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Content Syndication with RSS by Ben Hammersley

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Chapter 10. Directories, Web Aggregators, and Desktop Readers

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.

—Groucho Marx

There are probably over one million RSS feeds published daily on the Internet, if you include all the webloggers, news sites, Slash sites, and custom channels from crazed content management systems. Add the RSS feeds made by ad hoc searches, collections of live data, and randomly generated MP3 streams, and we’re suddenly talking about the sort of information overload that RSS feeds were initially designed to fix. What we need is a catalog, a collection where RSS feeds can be classified and searched, and where users can go to find the feeds on subjects close to their hearts. What we need are directories and their slightly more advanced brethren, the aggregators.

Directories: Introducing Syndic8

There have always been directories of RSS feeds. From the very beginning, at the My Netscape Network and the HotSauce application before that, people have needed to know where to find the best information. The growth of the standard, however, has not been matched by a growth in directories. Though today’s RSS users have many more feed choices, they really are limited to one pure, searchable directory: Jeff Barr’s Syndic8 (http://www.syndic8.com), shown in Figure 10-1.

A screenshot of Syndic8

Figure 10-1. A screenshot of Syndic8

Registering Your Feed with Syndic8 ...

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