Clipping Service on the Cheap

This may be of benefit to, primarily, special librarians, but it’s worth a thought for any librarian wishing to make a positive impression on whatever group or person is responsible for funding… David Rothman, in his blog focusing on medical librarianship, notes how easy it is to provide a quality current awareness service to one’s organization. A simple search at a news aggregator (that is, an aggregator that actually handles just “official” news sources, not the broader blogosphere) can populate a web page with recent headlines and links to the full-text articles.
Rothman recommends FeedGit, which aggregates these “official” news sources. Enter a search term. You’ll see a list of news providers grouped by type (news, web, blogs, images, etc.). For each content type, there are links to an RSS feed specifically on your search term at each of the providers.
Putting this feed on a web page is the next step that Rothman notes — don’t even bother the decision makers with the raw RSS (unless, of course, they’ve already joined that bandwagon). User your favorite RSS-to-HTML script (mine is Feed2JS), tailor the style to match your own site, and tell the world (or the individual) that it’s there. Voilà! A quick-and-dirty clipping service.

One thought on “Clipping Service on the Cheap”

  1. Hi Ken!
    Another option (instead of displaying feed contents on a web page) is to turn the contents of these feeds into email alerts.
    First, one would utilize one of the many feed-mashing (feed-combining)tools to combine all four feeds obtained through FeedGit, then set up the combined feed through RSSFWD or FeedBurner. One of the advantages of this is that news is targeted exactly to the people who want to see it, and it becomes very easy to add and subtract email subscribers per user demand.
    Since my organization is a hospital, I don’t really want to publicly display a page that shows every mention of the hospital in the local newspapers- it does nothing for morale or PR to have a daily list of accident or crime reports that mention the hospital. Now that I think about it, though…perhaps I could use FeedRinse or a similar tool to screen those reports out.
    Thanks for the link- I’m tickled pink to be mentioned on RSS4Lib!

Comments are closed.