Do you ever subscribe to RSS feeds that have huge amounts of information, just to get the occasional post that mentions a particular topic or two? Yeah, me too. FeedSifter is just the tool for us. Enter an RSS feed URL and one or more words or phrases, and it will build you a version of the RSS feed that contains only entries matching one or more of your requested words. It allows for basic Boolean searching. Words or phrases entered on one line are joined by “AND”; words or phrases on separate lines are joined by “OR.”
A few examples:
- New York Times sports news about the Red Sox
- CNN Top Stories that contain either ‘McCain’ and ‘Obama’ (both words) or contain the word ‘elections’
- RSS4Lib posts that mention FeedSifter (nicely recursive, huh?)
The resulting page is, itself, an RSS feed that you can subscribe to in your aggregator or save as a live bookmark in your browser. Or incorporate the sifted feed into a web page using Google’s RSS embedding tool. I can see an obvious use for this tool at the library reference desk. This makes an easy way to set up a quick-and-dirty current awareness feed for patrons, based on news services or journal table of contents, that can tell them when something new has been published in a narrow area.