RSS, the new black

June 13, 2003

It's been a while since I was on my news aggregator kick. I'm on it again and I'm not sure it's going to stop this time. You might remember a couple of posts I did a while ago; one on Syndirella and another on NewsFeeder. While I did use each of these for a short time, neither of them offered everything I needed, not to mention the fact that some of my favorite sites (read: sites that I must visit each day) had no form of syndication.

This brings me to today, err, yesterday, when I started using NetNewsWire (truth be told, I messed around with it the second my PowerBook arrived but kind of forgot about it after I started getting into Safari). NNW is an RSS reader from Ranchero Software. This client does RSS right! It's everything one could ask for in a news aggregator, including the fact that it displays the number of unread articles in my dock. I spent a good part of yesterday finding the RSS feeds for the sites that I visit daily, some of which still don't have syndication of their own, but do have third-parties who syndicate their content (most likely unbeknownst to them). This provides me a segue into the New York Times online site, which, as we all know, is the best. Last time I really got into RSS, there was no syndication from NYT; perfectly understandable but something that really irked me. Thanks to Radio Userland (desktop weblog software) this has been remedied (thought I'm not sure they know that yet  :P).

The New York Times feeds are only available for Radio 8 users. If you haven't got Radio yet, you can get a thirty-day free trial. If you already have Radio, you can be subscribing to fresh New York Times headlines in less than one minute.

They then list instructions on how Radio Userland users can add the NYT syndication to their Radio applications, followed by links to the various NYT channels, followed by:

Note: For people who don't use Radio, the coffee mugs point to a page on the user's desktop which handles subscriptions. If you're not running Radio, the coffee mug links won't work. Sorry.

Well, they really have nothing to be sorry for, the coffee mug links work fine with a small bit of tweaking. Each of these links is revealed as 127.0.0.1:5335/system/pages/subscriptions?url= http%3A%2F%2Fpartners.userland.com%2FnytRss%2Fbooks.xml, which obviously won't open without the local Radio client running. But, one quick glance at the address reveals that the syndicated URL is here. Remove the cruft and voila, you have partners.userland.com/nytRss/books.xml — the NYT book feed. I've listed the feeds from NYT that I subscribe to below; feel free to add them to your client.

Books
Business
International
Homepage
Movies
Politics
Science
Technology
Sports

I've also exported and uploaded my current subscription list to the website so that others may use it in their clients if so desired. You can find the list here.

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