View Full Version : Discussion: Why You Should Switch to RSS

2005-Aug-09, 06:45 PM
SUMMARY: If you're a regular visitor to Universe Today, either throught the website, or subscribed to the email newsletter, I want you to consider switching over to the RSS feed. In my opinion, this is the best way to get your news through the Internet. I made the switch a few months to using a news feed reader, and I'm really impressed.

I've put together a brief page that explains the benefits of RSS, and how to find a feed reader (like Bloglines). And more importantly, how to make sure you're subscribed to the Universe Today news feed. :-)

If you totally disagree with me, and think RSS sucks, please let me know, but so far, I'm a total convert. Also, please give me any feedback if my news feed looks strange in your feed reading software.


Fraser Cain
Universe Today

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2005-Aug-09, 08:37 PM
Hi Fraser,

I use Firefox 1.0.6 on Windows at work, and have subscribed to the RSS feed through the Live Bookmarks feature. Sometimes when I click through to the stories, I get...

The requested URL /am/publish/article_2640.html was not found on this server.

Apache/1.3.27 Server at UniverseToday.com Port 80

All links work fine at home in FeedDemon.


2005-Aug-09, 08:41 PM

I use RSS for UT. And love it. (I use Bloglines as my reader).

George s.

2005-Aug-10, 03:47 AM
Where is this short little page you put together? I want to read it. I've been thinking of RSS for a while now.

2005-Aug-10, 04:13 AM
It's right here:

2005-Aug-10, 04:21 PM
The RSS feed for the "Why you should switch to RSS" story isn't working for me. ;)
(I'm using Firefox with Sage.)

2005-Aug-10, 04:34 PM
Just that entry, or the whole feed isn't working?

Oh I see, yeah, that's a problem with my publishing system. Articles which have no associated story malfunction. Hmm... that just gave me an idea.

2005-Aug-10, 04:53 PM
I think it's great to use RSS! I used it last year for a while, but then stopped using it for lack of good feeds... But there's much more RSS feeds offered nowadays which makes the use of this system more apparent.

Thanks for the service :)

2005-Aug-11, 10:27 AM
Hey Fraser,

I agree with you about feeds (RSS, RDF or Atom) as being the best way to get your Internet news. I subscribed to UT 322 posts ago and have enjoyed every last one. Thanks for the interesting, relevant and useful content.

I particularly like the recent changes you made to the layout of the feed entries. Well done.

I use an aggregator [feed reader] that I've written myself, and your feeds work fine.

Keep up the good work.


2005-Aug-12, 08:57 PM
A while back, I put some time into getting an RSS reader going. I attempted two readers. They both had never ending install dependencies. I gave up. Then, I heard about a perl based reader, but my company's firewall prevents me from going there.

However, as I use FIreFox, it makes sense to attempt Sage - which is a FireFox extension. It was nearly trivial to download and install. Since it uses FireFox as a base, I didn't even have to set up the proxy. Sage's default formatting is pretty awful. However, at Firefox tips (http://users.tns.net/~skingery/firefox/firefox_tips.html) there are a couple others, and one works for me.

Sage may yet work for me.

As for Universe Today, uhm. There's something new there basically all the time. So, its pretty easy to tell what i've already read. For me, RSS would be better for, say, Slacker Astronomy, which has a new thing every now and then. Also, there's this other problem. Unfortunately, I read when I have time. At work, or at home. If I have two RSS readers, they won't be in sync. If I have one, it doesn't do me much good. I could go for an RSS to email option. However, I don't really want to read the web by email. Its another of those formatting things. Besides, for security reasons (etc.), i don't read email online. So if there's a link to an article, its really inconvenient to follow it. So, i'd have to set up another email account somewhere and only read RSS feeds with it...

The point is that it sounds great, but there are more issues than you'd expect.

Sage may yet work for me.

2005-Aug-13, 06:14 AM
I took your advice, Fraser, and am now using Bloglines to read UniverseToday. I won't need to get the newsletter in my email anymore, but I don't want you to think I'm cancelling because I don't like UniverseToday. As a matter of fact, I love it! Thanks for publishing it.