Reading Syndicated Online Content
NetNewsWire is to syndicated content from weblogs, web sites, and online magazines as newsreaders are to Usenet news of old.
If you have been surfing the Web in the last couple of months, you undoubtedly have come across sites known as weblogs (also commonly referred to as blogs). Simply put, weblogs are like diaries of the thoughts and wanderings of a person or group of persons, pointing at and annotating things of interest on the Web. On the surface, a weblog looks no different than a conventional web page, but one salient feature of a weblog is that its content is usually exposed, in addition to the default web page view, as an XML document (RSS, to be precise) for syndication.
Rebecca Blood’s “weblogs: a history and perspective” (http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html) provides a nice overview of the emergence of weblogs. For more on the culture and practicalities of weblogs and blogging, may I suggest O’Reilly’s Essential Blogging (http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/essblogging/).
News aggregators are applications that collect all these RSS documents at regular time intervals. The advantage of using news aggregators is that you need not visit each individual site in order to know about the latest happenings. You can simply aggregate the news into one central location and selectively view the ones that you are interested in. Nowadays, a great number of online news sites and magazines have caught the syndication ...