The project I mentioned earlier - Grin with cat attached
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The project I mentioned earlier Feb. 8th, 2004 03:37 pm

As fits the list of entries mentioned earlier, it's a combination of geeking, politicking, and media. I've had a couple of false starts in this area already but this one seems to have more direction.

The project is "News Aware", and its objective is to promote the distribution and availability of "grass roots" and "alternative" news, by encouraging and supporting the creation of RSS feeds.
The flipside of this objective is to get people to get their news
a) direct from the source
b)from many sources
to encourage them to get the full range of information and viewpoints available.

(It is my personal contention that any site that publishes news and/or press releases should make them available as RSS feeds. It's trivial and hugely effective.)

The site will therefore feature:

  • A front page with (besides the core site info) a randomly selected batch of four to six RSS newsboxes from a set of sources selected from the admins' favourites, to illustrate the range of news available.
  • A really quick non-techy intro to RSS, specifically targetted to charities and social groups etc.
  • Technical information and templates for RSS feeds in PHP, Perl, ASP (etc, etc) to allow *really* easy adoption.
  • Discussion and support forums for RSS users and implementers.
  • Categorised Links to -
    • RSS feeds
    • Desktop feedreaders
    • Aggregators
    • Other RSS resources

Rather than do this one alone (which is invariably discouraging and/or just hard work) I'd like to gather a team of 5-10 admins (so far myself and olethros are "in"). A decent-sized team will also allow us to be proactive (once the site's up) in contacting potential publishers and introducing them to the concept.

Comments, questions and ideas please!

(no subject) - (Anonymous)


From: wechsler
Date: February 8th, 2004 - 04:45 pm (Link)
I should probably add a pointer to http://rssdisplay.infinitepenguins.net/ for reference here - my RSS-in-HTML viewer in PHP.
From: reddragdiva
Date: February 8th, 2004 - 05:01 pm (Link)
jwz's cheesegrater (generates RSS from a screen scrape) may be useful here, to some degree.
From: dennyd
Date: February 9th, 2004 - 02:18 pm (Link)
I'll probably use the service if you're going to be aggregating content, I don't have time to help out with the infrastructure though.

A friend of mine used to run a site which did the following:
* Read in a bunch of RSS/RDF feeds
* Allowed you to select a number which you would see as your 'main' choices, and another load as your 'secondary' choices, and displayed them for you (main in large area of page, secondary appeared as side boxes).
* Made various 'popular links' feeds, which gave you the 10 most read stories overall/by your friends/in categories you like/feeds you don't read/in the last day/week/etc/etc/etc

The last bit was the really amazingly good bit... I was really upset when the site went down, as the various feeds it generated itself used to invariably lead me to things I was really happy to have found, and wouldn't have without it.