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  • Dave Winer
    As you may recall, a couple of weeks ago at a dinner with Jeff Barr, I wished we could add the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New York Times to the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2001
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      As you may recall, a couple of weeks ago at a dinner with Jeff Barr, I
      wished we could add the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New York
      Times to the roster of sources syndicating in RSS. The next day a friend
      sent a pointer to a public Web server where XML versions of the Times feeds
      were being updated. What I saw was a perfect fit for RSS, but also an
      interesting challenge. Their format, while transparently simple, would
      require conversion before it could plug into RSS-based aggregators at
      UserLand and Netscape and elsewhere.

      On this page I describe the conversion, and point to a folder on a public
      UserLand-run server where the RSS versions of the feeds can be found,
      updated hourly.

      http://backend.userland.com/nyTimesRssRouter

      There's much more to say. The Times is doing it right, they're pushing links
      to articles, following the grain of the Web; not pushing story content. This
      builds flow for their site, and ad revenue, and allows them to add
      interactive features at a single canonical location for each story. It's a
      win for news readers and software developers, because with the Times flow in
      the mix, we have news that covers the world and technology, the Times book
      and movie reviews, art and education news, sports and editorial pages. This
      is by far the broadest availability of syndicated content for a major
      newspaper. So the Times is again a leader, not just in print, and on the
      Web, but also in the newest XML-based syndication technologies.

      Of course this raises the question "Is this appropriate?" and I've debated
      this with myself and others over and over. I've attempted to contact the
      Times, to let them know what we are doing. While they have not given their
      approval, or responded in any way, the XML files are updating and remain
      accessible. We are not disclosing their location or format. I see this as a
      potential flow-builder for the Times, and a big boost for the developing
      medium. While I hope the Times keeps these resources accessible, of course
      it's their choice

      Dave

      ______________________________
      Dave Winer, UserLand Software
      Daily notes: http://www.scripting.com/
      "It's even worse than it appears."
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