Tips for Better Digital Archaeology: Getting an RSS Feed from Websites Without RSS Feeds

Posted on April 10, 2012

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Yesterday, I wrote about how you could create a Google Bundle of several RSS feeds into one feed. I talked about how this would be good if you wanted to create a stream of content from a bunch of different websites such as blogs, journals, etc.

What happens if a great website dose not have an RSS feed?

This happens a lot as many websites do not have an RSS or it is broken. The fix for this is quite easy, use a page to RSS converter website . There are several of them:

Page2RSS

Feed43

Feedity

RSSxl

Yahoo Pipes

Feedyes

RSSpect

All of these different websites off products and some charge, some don’t. They all follow the same simple setup (using Page2RSS as an example):

1. Get the URL of the webpage (note not website but webpage, if there are multiple pages on one website you want to follow then you will need to get all their URLs) you want to follow.

2. Paste the URL in at which ever website you use and click the create button.

3. Outcomes a new URL that is your very own RSS feed for that page (note in the picture it is the same URL but that is because my blog already has an RSS feed). Basically, it sends a web bot to a webpage to see if any changes have been made to it and then reports those changes back to you.

Some things to be aware of:

  • Some of these websites are here one day and not the next. Some have been around for a few years but they could disappear at any time. Keep a back up list of the URLs you are following so if these sites go down you can just move to a different one.
  • Some of these programs can be set to only follow one attribute of a page while others will follow everything on a page. If it does the latter then you need to be aware that your feed could become loading up with minor changes. Here is a feed from a journal I follow :( too much junk.
  • The bots that check webpages might take several days or weeks between visits. If you want to be updated instantaneously this might not be possible.

Other then paying attention to these details your done. It is pretty easy to do.

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