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Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 10 months ago



Creating 'Live' Subject Guides

RSS meets Social Bookmarking meets Wikis


"Live" Subject Guides created with RSS


Many libraries use the magic of RSS to create subject guides and pathfinders that automatically update themselves.  Tools like feed2js, ... .. make it possible to take the content from a web pages with an RSS feed and display that content on your own web pages, blogs and wikis.


If you're using a news reader like Bloglines or Google Reader, you've already seen how one web page (your news reader) can display headlines from  news pages, blogs and more. What if you could get some of those headlines to display on your library's web pages as well?  Wouldn't it be great to have book reviews from the New York Times appear on your web page with readers resources. Well you can!



An Example

  • Biology News

    This page shows content from several biology news sources. The five most recent headlines from each source are displayed. When the original site updates it's headlines, those new headlines show up on Biology News page.



How does it work?

  • RSS feeds are special web pages written in XML code (don't worry about that though!). They include information about the news or updates shown on a particluar web site. When the web site headlines are updated, the feed page is also updated so it's always in synch with the headlines on it's web page. Basically they're stripped down versions of the web page, no graphics, not ads, nothing but basic information from the original web page.
  • Find a page whit headlines that you want to include on your site.
  • Look for the RSS feed for the page.
  • Copy the URL of that news feed.
  • Open a tool like feed2js.....
  • Paste in the feed URL
  • Use any available options to format your headlines
  • When you like what you see, copy the code created by the tool.
  • Open your own web page in a web page editing program and paste the code in the spot where you want the headlines to appear.
  • Everytime you look at your web page in a browser, the code will look for the newest headlines and display them.






Live Subject Guide Tests - RSS meets Social Bookmarking meets Wikis



Where to start?

  • Set up a account and start adding web sites to it.
  • Add tags to describe each item. These tags will be used to pull the web sites over your subject guide page.


"Live" Subject Guides

Feed links to a wiki for a quick live subject guide. 

  • Test on Wikispaces - (Biology) Wkispaces lets you add the RSS feed directly in the code. It has to be formatted precisely, but it's easy to copy, paste and customize the code.
  • Test on Wetpaint - Not as many RSS options as Wikispaces, though it's very easy to add an RSS feed directly.
  • Test on PBwiki  - PBWiki test. Created with feed2js to create javascript to display headlines. Can't add RSS feeds directly.  Feed2js offers the most flexible formatting options.



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