[Air-l] Rich Site Summary Technology

Chris Williams cwilliam at netdoor.com
Fri Nov 28 14:13:21 PST 2003

If you are using Rich Site Summary (RSS) and know of any relative feeds that
are not listed at the bottom of this post, please email me to let me know.
Other than that, the purpose of this post is to inform non-RSS users of the
benefits of RSS.

In short, RSS feeds bring websites of your choosing to one place on your
computer instead of you having to go to site after site to look for updates
or other new material. Unfortunately, whether sites have RSS feeds to offer
is completely up to the webmasters. Afterall, why would a webmaster want to
use a technology that would keep internet users from visiting their website?
There are a few academic sites, listed below, that do. But CNN and Fox, for
example, send only their top 5 headlines through their RSS feeds.

There are several free programs to choose from that will accept these RSS
feeds. They are listed below along with some example RSS feeds that might be
of interest to social scientists. Also, if you do not want to fool with
learning a new technology and its software but are interested in

RSS, you can go here: http://www.bloglines.com/. Most RSS programs do
require Microsoft's .NET to be installed on your computer. You can get that
from the MS Updates option under your Start button if you use Windows.

This is the RSS reader that I use: http://www.awasu.com . It is one of the
easiest to set up and learn. A tour of what the program does is located
here: http://www.awasu.com/tour.php .

Five software packages that require a bit of technical knowledge are
SharpReader ( http://www.sharpreader.net/ ) and Wildgrape News Desk. A Java
installation is required for nntp//rss (
http://www.methodize.org/nntprss/ ),
a program that lets you read RSS files in Outlook Express or any other
newsgroup-reading software. Or if you would like your RSS headlines in a
news ticker, try wTicker ( http://www.wticker.org/mt/ ). Headline Viewer is
another type of news ticker ( http://www.headlineviewer.com/download.html ).

When you come across a website that offers a RSS feed, all you have to do is
copy the address and paste it into your RSS reader. Here are some rss feeds
that might be of interest to political scientists:

China News

US Political News


US Political Columnists


US Social Policy


Working-Paper Sites of Political Science


CNN Top Stories (not great, but we need to see what are students are seeing)


FOX (not great, but we need to see what our students are seeing)


If you want to read more about RSS, here are some links for you to explore:




Chris Williams, Ph.D.
Mississippi Virtual Community College

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