The RSS & JavaScript Cookbook

Meredith Farkas & Paul Pival gave a fun presentation on RSS (something I use tons of) & JS (something I don’t use much of).

Using JS and RSS Paul & Meredith showed us how to create a dynamic subject page for your library site. The problem with traditional subject pages is that they aren’t updated often, they’re not easy to update (HTML required), and since no field is static a static page isn’t the right solution. Why not use some of the tools mentioned to create a dynamic page that pulls news, journal updates, and new books from RSS feeds? You can even mix together RSS feeds into one consolidated feed using RSS Mix (doesn’t show the source), KickRSS (registration required), or FeedBlendr (shows the source & no registration).

Another suggestion from Meredith – if you don’t have access to edit your library’s website easily, why not create a blog and put the updates there – then use JS to pull in the RSS feed to your subject guide – that means the webmaster only has to update the page once (to add the JS code) and then you can make updates whenever you want. This works great for people with locked down servers and websites.

One last tool lets you add an RSS feed reader widget on your site. Grazr imports an OPML and lets you put the reader right on your website. Meredith used my IL2006 OPML as an example!

Up until now I have been using PHP to parse RSS feeds for our intranet – I’m going in to work on Monday to switch to JS. Meredith & Paul have provided a nice long list of tools here on their wiki.

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  1. Hi Nicole! I’m glad you enjoyed the talk. Technically, Feed2JS actually uses Magpie behind the scenes to parse the RSS, so it is actually using PHP as well. But on the user-side, they’re just pasting a bit of JavaScript code onto the Webpage.

    Hope you had a good trip back and have fun at KMWorld!

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