Thus if you are looking for another refreshing way of reading through your RSS Newsfeeds do not forget to give a try to RSS2PDF as I am sure you will like what you are seeing. I have actually tried it out with a couple of my external RSS feeds and it worked really well so you may want to have a look and see if it does meet your needs as well. There is a good chance that it will.

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Ziepod – Podcast Receiver and Player

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Despite what lots of people have been saying for some time now, one of my favourite RSS Newsfeed readers is Newzie. Maybe one of these days I will talk about it and share with you folks why I like it so much. However, this weblog post has got another subject. And that is that the same group of developers who are behind Newzie have now created and launched Ziepod, the podcast receiver and player.

As far as I could see not many people have been weblogging about this lovely application other than a couple of weblogs here and there. Yet, I have been playing with it for a few days now and just like with Newzie I really enjoyed the experience.

I know it is not like iTunes or the iPod but I must say that what it does, it does it really well. Ziepod is a freeware (Yes, I know a big plus already) application that allows you to receive and play podcasts directly into your computer. And although people may think why you would want to do that I still love the opportunity to be able to listen to podcasts directly from my computer. Why not? If I am going to spend a few hours a day working behind it I might as well enjoy the podcasting experience using Ziepod.

However, what I really like about this new offering is how easy it is to use. In no time you have got it installed and ready to go. You can then start searching for Podcasts using another superb offering from the Newzie Team called Feedzie, that actually allows you to search for text feeds or for audio feeds and add them rather to Newzie or Ziepod, respectively.

Then the user interface is just out of this world. Depending on what you are trying to do while you are busy with your computer you can choose up to four different modes that would take more or less space from your Desktop. Really nice. I love it. I can certainly define how intrusive it would be with what I am currently busy with and that, to me, is a big plus as it would allow me to focus on what I am doing while I am listening to some great podcasts. Excellent stuff. You can download the application from here and if you go into the homepage you will be able to see the Ziepod Rating Charts where Ziepod end-users could share their ratings on their favourite podcasts. This way you would be able to build a great selection of items to listen to and enjoy while you go through the day doing some work in front of your computer(s).

So, certainly, if you are looking for a desktop podcasting tool that would allow you to receive and play podcasts and you do not want any complicated application that can clutter your machine then I strongly suggest you give a try to Ziepod. You will like it. I am sure. Pretty much like ñblog, Brian Benzinger (Solution Match) or myself have been able to experience so far.

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RSS: It Is Not Just for Bloggers Anymore

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I intended to weblog about this particular topic for some time but never got a chance to do it till now. So I am glad I am finally getting my hands on it: RSS: It’s Not Just for Bloggers Anymore. Certainly, this would not be any new piece of news for those folks who are very knowledgeable about RSS (a.k.a. Really Simple Syndication) and who may be using it on a daily basis. However, I would think that lots of people may still think that RSS is just handy whenever you need to follow up on a number of different weblogs; the larger the number, the better. And nothing else. So that would explain why this particular procotol has not had much attention so far, it looks like.

There are a number of different studies that clearly indicate that RSS hasn’t really picked up with Internet users as much as weblogs have done so far. Yet, we see how every day large corporations are paying lots of attention to this new way of keeping up with different sources of information. So why is there all the hype about it ? Why are there quite a few companies looking into adopting this relatively new technology if it really hasn’t got that much attention from the Internet end-users? You would expect that would be the other way around, wouldn’t you?

Specially, when the latest one to show their support for Really Simple Syndication has been Microsoft with the recent announcement Microsoft will be introducing RSS with Longhorn and IE7. Although there doesn’t seem to be any significant changes from that announcement it would be interesting to see how it develops. More than anything else because it would just come out when RSS probably has moved on already into other areas of expansion. This way, end-users would need to find new roles for what RSS is and how it is supposed to be used, thinking that there are plenty of businesses looking forward to their implementation.

So it is then when you bump into weblog entries like this one: RSS is Not Only for Blogs, when you come to realise, really, about the huge potential RSS has for not only the Internet end-users but also for the business corporate world. In that particular weblog post over at RSS Specifications there is a large enough list of items and applications that would benefit from implementing Really Simple Syndication. And clearly from that post onwards, I doubt that people would be associating RSS feeds with the concept of weblogs. It all started with weblogging and its syndication, but then things seem to have expanded and improved and therefore there is a whole brave new world out there that would just basically work on developing and implementing RSS feeds for something else than just weblogs.

So if you haven’t seen yet what you could get out of Really Simple Syndication I would strongly suggest you get to read RSS is Not Only for Blogs. I bet that once you have finished reading through it your opinion about RSS will change and, hopefully, we shall get to see what will be happening in the short / medium-term. Definitely, it will no longer be associated with weblogs alone but with a whole bunch of other different tools and web sites available out there. The possibilities are almost endless. And while reaching out for the information that matters to you we will continue to see how things improve, not only from the quality of the content feed, but also from an end-user point of view.

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Google News Feeds Available Now !

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

This is really big news, folks. And it has been mentioned all over the place on the Internet. Google has now added RSS (Really Simple Syndication) functionality to Google News!

And the reason why this is big news is not just because here we have got another large corporation embracing the usage of RSS to enhance end-users’ web surfing experience but more than anything else because it is about time that Google realises that Really Simple Syndication has become much more powerful than originally expected and cannot be ignored, nor denied. So you might as well embrace it and try to make the best out of it.

And that is exactly what Google has done. They are now offering RSS feeds for their News service and not only that but they have also added Atom support (Talking about following web standards). However, something tells me that this may be just the beginning as we have seen how Google has also embraced RSS feeds in their Personalised Google Home, so that people can subscribed to their favourite resources from there, too.

So expect to see some further news in this respect as I do not think Google would just stop at that. And if not time will tell. For the time being, though, it is now time to subscribe to some of the feeds in order to keep up to date with what is happening around the world, business and technology. Well done, folks ! About time, but well done !

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RSS Is Not Only for Weblogs

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I am sure that if you have been weblogging for quite some time you must have had some kind of exposure to RSS (or Really Simple Syndication) as one of the most effective ways to keep up with the hundreds of weblogs you get to read on a daily basis. I just cannot imagine what it would be like having to check for updates on the hundreds of weblogs I monitor if it weren’t for RSS. Certainly, a big time saver if you want to quickly scan through a huge number of weblogs.

However, RSS Is not Only for Weblogs. It can be used for quite a few other things where you would need to get an update from. As a starter check out the following weblog post: RSS is Not Only for Blogs by Search Engine Journal where you can find a whole lot more information about what else you could do with RSS apart from keeping up with weblogs.

And if that list of items is not good enough check out what Tim Yang posted a couple of days ago. Indeed, 15 things you could do with RSS other than just getting updates from weblogs. I must say that after having gone through that list of 15 things I meet up 9 of them, which is not too bad. So I guess I still have to go a bit further trying to get as much exposure as possible to RSS, since if there is No RSS […] You Are Fired! as Scoble once mentioned.

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