Taking RSS Beyond Headlines : Part One

Feed-icon-32x32Before I dig into some of the more obscure uses of RSS (in a future post), I figured I’d list out all sorts of creative ways RSS can be used beyond news headlines and blogs. Here goes:

  • Track Specific News Headlines. You can keep track of news on particular topics by subscribing to specific news search results. Here’s a constantly updated news search on the Seattle Seahawks via Google. Here’s another by Yahoo! that tracks the headlines coming in on the U.S. Supreme Court. To subscribe, just do your search and find the RSS feed link.
  • Find Shopping Deals. Another cool use of RSS is the ability to get entries when a shopping deal or coupon comes along. Slickdeals (feed), Ben’s Bargains (feed) and MoreStuff4Less (feed) are just a few of the feeds out there.
  • Track Packages. Nobody enjoys visiting a site and punching in a tracking number just to get shipment status on a package. Simpletracking.com allows you to create a custom feed that gets updated as your package moves along its route. UPS, Fedex, USPS & DHL are supported.
  • Create a Calendar Feed. This is a cool way to share events with others. RSSCalendar.com allows you to create an account, add events and meetngs, and then share a feed for others to consume. They can use a standard feed reader or the RSSCalendar.com site to keep track.
  • TV Listings Via RSS. Track programming on your favorite TV channels via Bootleg RSS.
  • Track Weather. Get weather updates via RSSWeather. Here’s the weather in New York City as of this posting.
  • Keep Up With Specific Emails Via RSS. Mailbucket will pump any emails into a feed that you forward to slurp@mailbucket.org. Just create an Outlook rule against whatever (e.g. emails from particular senders) and get the sent out to a feed once they come in. Just keep in mind that such feeds are unencrypted and can be consumed by others.
  • Get Some General Knowledge On A Regular Basis. Not that you need it, but you can enrich your mind and impress people at cocktail parties by subscribing to daily feeds that send along a Word Of The Day (via Wordsmith.org), Quote of the Day (via Brainy Quote), or how about a bit of wisdom with a daily fortune cookie?
  • Follow Your Favorite Comics. Tapestry Comics keeps track of a whole bunch of RSS feeds including Dilbert and Peanuts.
  • Sports Team RSS Feeds. Follow the goings-on of your favorite sports team. Yahoo! delivers feeds for professional baseball, football, hockey and basketball.
  • Deliver Your Contacts Via RSS. If you need to keep track of your contacts on different machines or want to share your  contacts with friends, RSSContact.com allows you to create a feed and upload your contact information to do just that.
  • Get Notified On Travel Deals. Looking to pounce on a good deal to a particular destination? Get notified on deals to particular cities. Travelocity let’s you build your own custom feed for tracking. Orbitz tracks a whole bunch of feeds to a many cities.

There’s still other stuff out there. These are just a few of the ways RSS can do more than news headlines. Just about all of the above are compatible with your favorite news reader or portal site (like My Yahoo!, Google’s personalized page or Netvibes). Enjoy!

Update: A follow-up, second article on taking RSS beyond headlines has been published here.

91 Comments Taking RSS Beyond Headlines : Part One

  1. Computing News

    I’d also like to see
    1. My bank account on RSS
    2. My Bills paid list on RSS, offered my one bill paying company
    3. My car needs a webserver and RSS, so I can fetch a running list of all problems it might have. ( Gas levels, oil change needed )

    Reply
  2. My RSS 管理人 ブログ

    RSS はニュースヘッドラインだけじゃない

    via digg: Basement.org: Taking RSS Beyond Headlines : Part One ニュースヘッドラインやブログ以外で RSS が効果的に使われている例をカテゴリにわけてまとめて紹介しています。 さーっとリストアップす…

    Reply
  3. Noah

    These are great suggestions. I posted something similar about using RSS to capitalize on Craigslist feeds. You can read about it here. I look forward to part two of your list.

    Reply
  4. kris

    great article. I think you should’ve used the term “XML feeds” because all the points in your article are relevant to Atom as well.
    I’d like to see my bank account on RSS! That would be great.

    Reply
  5. taffit

    @Diesel: you can protect feeds by username/password-combination and send it over https. So if you have the right infrastructure, it should be quite secure.
    However only a few readers support both security-features (usr/pwd-https), f.i. RSSBandit and RSSOwl, which are both freeware and open source.

    Reply
  6. fluido

    Possibili utilizzi dei feed RSS

    Via micropersuasion, scopro questo interessantissimo post di basement.org, in cui viene suggerito un uso alternativo degli RSS.

    Reply
  7. Brian

    Eventful.com has hundreds of thousands of RSS feeds for events, and lets you create ongoing searches and subscribe to them as RSS or iCalendar as well.

    Reply
  8. Educational Weblogs

    Basement.org: Taking RSS Beyond Headlines : Part One

    If someone asks you what you can do with RSS, you can give them a list after reading this post. The author will post more uses in an upcoming post. Link: Basement.org: Taking RSS Beyond Headlines : Part One. Taking RSS Beyond Headlines : Part Onelink v…

    Reply
  9. cameracell.com

    Using RSS for more than just headlines

    While this doesn’t fall into the cellphone/camera phone category, it’s pretty cool and I thought it worth mentioning.
    Basement.org has posted what looks like the beginning of a series on cool ways to use RSS/feeds for things beyond the usual news g…

    Reply
  10. Michael Sevilla's Weblog

    Great (additional) Uses of RSS

    I love RSS. Both in the simplicity and applicableness it offers to content creators and businesses. Basement.org has a list of a few potential uses. Anyone considering using RSS for marketing applications should check out pheedo and feedburner.

    Reply
  11. hexod.us

    Other Cool Stuff You Can Do With RSS

    I have long been a proponent of RSS feeds, just like everyone else on the Internet these days, and as such I found this page of cool alternate stuff that you can do with RSS. I have not done most…

    Reply
  12. WhoTheHell.RU

    Some more links

    Funny people are attractive – Humour is an indicator of large brain size and good partner potential. Women generally preferred men who were funny, while men favoured a woman who thought he was funny.
    Full color video on an 8088 – This video on google d

    Reply
  13. Holy Shmoly!

    Useful Uses Of RSS

    Rich Ziade has listed a number of ways to use RSS more creatively than just reading news headlines from blogs.
    One of my favourite non-blog rss feeds is the Flickr Interestingness photo feed which isn’t listed, but I’ll have to look up the…

    Reply
  14. tech.mchiu.com

    Other ways to use RSS

    Rich Ziade at basement.org has presented this list of ways to use RSS feeds other than just grabbing news. With all of the innovation going on with how we can use the Internet, RSS has definitely become a favorite tool…

    Reply
  15. basimo.de

    Was man alles mir RSS machen kann

    Auf Basement.org gibt es eine Menge Tipps für die Verwendung von RSS-Feeds (Pakete verfolgen, Benachrichtigung bei Sonderangeboten, das aktuelle Fernsehprogramm, tägliche Comicstrips, Email-Benachrichtigungen). Einige der Anwendungsmöglichkeiten si…

    Reply
  16. Fortune Cookies and Other Great Things

    Basement.org: Taking RSS Beyond Headlines : Part One

    Basement.org: Taking RSS Beyond Headlines : Part One
    I’m a big RSS user, but I’ve found that many people are mystified by what they are and what to do with them. This site has a great list of things that people can get with RSS.
    Even if…

    Reply
  17. James Clark

    I love the RSS feed from our BasecampHQ project management system. It’s a brilliant way to stay informed of movements and activities on our all of our projects. I can’t take getting emails and this is a perfect solution and keeps me tied to the progress of our projects.

    Reply
  18. Lifehacker

    12 Things You Can Get Besides News on the Web via RSS

    Most people new to RSS don’t realize that you can use it to save yourself a heck of a lot of time and energy. Rich Ziade made a list of twelve different things you can grab off the Web…

    Reply
  19. Sandy

    For comics, comicalert.com is a service that lets you sign up for a list of comics, and it creates a feed for your account. Lots more are available there than through tapestry; there are only three or four I read regularly that don’t have their own official feed AND aren’t in comicalert.

    Reply
  20. www.brandner.net

    Taking RSS beyond Headlines

    Ein kurzer Artikel bei Basement zeigt was man mit RSS noch so anstellen kann ausser die Titel von Nachrichten oder Blogeinträgen zu übermitteln. Ein weiterer Artikel mit etwas obskureren Anwendungen ist schon angekündigt.
    Die Site um sich das aktuelle

    Reply
  21. www.brandner.net

    Taking RSS beyond Headlines

    Ein kurzer Artikel bei Basement zeigt was man mit RSS noch so anstellen kann ausser die Titel von Nachrichten oder Blogeinträgen zu übermitteln. Ein weiterer Artikel mit etwas obskureren Anwendungen ist schon angekündigt.
    Die Site um sich das aktuelle

    Reply
  22. Ed Kohler

    RSS feeds in retail will be quite common by the end of 2006. It’s so much less intrusive than email, and has better delivery percentages. That’s a hard thing to ignore.

    Reply
  23. Paul Dundon

    Another thought would be to use something like Feed43 to let you “watch” google or technorati search results – so the search could be repeated every day and if a new page appeared in (say) the top 20, it could be included in the feed.

    Reply
  24. Chris - Touchstone Gadget

    This is a great list – going to link it from our blog! In a lot of ways this is exactly what we’re talking about with a gadget we are building designed to treat RSS less like news and more like an alerts/heads-up-display mechanism.

    We call it ‘Touchstone’ and it is designed as an all purpose heads-up-display for applications you care about that generate RSS – not just news!

    I’d love to hear what you think Rich – you can find us at http://www.touchstonegadget.com

    Reply
  25. jai-ignacio.net

    RSS: Huhn?

    As if I wasn’t already suffering from information overload, what with Mozilla Thunderbird setup to receive several RSS feeds from the BBC, CNN and /., I’ve also got news tickers running on my screen 24/7. Oh and trying to keep…

    Reply
  26. Basement.org

    Taking RSS Beyond Headlines : Part Two

    The first article on Taking RSS Beyond Headlines was very popular (mainly due to it’s proliferation on Digg and the resulting "Digg Effect.") It’s great to see this kind of interest and curiosity around RSS. Of course, latching a "Part…

    Reply
  27. Basement.org

    RSS Everywhere

    Anyone that follows this blog knows that RSS isn’t all about headlines and blogs. In a couple of posts (Taking RSS Beyond Headlines Part 1 and Part 2), I outlined all sorts of cool things you can do with RSS.It’s…

    Reply
  28. Basement.org

    RSS Everywhere

    Anyone that follows this blog knows that RSS isn’t all about headlines and blogs. In a couple of posts (Taking RSS Beyond Headlines Part 1 and Part 2), I outlined all sorts of cool things you can do with RSS.It’s…

    Reply
  29. Casting Out Nines

    Wednesday morning blog-bites

    I’ve got a full day of catching up on grading and getting planned ahead, so I’m going to do all my blogging in bite-size form now:
    Does anybody know if there is a quick way to make either my iPod or iTunes tell me how many songs I have in …

    Reply
  30. janet edwards

    RSS feeds in retail will be quite common by the end of 2007. It’s so much less intrusive than email, and has better delivery percentages. That’s a hard thing to ignore.

    Reply
  31. software reviews

    I have the same problem as Philip. The extension worked for two days, after that it will clear the window and not display anything. I tried to uninstall mozilla, delete the profile and extensions and reinstall, but no luck :(

    Reply
  32. play bingo online

    This is a great list – going to link it from our blog! In a lot of ways this is exactly what we’re talking about with a gadget we are building designed to treat RSS less like news and more like an alerts/heads-up-display mechanism.
    We call it ‘Touchstone’ and it is designed as an all purpose heads-up-display for applications you care about that generate RSS – not just news

    Reply
  33. Rafay Bin Ali

    Here is a web service that provides RSS results for Google Search
    http://www.ecubicle.net/gsearch_rss.asmx
    Since the returned XML is RSS 2.0 compliant, the web service can also be called in a feed reader like this:
    http://www.ecubicle.net/gsearch_rss.asmx/GetSearchResults?searchPage=0&gQuery=tutorial+asp+net&numOfResults=15
    You need to change the searchPage, gQuery and numOfResults querystring parameters to your choice. gQuery parameter accepts all standard Google Search Operators.

    Reply

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