Google Has an RSS Embedding Tool

By on June 10, 2008
Follow me on Twitter: @varnum 3 comments

Paul Pival at The Distant Librarian noted a tool from Google that I had not been aware of: the Dynamic Feed Control Wizard, a JavaScript that you can embed in your web site to pull in RSS headlines and summaries from your favorite sites.

Give it a keyword and it will find matching feeds; pick one, and it gives you the JavaScript to display that code in a vertical or horizontal box on your site. I’m showing a screen shot of the set-up interface here:

Screen shot of Google's RSS embedding tool

This is a very handy tool for grabbing a single feed and placing it on a web page; it could be very useful for libraries that do not have an abundance of technical expertise but have a blog they want to include elsewhere on the site.

One part of Google’s interface confused me (odd, as Google is usually so clever at interfaces). When entering a “Feed Expression”, Google will not take an RSS feed’s URL. It expects you to type keywords describing your feed, and it will figure out the actual feed URL. So entering my feed’s URL (http://www.rss4lib.com/index.xml) did nothing; entering simply “RSS4Lib” produced the feed.

Sample

Visit the full text of this entry to see what the code looks like embedded in a web page: Google Has an RSS Embedding Tool.




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Entry filed under: RSS Tools. Tags: .

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3 Comments

  • 1. JC Brochard  |  June 10, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Hi Ken,
    Simple but awfully efficient, as usual with Google.
    I wasn’t aware of other similar tools that might exist, but I’ll put his one to good use !

  • 2. Paul R Pival  |  June 10, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Huh, I didn’t even try an actual RSS feed in the box when I saw their defaults (ESPN, etc); Maybe *we’re* the weirdos for expecting that ;-)

  • 3. eric frierson  |  June 20, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    hey ken – awesome! i’m glad you posted about this. what’s really nice – even if google’s search for feeds doesn’t drudge up the one you’re looking for, you can simply edit the code it gives you, replacing the URLs in the code with the URL of the RSS feed you want.
    for example, we have a blog for our “13 Things” this summer (where library staff are given 13 tasks to do that correspond with some summer technology workshops we’re doing) – the way they announce that they have accomplished one of the 13 things is by posting a comment to the 13 Things blog – I’ve managed to use Google’s Dynamic Feed wizard to create a “recent accomplishments” section on our 13 Things page – a very nifty addition! See:
    http://www.uta.edu/faculty/frierson/summerTech/13things.htm
    At the bottom!


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