Tips for Better Digital Archaeology: How to create a Google RSS feed bundle

Posted on April 9, 2012


I was asked to explain how I set up my Google RSS feed bundles for archaeology blogs and I have decided to share the answer with everyone.

For those that don’t know, or haven’t looked at my great archaeology blogs page, a Google feed bundle is basically several RSS feeds combined from multiple websites into a single feed. Not sure what RSS is? Watch this great video.

Why would you want to create a bundle? It is a great way to curate content from multiple websites into one easy to access location for other people to see. Yes, everyone could go and find the feeds themselves but if your bundle has 50+ websites you are saving people a ton of time that they would spend doing what you already have done. A good bundle is great content to put on your blog or website.

There are multiple ways to create bundles of feeds but I use Google Reader. You must have a Google account to access it (sign up for one if you don’t already have one). Google reader recently changed and now it is much harder to find the buttons for creating a bundle but here is updated directions:

1. Gather a list of all the feeds/websites you want to have in your bundle. Here is my example list-

Applied Technologies to Archaeology
Anomaly: Terrestrial Geophysics from Wessex Archaeology
Archaeometry-The Society of Archaeological Sciences Blog
Wessex Archaeology Computing Blog
Dead Men’s Eyes
Digging Digitally
Digital Public Archaeology
Electric Archaeology
 GIS for Archaeology and CRM
Heritage Bytes-
Online Archaeology
Open Objects
Paperless Archaeology
Paul Cripps’s blog
The Archaeometry Blog
Archaeology and the i-Pad

2. Subscribe to these feeds. Real simple paste the URL into the subscribe button of your Goodle Reader and click subscribe. If the website has a RSS feed Google Reader will find it and subscribe you.

3. After you have subscribed to all of the feeds you want put them into a folder. If you click on the drop down menu next to one of your subscribed to feeds (left hand column of your google reader) it gives you the option to create a new folder (if you have not done this, do it) or add a feed to a folder. Add all of the feeds you want to a folder.

4. After the folder is created its time to create the bundle. Click on the dropdown menu next to your folder and select create a bundle.

5. Google Reader will use the name of your folder to label your bundle but you can change that now. Also, you can remove any feeds at this time as well. Click save and you have a bundle.

6. To share your bundle you can create bundle clip (code to embed it on your website) or click the Add a link which will take you to a page that you can send people to so they can subscribe. That’s it, your done.

Things to watch out for in your bundle:

  • Over producers- some people blog 5-10 times a day which can cause them to hijack your feed. People may not like subscribing to a feed that is spammed by one blog.
  • Disused feeds- every year it is good to take a look at your bundles to see if they are still producing content.
  • Change in topic- some websites or blogs evolve and change what they produce. Again, keep track of your feeds as you may have to remove one or two if you need to.
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