RSS Without the Blog

Either by email or in-person, I’ve been asked a few times recently how one creates an RSS feed from a static website. A pretty good question, where the answer could involve anything from installing a single CGI script, to adding a blog or CMS to the website, to a custom programming solution.

But just a couple of days ago, I came across a new solution posted at both RSS4Lib & Techcrunch called FeedXs that will allow for the manual posting of items to an RSS Feed with no online publishing required whatsoever.

This isn’t a perfect solution, simply because one would still be required to manually post each story to the feed. And while that’s as easy as cutting-n-pasting, an automated solution would make more sense and be less prone to errors. BUT, where a service like this makes total sense is as a stop gap solution prior to installing a proper CMS.

I can imagine a scenario where a firm (or law library) builds manual feeds for their content through this type of service. If you use something like Feedburner for the front end, you could then, maybe 6 months or a year later, change the source URL of each feed back to your new CMS. From the users perspective, there would be no break in service and the marketed URL of the feed would remain the same.

As I said, not the perfect solution, but definitely workable and another tool in the RSS toolbelt! :-)

Comments

  1. As well as Steve’s solution, there’s the possibility of “scraping” an already existing site. This means turning a regular web page into an RSS feed, and it’s considered unethical or at least unmannerly to do it to someone elses pages. But you might think about doing it to your own — if, as in Steve’s hypotheis, you’ve got a website but it doesn’t kick out an RSS feed.

    Take a look at RSSxl, a free service, and Tristana, a $25USD program that converts a web page into RSS.

  2. Scraping for personal use is ok, right? :-) … along the same vein Simon, also check out FeedTier.