Saturday, 28 July 2007

My Telegraph: the RSS gateway drug

The Telegraph has a service (is it new? I'm not sure. I haven't noticed it before, and it still seems a little unfinished, so I'm thinking it can't be that old), where you can subscribe to a limited selection of news articles. They have created a few broad categories (sport, news, opinion, business, and so on) and have selected a number of resources that you can feed into an RSS stream. And, somewhat shockingly, they aren't just recommended Telegraph columns, but things from all over the internet, including columns from their competitors (they offer feeds from the Times and the Guardian).

Now it is very limited (you can't add in any other feeds, but can only select from what they have made available). And it is a little clunky (it's all ajax, which I don't really like as a functional platform - it's too prone to slowness). But I quite like it nonetheless.

It feels to me like the gateway drug of RSS - not quite as hardcore as setting yourself up with feeds and a feedreader, but you can have a small selection of things to read. It's the sort of thing you might suggest to your not-terribly-net-savvy parents, or to someone with limited English. You would move on from there to a real RSS reader - probably GoogleReader, as the format is somewhat similar. It's enough to get you hooked on the crack that is RSS, but not so daunting as having to go out and actually track feeds down yourself. And I really like the fact that they're not limiting themselves to Telegraph resources, but are expanding their options to other sources. I think it's worth checking out.

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