RSS Aggregator

Sunday, July 21, 2002

So I’ve been toying with the idea of building a small RSS aggregating page. My page would allow you to create an account and then give a bunch of links to RSS feeds of blogs, news sources, etc. It would then pull all of the posts of the day from these sources and lump them together onto one page for you, saving you the hassle of having to go through twenty different sites to get your daily weblog updates.

Great plan. The catch seems to be that the RSS XML standard does not include the date and time an item is posted! I don’t understand this omission at all. Maybe you could enlighten me. So, organizing posts from several different blogs is, as far as I know, impossible right now.

And, of course, this project is further aggravated by the myriad different RSS implementations out there.

But — to shine the good light on this again — I am happy that so many RSS feeds have been appearing out there. Problems obviously exist, but this is a good development for the web.

(“Real Simple Syndication” (RSS) is an XML specification that aims to allow someone to publish their news log for syndication in other sources. In the big world of people paying for things, this system could allow a news site to purchase AP or Reuters newsfeeds and insert them into their existing content using existing code — though I presume the big agencies already have their own more trusted proprietary systems that work for them. In our smaller for-free world, it would allow folks a better way to skim through the increasing load of daily content out there to find what they really want to look further into. Etc.)