RSS Madness

This is a site update. I’ve added a pretty slick feature to, a set of (for now) four headline aggregation pages, implemented with the spiffy PHP program ‘zFeeder‘. Listed on the left rail of most pages of the site under ‘B L O G R O L L’, these pages assemble RSS feeds from some of my favorite sites. It’s a whole lot easier to check out these sites here, and visit headlines I’m interested in. Check them out, and let me know what you think.

The categories include:

DailyGeekOut: Sites like BoingBoing, Engadget, Gizmodo, TheFeature, Screenhead, etc.
News Feeds: Includes feeds from and (where I work), The New York Times, The Boston Globe, etc. Easy way to glance at the top news of the moment.
Mac News: As a big Mac-geek, I need my daily dose of Mac news, tips and rumors. So here it is. Macslash, TUAW, etc. Good stuff.
MCE Feeds: I’ve been fooling around with Windows XP Media Center Edition for a while now, so this page lets me keep up with The Green Button, various Microsoft employee blogs, and hardware/software news from the gadget sites.

This is what got me going here. (plus and recently launched RSS feeds. Members of my team were involved in that effort, and I started thinking a lot more about how to use these. I’ve tried RSS Readers, but found that going to another application was always somewhat annoying – I’d rather do this from the browser. Part of the CNN RSS effort involves distributing these feeds to MyYahoo. So I spent quite a bit of time aggregating my favorite sites into pages there. I realized then that there were tools made for Moveable Type to do this, and tried a few. I eventually settled on zFeeder, a simple-to-install PHP system to acquire, organize and display RSS feeds.

Being PHP-based, the pages display the most recent RSS data, throttled by settings in the zFeeder admin system. So if I set updates to 60 minutes, you can hit reload all you want and the system will only go out to fetch new data based on that setting. Nice!

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