It’s 2008, why doesn’t every single page on the web offer an RSS feed? We have no idea, but we do have a nifty workaround — Dapper.net. Using Dapper you can set up your own page scraping tool to gather data even when a page doesn’t offer an RSS feed.
Dapper is a free web app that can scrape just about any page and combine the data into a variety of output formats — raw XML, RSS, JSON and even customized widgets for Google, Netvibes and more.
Using Dapper is dead simple, just point it to a page and then tell it which bits a data you want to collect and how you want them displayed. The level of customization in setting up your custom feed is what sets Dapper apart from other players like FeedYes or Feed43. With Dapper the input options are pretty much limitless. To see Dapper in action, check out the screencast.
Google Reader may have stolen some of its thunder, but Bloglines, one of the original online RSS readers, remains a very popular option. In fact, the beta version of Bloglines has just rolled out three new features that might leave you feeling a bit unsatisfied with Google Reader’s more limited feature set.
The first and handiest of the new Bloglines features is a “save” option, which essentially adds the features of a bookmarking service inside the Bloglines reader. Bloglines already had an option to “pin” a bookmark, which works very much like the “starred” items option in Google Reader, offering a way to mark feed items you eventually want to look at more closely.
The difference between the new save option and old pinning feature is really a matter of separating out different elements of your workflow. The pin option is intended to quickly mark things you want to revisit while the saved items are things you want to store forever.
Bloglines, one of the earliest online RSS readers, has just launched a new beta version with a revamped interface and some very nice Ajax features that give it the feel of the desktop application.
The most useful of the flashy new features is the drag-and-drop feed management. Organizing your feeds in the left hand column is a matter of simply dragging them where you want them, all without a page refresh or heading into the settings panel as you would in Google Reader.
Also new are some different reading layouts — Quick view, much like Google Reader’s List view, Full view, like Google Reader’s expanded view, and a unique view. dubbed three-pane, which organizes your reading experience much like the three-pane view of an e-mail client.
NewsGator has launched an iPhone-optimized version of the popular online RSS service. While the iPhone version of Newsgator is somewhat limited — pretty much just reading feeds — it should be welcome news for those who use the popular NetNewsWire and FeedDemon clients, both of which sync through NewsGator.
The new site will redirect from the standard mobile site or the main NewsGator page once it identifies the iPhone browser.
There’s already an unofficial Google Reader optimized for the iPhone, but NewsGator remains a popular service — particularly on the Mac platform where NetNewsWire is the desktop client de rigueur.
Looking for the best RSS reader for your OS? Want to know what online options are available? Looking for add-ons to trick out your WordPress feeds? Curious what your RSS reader options are for mobile devices?
Well, to answer those questions and more Stan Schroeder over at Mashable has assembled what might well be the largest collection of RSS links on the web.
The list covers all the questions listed above plus has a round up of tips and techniques for optimizing your RSS reader and as well as resources for content publishers looking to deliver more with their feeds.