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Web Site Doesn't Have a RSS Feed? Create Your Own

I'm a big RSS fan. It's a wonderful technology for current awareness, networking, benchmarking, and image monitoring. But, unfortunately, not every Web page that I want to monitor offer a RSS feed.

That's where "html scraping" services like FeedYes & Ponyfish come in. They allow you to create your own RSS feeds from almost any regularly updated web page.

"Html scraping" services "scrape" the links and text off a Web site and save the links and text into an XML document. See Wikipedia if you want to learn more.

Of the two, I prefer Ponyfish because it's a bit more user friendly. Here's how it works:

1. Enter the URL of the page you want to create a feed for. I chose the Wisconsin Joint Committee on Finance web site. There may be some new papers or minutes that I want to know about.

2. In the window containing the web page, click on the links that you want to include in the feed (you have to choose at least two). For the Joint Comm. on Finance, I chose Minutes and Papers.

3. Continue to generate the XML document. (You can skip Ponyfish's step three)

4. Add the feed to your Feed reader. Now anytime the committee posts new minutes or papers, I'll be notified.