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Google News Now With RSS, Atom Feeds!

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It took a while for Google to make feeds available from its well-known news aggregator page.

The search engine crew from Mountain View have been busy with the SES 2005 conference this week, but they did find time to make RSS 2.0 and Atom 0.3 feeds available from its still-in-beta Google News page.

Feeds require a feedreader to use, unless you particularly enjoy parsing raw XML output visually. Users can get feeds for any Google News section, like Top News, Business, or the ever-popular Sci/Tech.

Or, you can search Google News for a topic, like “conspiracy,” and copy the RSS or Atom link on the left side of the results page to your feedreader. For English language users who create a customized news page, the RSS and Atom links will provide a feed of that page, too.

In my own tests with the Rocket RSS feedreader, I wasn’t able to add any of the Google News feeds. The software complained the URLs were not an Atom or RSS feed, and spit them back out. BlogLines had no difficulty with the feeds, and added my customized feed without a problem.

RSS has been hyped for its ease and convenience, in that it collects all of a user’s favorite subscriptions in one place. To me, it’s glorified bookmarking. Many feeds now include advertising, when the whole point of RSS seemed to be delivering content.

And many feeds provide partial text instead of full text stories. To see the rest of the story means visiting the site hosting it. Again, wasn’t RSS supposed to be a way of delivering content? Right now, RSS just seems to offer an updated bookmark to new content on a site; instead of going to a homepage, one goes directly to a story instead.

Convenient, but maybe just a little overhyped right now.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Google News Now With RSS, Atom Feeds!
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