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Survey: RSS feeds not enough, Google News needed for news from news websites

A recent study from the International Center for Media and Public Agenda, looking at 19 top news sites, concluded that RSS feeds directly from news sites work very poorly for anyone who uses news for more than infotainment. And among the worst offenders for RSS distribution were Al Jazeera, The Guardian and The New York Times.

The problem as reported by Editor & Publisher:

…[M]any news outlets don’t want to share all the news that’s on their site–especially stories that are not staff-written or produced. One reason may be that such stories, such as those by AP or Reuters, don’t carry the ‘brand’ of the news organization. But without those stories, many RSS feeds are not truly delivering news 24/7 and, in addition, lack the breadth of news their home sites deliver.

As a result, RSS users have no idea what they’re missing. The study illuminated how difficult it was to get even all of the staff-generated stories from ‘today’ via RSS feeds. And without going back to the home site and checking, a user doesn’t know exactly what is NOT being sent via the RSS feeds.

The answer?

  • Go to Google News.
  • Google News indexes and stores news articles for the past 30 days from about 4,500 sites, including newspapers and trade periodicals.
  • Do a search for various sets of keywords and key phrases that you want to stay abreast of.
  • Google News will then provide around the first 200 characters of relevant story and links to the full article.
  • Do not re-vist Google News to get your updates.
  • Do not get email updates of news stories for your searches.
  • Get RSS feeds of the various searches so that the stories are delivered to your newsreader.
  • If you use Google Reader, click on the link at the bottom of your Google News search results page that says ‘Subscribe to a news feed for [keyord/key phrase] in Google Reader;’ excerpts for new news stories will then display in your reader.
  • If you use another newsreader, click on the RSS link on the left side of the Google News search results page, copy the url at top of the page into your reader; and excerpts for new news stories will then display in your reader.

Not only will you get information to blog about, but you will stay up to speed on news that helps in your law practice.

Source on post: Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion

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