In class yesterday I was trumpeting the virtues of Google Reader in newsgathering.
But when it came to creating a feed for static pages (of which there are many when it comes to tracking local news sources) it didn’t seem to be working.
That would be because Google switched this feature off at the end of last month. Elsewhere, on an unofficial site, it is claimed Google have said not many people used the function. Once again (as with the recent demise of Bloglines) it just goes to show how vulnerable specialist research tools can be.
Fortunately there are plenty of alternatives out there, including:
That said, the only way to avoid the inconvenience of other (mostly free) services going belly up, is to get your sleeves rolled up, learn a bit of programming, and do your own scraping. There are no shortages of tutorials on how to use iMacros or Python for screen scraping. It’s just a matter of how much time you have to put words into practice (I keep telling myself)…