DRAFT RSS Explanation - please help improve : )
What are News Feeds?
Feeds enable you to subscribe to websites you like - effectively 'pulling' new content to your own personalized webpage. Rather than trawling many webpages for new information, you can pull the latest updates right to your own page. An increasing number of websites offer feeds.
Feeds also enable you to pull information on new types of content - for example new photos uploaded to Flickr tagged with the keyword "world Bank", and new videos uploaded to ifiwatch.tv tagged with the word "Burma". Again - this content will come right to you, on your own personalized webpage.
You can also pull feeds from other sites onto your organization's own website. For example, pull all new items from the 'international' section of the Guardian to a box on your homepage, or the latest feeds from an Oxfam campaign you're working with.
Feeds are also known as RSS. There is some discussion as to what RSS stands for, but most people say 'Really Simple Syndication'. In essence, the feeds themselves are just web pages, designed to be read by computers rather than people. See this short video (available in 35 languages!) for a simple explanation of the power of RSS.
How do I start using feeds?
Most of the technologies can be free!
For document feeds, the first thing you need is a 'news reader' (also called an aggregator). This is a piece of software that checks the feeds and lets you read any new articles that have been added. There are many different versions, some of which are accessed using a browser, and some of which are downloadable applications.
Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer, whereas downloadable applications let you store them on your main computer, in the same way that you either download your e-mail using Thunderbird, or keep it on a web-based service like riseup.net or gmail.com. Netvibes and Pageflakes are some popular and free readers; Google and Yahoo also offer free readers.
[I don't understand the specifics of video aggregators, but the transition from news to video is a little confusing to me here]
Once you have chosen a reader, you can decide what content you want it to receive. For example, if you would like the latest IFIWatch.tv videos about oil and climate change, simply refine a search for ‘oil’ with ‘climate change’ (see below for more detail on this) and you will notice an orange button at the bottom of the page.
If you click on the RSS button you can subscribe to the feed in various ways, including by dragging the URL of the feed into your reader or by cutting and pasting the same URL into a new feed in your reader - or a new channel in the Miro player. Most sites that offer feeds use a similar orange button, but some may just have a normal web link. Some browsers, including Firefox, Opera and Safari, automatically check for feeds for you when you visit a website, and display an icon when they find one. This can make subscribing to feeds much easier. For more details on these, please check their websites.
Mozilla Firefox FeedZilla Newz Crawler FeedDemon FireAnt Awasu Mac OS X Newsfire NetNewsWire Bloglines NewsGator
Can I make my own feeds?
It is extremely easy to create your own feeds from ifiwatch.tv and other databases using similar tools, using the IFIWatch.tv tags and/or search engine.
The first step is to choose a keyword from the tag cloud, or a search term which you type into the search engine as normal.
When the tag results or search results load, you may or may not choose to ‘refine your search’ with another tag.
Review the results, and if they accurately reflect the topic you have chosen, you can then use the orange feeds button to add the selection to your news reader, to the Miro player or to your own website's feed aggregator eg using the Drupal FeedAPI.
Thus you can create your own channel of videos in your area of interest...
And then, to go another stage further, if you yourself can enable similar search-based feeds out from a database where you aggregate media feeds in, you too can create your own node in the emerging networks of independent media :))
Using IFIWatch.tv feeds on your site
If you run your own website, using media RSS you can display the latest titles with thumbnails etc from other websites on your own site. We encourage the use of media from ifiwatch.tv feeds as part of an IFIatcher's website, however we reserve the right to prevent the distribution of IFIWatch.tv content and IFIWatch.tv does not accept any liability for its feeds. Please see the Terms and Conditions for full details.
The successor to RSS is the Atom standard XML feed. The Transmission network's Metadata_working_group is currently testing a Video Metadata Standard to enable networking of 'clean' media feeds between participating video distribution and publishing projects for social and environmental justice.
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