FeedRinse: Search and Consolidate your RSS Feeds

OPML are outlines of RSS feeds...
OPML are outlines of RSS feeds...

Have you run into the problem of having too many RSS feeds that only SOMETIMES contain an article that you’re interested in? They publish lots of updates to your favorite sites, but you are only interested in a fraction of those stories. Don’t you wish you could scrub those results? Well, the folks over at FeedRinse.com allow you to do just that, and it’s FREE.

The Simple Steps

  1. Head over to FeedRinse.com and register for a free account.
  2. Grab a list of all your favorite RSS/XML feeds and paste them into the box while setting up your account.
  3. You can filter each feed based on search terms (e.g. allow the post only if “monkey” appears in the title), OR you can create a channel and add your filters to that channel. It’s simply a matter of scope… if you want to apply global rules to each feed, you can do that, or if you want to apply specific rules across multiple feeds, add those rules to the channel.
  4. Once you’ve set up your feeds and your channels, you can “get your rinsed feeds.”

Problems

FeedRinse makes it pretty easy to get the stuff you want. But it can be a pain because its functionality revolves around an OPML file. What’s that? Exactly. Yes, most feed reading programs support it, but if you wanted to simply subscribe to a feed, then this little file won’t help you directly. You can “Copy your reading list link” — but I had a problem with the site. I had to logout then log back in before that link worked. And even after logging out, I still couldn’t get the feed to show up natively in Safari (which has its own built-in RSS feed-reader).

Alternatives

A simple alternative is to use Google News…. that’s one way to generate an RSS feed based on search terms. You don’t get the benefit of being able to specify specific RSS feed URLs, but it’s much simpler, and you aren’t limited by the OPML file limitations.

Here are the quick and dirty steps:

  1. Go to Google.com and type in a search term, e.g. “Denver”
  2. On the results page, about 3 links down will be a section for “News results for Denver”. Click it. (alternatively, you can enter a search term in Google, then hit the “News” tab).
  3. View the source of the News page containing the top stories for your search term. Search for “RSS”, and look for the link that looks like this:

    http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&q=Denver&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=6weVSfTcHJqqtQOqm4TCBw&resnum=5&nolr=1&output=rss

    You link to that page as the source of your RSS feed. Poof! Instant filtered news!

  4. You can go to the the “Advanced Search” option for the news stories and restrict your results to different sources (e.g. CNN).

Summary

That’s it: two simple ways of grabbing filtered RSS results for your fast and valuable review.