My SXSW session this year, Hacking RSS: Filtering & Processing Obscene Amounts of Information, is at the coveted 9:30 am session time on the final day of SXSW, so I thought that it might be a good idea to outline the presentation here in the hopes that I can entice a few people to drag themselves out of bed early to attend.
Information overload is less about having too much information and more about not having the right tools and techniques to filter and process information to find the pieces that are most relevant for you. This presentation will focus on showing you a variety of tips and techniques to get you started down the path of looking at RSS feeds in a completely different light. The default RSS feeds generated by your favorite blog or website are just a starting point waiting to be hacked and manipulated to serve your needs. Most people read RSS feeds, but few people take the time to go one step further to hack on those RSS feeds to find only the most interesting posts. I combine tools like Yahoo Pipes, BackTweets, PostRank and more with some simple API calls to be able to find what I need while automatically discarding the rest. You start with one or more RSS feeds and then feed those results into other services to gather more information that can be used to further filter or process the results. This process is easier than it sounds once you learn a few simple tools and techniques, and no “real” programming experience is required to get started. This session will show you some tips and tricks to get you started down the path of hacking your RSS feeds.
A few specific topics
- Making better use of your RSS reader to prioritize feeds and discover new information.
- Filtering and filtering tools, including an example of using Yahoo Pipes to combine feeds and filter on relevant keywords.
- Using PostRank to find only the best posts for a set of blogs and filter those top posts for relevant keywords.
- Reformatting and modifying RSS feeds using Yahoo Pipes to generate feeds that display more relevant information than a default feed.
- Simple uses of Web APIs to gather more information and create new RSS feeds based on the data you want to see with an example that combines Twitter and BackTweets API data with filters in Yahoo Pipes.
- Automating and consolidating your vanity searches.
- Tips for how you should / should not use all of these tools and techniques.
- Tuesday March 15 at 9:30AM
- Venue: Austin Convention Center Ballroom C
- Tag: #hackingRSS
UPDATED to add embedded slides on 3/15/2011 and add audio link on 3/23/2011.