Introducing FeedTier

I’ll try and keep it simple. I’m sure that you can instantly recognize the small orange icon with “RSS” written on it, as seen on many web sites now-a-days. This orange icon links to a web feed or summary of the recent headlines or articles on that site. And let me tell you that a lot of web sites now have support for web feeds. You can use a web-based or desktop aggregator/reader tool to subscribe to your favorite web feeds, and read them all at one place as they are updated. This gives you rapid access to online publishing’ such as news or articles. And best of all, you don’t have to visit each site individually. Your aggregator tool does the syndication for you.

Now, there are still a lot of informational web sites which don’t have a web feed. How do you go about subscribing to their content? This is where a new service called FeedTier that we’ve been experimenting with comes in. FeedTier is a web feeds generator for web pages without an existing syndication format. It turns any web page into a live web feed. FeedTier performs content analysis, picks-up the most prominent cluster of hyperlinks and automatically generates RSS web feeds from web pages without existing sydincation options. FeedTier is an experimental service and free for personal use. FeedTier enables anyone to build custom web feeds for virtually any web site they desire. FeedTier requires no programming and is completely automated.

FeedTier 1.0 Beta currently supports feed generation in RSS 2.0 format. On a technical note, I wrote a pretty basic content analysis algorithm along with a custom hash-map tree type collection which makes the content harvesting possible. The application has been written in C# .NET 1.1.

If you are further interested in web feeds or syndication or aggregation, and knowing more about terms like RSS and Atom, then I suggest you have a quick look at the non-technical standpoint on these terms. You can also have a look at a vast list of feed aggregator tools (online or desktop).

FeedTier came out of our own necessity for subscription to web sites without any provision for web feeds. It’s an experimental service and not yet perfect in its results. But it can still be used for a lot of web pages and the results will improve gradually. We hope it helps!

So try it out, blog about it and send in your feedback.

7 Comments on “Introducing FeedTier”

  1. Hi,

    Just tried this. Interesting. However is it just me or when you get the sample links or paste RSS into say Bloglines – when the feeds show – if you click on the link you get a dead page. Reason as far as I can see is that it misses the “k” of the url for”.uk” Try and see if you can replicate this?

  2. Ditto here. won’t work because the “a” in .ca is missing. Very nice idea though – I would be happy to introduce clients to this when it works.

  3. This is something I’ve been looking for for ages. Unfortunately I’ve found it still doesn’t feed the page that I want successfully:

    All it feeds is the link list at the top.

    Please keep me update with any further builds as things progress.

  4. ray saunders says:

    Fanstastic idea- love it. Have been thinking for some time about coding a tool to scan websites and produce RSS-able version of the site.

    However, right now I haven’t even time to build RSS into one of my sites, alhthough it changes often and many folks would like to get RSS feeds.

    FeedTier seems to grab only the links on the front page, without drilling down. Is there anything I can do to make FeedTier ‘index’ it more completely? Maybe I could code ‘invisible’ link FeedTier would grab but which would not appear to the user?.

  5. ray saunders says:

    scanned and linked to the XML document, which look good. Some of the links show up in the XML but not on the displayed page and like the others, those links are missing the last byte… instead of http://www.steeleweed.coM/webpage.html. It does, however, build the XML whichI can save and use as RSS for the site, no?

  6. Nicky says:

    I figured out how to fix the error!

    Put a closing slash in the URL you add to feedtier! It solves the dropped character problem.

    So don’t put this:

    instead put this:

    The slash at the end has to be there. Feedtier must expect the slash to be there all the time, whether it is or not, and deletes it to form URLs. However, when the slash is missing the script ends up corrupting the URL, turning .com into the useless .co and into .co.u

    If you put the / at the end every time then Feedtier works great.

  7. slyi says:

    Great tool, I really love it. I hope you dont mind, but i used it on gadget

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