Things you can do with RSS


Basically, you can perform any task with RSS that requires search or information retrieval from a server. Automatically and repeatedly. I use this list to convince people to start using an RSS feed reader. There’s more to RSS than just weblog syndication and news aggregation.

The List

News syndication

Both Google News and Yahoo News can generate RSS feeds based on your search terms on their news sites. Or you can use news search or news search to generate feeds for your search terms too.

Search for information via RSS

You can create custom feed based search group using Feed Findings. You can get Google search results delivered to your feed reader using Ben Hammersley’s Google-to-RSS SOAP script or you can use the GooRSS service. Alternatively, you can use the new search engine which automatically generates an RSS feed for each search. and sift through any RSS feed (especially ones with lots of content) and delivers the results of a sub-search of them as an RSS feed.

Aggregate your feeds

An RSS feed reader is an aggregator of numerous feeds from news sources (and nearly every major paper and TV news network has RSS feeds today). But now there are even feeds that aggregate other feeds. The new,,, Blogdigger Groups, FeedShake and FeedDigest let you combine all the news source RSS feeds into one single feed so you get news as it happens.

Display news on your website

If the originating news sources allow it, you can syndicate their articles on your site. RSS-conversion tools like, FeedDigest,, Feed2js,,, and let you create HTML or JavaScript versions to embed on your pages.

Display news on your mobile device lets you convert any valid feed into a phone feed. offers you a way to add, organise and convert your favourite RSS feeds into a format that can received by a mobile device. It’s like meets It isn’t so useful if your your mobile device is not your primary feed reader because otherwise you’d have to clear your read-items in both your primary feed reader and your Litefeeds feed reader. Joshua Cantara has released a Perl script that converts RSS feeds to be displayed on Cisco's IP-based phones.

Collect all your email in RSS

Bloglines allows you to create email addresses that show up as subscriptions in your account. Then you may subscribe to lists via that email address, or forward your regular email to your Bloglines reader. Also easily done with Forward all your email to Mailbucket and it will dynamically generate an RSS feed of them based on your email address. Each Gmail account has an RSS feed too. Or if you’re a user of, then you’ll be glad there’s a similar service called but with RSS feeds. now has RSS feeds! Dave Currie says you can use his PHP script to convert your email from IMAP to RSS. But there are numerous other softwares you can host such as mailfeed that let you convert all your email to RSS.

Get RSS content through your email

If you, like Tara Calishain, prefer your email interface to your feed reader, then you can get notified of updates to your favourite feeds in email via Other RSS-to-email services include RssFwd and Rmail. A bit more complicated to use is the Era Email Interface. They all allow anyone to subscribe to any RSS feed and receive updates via email. But Feednation has a fuller interface and more useful features, including feed grouping.

Track Fedex packages

Ben Hammersley says Just add your tracking number to the end of a special RSS feed address.

discount air fares

Bargains at Ebay lets you specify the type of product, its description and even the price range in their customised Ebay feeds.

Get stock updates

There have been various paid services and limited unpaid ticker services around. offers a free customizable stock feed. Tim Bray points to customisable feeds (one of those pointed to - is no longer online). Yahoo is introducing its own RSS ticker service.

Get the weather reports

Weather Underground has the weather of every city and town in the world. And each of them now has an RSS feed. Alternatively, there is You may also check your area watches, warnings or advisories from NOAA/National Weather Service.

What people are saying about you, your company, your products

Services like,,, Blogdigger and Blogpulse offer something that’s popularly called persistent search delivery. You type in a search term such as your name and or your company name or product name and they will return the newest indexed references to you in a customised RSS feed. These services scan blogs. If you want persistent search delivery from a broader range of sites, Market Sentinel offers a service covering message boards and corporate pages as well as blogs.

Music, radio shows, TV clips

Now you have podcasts and directories like and Podzy that also serve the latest podcasts in several RSS feeds. And increasingly, broadcasters are finding it effective to promote and deliver their shows in RSS. Videobloggers now have a community website called that adds tags to video blog RSS feeds. Momo says provides legal video remixes in Bittorrent downloads that you get via RSS.

Stay updated on someone's schedule and let you create your own online calendar that you can add meetings and other events to. And if you pick up the RSS feed for that schedule, you’re always up-to-date on what’s going on in your day via your RSS feed reader.

Get cinema schedule updates

Quietly getting popular, a movement led by small local cinemas like City Cinema, rather than big cinema networks. But the bigger cinemas are delivering updates via email and these can be converted into feeds by

Read your favourite comics

Many daily and weekly comic authors publish online and have an RSS feed. and The Webcomic List have large updated lists of comic feeds. If you can’t find your comic there, try a search on on either or (both are great RSS feed directories).

What other people are surfing

I don’t mean spyware. A lot of people use online bookmarks which they make public. Places like,, and the new are online bookmark services that create RSS feeds for each user and tag (for delicious).

Automatically backup your weblog posts

If your RSS feed is being picked up by an online feed reader service like, they will store all your entries on their server. Unfortunately, they don’t have an export feature. But at least all your entries (if you have full entries in your RSS feed) are safe and dated. is an free archiving service with a ton of cool features.

Get software updates

Popular software downloads sites like and let you keep up with all new releases via RSS. So you can also be alerted when your favourite softwares have a new version or when there are better releases.

Get the latest bittorrent files and p***

As they say, if its worth something, it’s worth more illegal. Bittorrent directory was one of the first to have an RSS feed that lets its users know what has just been uploaded. And the online p*rn industry, being always on the cutting edge of online business, was probably the first to take to blog CMSes and use them to generate traffic through RSS feeds.

Shopping deals at and others

If you’re interested specifically in deals at, you should use which is an price tracker. Alternatively, you can get the latest items in a specific category at Lockergnome's Amazon RSS Feed Generator or get specific results from Amazon searches delivered to you every day with the Amazon RSS Feed Builder. James says you can get notified of shopping deals at which is an updated list of discount items from numerous websites.

What your friends and family would like for Christmas hosts both javascript (embed your wishlist in your weblog) and RSS feeds of anyone's wishlist. Also check what your friends or family wants from every site on the internet with or that allow you to create wishlists, wedding or baby registries for products from most websites.

Be notified of traffic conditions

Ben notes that the API of Yahoo Maps service lets you find out traffic conditions. John Resig has created an online generator to create the RSS feed. Of course this service is limited to only a few cities in the US and Canada.

Be notified of updates in police and fire department logs

Scott Brodsky says tracks up-to-the-minute police and fire events and generates an RSS feed for each town. Only available for a selection of US cities. But it will soon be mappable with Google Maps.

Web metrics

Brian Mansell says a web analytics company provides up-to-date performance reports via RSS for their paying customers. I wish Sitemeter would do the same thing. Paul Kedrosky now has a free script that lets you get your Feedburner stats in RSS. And if you’d like updates on the number of your incoming and outgoing links and comparative traffic, you can subscribe to an RSS feed based on your website’s URL at which posts data from

Virus and security alerts

Hans says that provides their virus and hoax alerts in RSS feeds. Jose notes that provides security alerts, streams vulnerability information, and Virus Bulletin offers up virus related feeds.

Events and happenings in your city

Online events calendars like and now have RSS feeds so that you can always stay updated on what is happening in your city or what is being organised by your clubs.

For informations on Events and places to visit in France and Europe, go

Gaming statistics

Ernie says you can get Halo2 statistics in an RSS feed

Search for jobs

Job search tools like and crawl through job lists from Monster, Dice and Hotjobs based on your search criteria and deliver them on time to your RSS feed reader. and now produce an RSS feed for each search that you make.

Easing government bureaucracy is a weblog that shows the different ways RSS is used in the government. The American government, that is.

Create your own news aggregator page

Instead of relying on an online RSS feed reader, you can set up a news aggregator page of all your favourite news sites and blogs using their RSS feeds. This way, you can customise the layout of the feed page just the way you like it. e.g. Fuzzy's Infoagent page. Many content management systems (CMSes) and blog tools let you do that. Or you can use an RSS-to-JavaScript convertor like RSS-to-Javascript or FeedDigest to simply paste the feed results directly on your own page.

Keep track of your notes

There are two interesting services that let you jot down what you like and helps you organise your notes. Webnote is like a wiki but modelled after postit notes. You can create new notes for free on-the-fly and if you subscribe to the RSS feed of that note, you get sent a backup copy of everything you�ve written to your RSS feed reader. is for creating lists of things such as shopping lists, to-do lists or a glossary of terms. which is specifically for goal setting. If you have a mobile device that has software to read RSS feeds, you can even take your notes and lists wherever you go.

Find recent photos taken near you lets people post photos for free to their website and allow people to add geotags to the photos to allow other people find them based on location. Rev Dan Catt says has instructions on how to create an RSS feed that keeps you updated on new photos taken near you.

Build maps

Yahoo Maps API builds annotated maps with Geocoded RSS. So does Worldkit and

Make Tag Clouds

TagCloud takes a list of RSS feeds, extracts keywords from the articles and creates a weighted list you can publish on your site. Provides a quick visual overview of what’s popular in your list of feeds.

All those sites without RSS

Wotzwot lets you create an RSS feed from nearly every web-site. Just define a Start and End Item String.

Become a comment blogger

Use to bookmark your comments on other blogs. Then RSS-feed them back to your own blog. How-to found here. BlinkList is another great bookmarking site with comments, and others can comment on your bookmarks and comments.

Patent Searching

PatentMojo lets you turn any search of the United States Patent Office database into a RSS feed so you can receive daily notifications of new patents in your industry. So you can learn quickly about new competitive threats and see where industry leaders are headed.

Keep your acquaintances updated with your latest contact details

RSSContact is one of the more useful RSS tools around. Basically, you invite all your contacts to subscribe to a RSS feed that contains either your business or personal contact details (if you want someone to have both, you have to tell RSScontact to send them two invitation emails). RSSContact goes one better – you can control how much of your contact details each subscriber gets. For example, you can give someone just your email address or deny them your phone number and you can change this at any time. Better yet, RSSContact also tracks who is polling your RSS feed.

Ditch Your Girlfriend

Get your girlfriend to download an RSS reader, get her to subscribe to your very special feed only for her. Post some items you would normally write to her via email. Do this for a couple of weeks, then drop the bad news. Expect the subscription circluation to drop off at this point.

lists/thingsyoucandowithrss.txt · Last modified: 2023/05/22 12:28 by
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