August 2nd, 2007

Local Online Newspapers Don’t Find RSS Real Simple

It’s not too late for our local online newspapers to discover the beauty of RSS implementation. For the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), the nation’s most popular website, the saying “It’s lonely at the top” couldn’t be more fitting, because, out of all the major newspapers, it is the only one that offers a full range of RSS feeds. From Breaking News and Infotech to Exam Results and Podcasts, an avid feed subscriber can choose only the specific topics he’s interested in.

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What are the benefits of RSS? While researching on RSS statistics, I found that about 8% of the Internet population uses feed readers. But let’s be modest and peg that number at 4%. Multiplying that by the estimated 1 billion Internet users in the world will give us about 40 million. By not offering a feed, these newspapers are missing out a potentially large audience. And, not to mention, the prospect of gaining more readers through syndication.

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I use iGoogle a lot. There I put together all the neat “stuff” (yeah they call them that there) that I care about.

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Now, my dream is to see all our local ledgers offer each of their “stuff” on one page!

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*Simulation

Despite my high praises for the Inquirer, they have yet to create their own “stuff” widget. Right now, I have to enter their feed URL manually. By creating stuff widgets, our online newspapers can easily develop a big following through the feed channel. I’m honestly not too crazy about the Inquirer’s website because of the 30+ ads splashed all over its homepage. The same goes to the Philippine Star. Through iGoogle I can check out what’s new on their sites and simply click directly to the news article.

Here’s a rough rundown of local newspapers that offer RSS feeds:

Philippine Daily Inquirer (RSSFull Listing) – Very nice range of feeds available.
Philippine Star (News FlashHeadlinesBusiness) – Needs some work. They should offer a page listing all feeds just like the Inquirer. An alternate RSS tag helps too (more on this below).
Sunstar (DavaoCebuManila) – Needs a lot of work. I appreciate that they separate each feed by location, but I prefer to subscribe to a specific topic per location instead.
Business World Online (RSSFull Listing) – Quite good for a business-oriented newspaper.

Newspapers that do not offer feeds: (correct me if I’m wrong)
Manila Bulletin – Surprising, for a newspaper that claims to be the oldest in the Philippines.
Manila Times – Again, surprising, since they are the real oldest newspaper in the Philippines
Manila Standard
Abante – Can I say I’m not surprised? They use frames on their site. Meh.

I suggest that our local newspapers shape up and start asking their web developers to offer full-fledged RSS feeds. It’s a value-added service that will definitely please their faithful readers. In this age of the Internet, offering feeds is a no-brainer. That’s why I’m quite perplexed at the fact that many newspapers haven’t caught up with it yet. Even if the Philippine Star or Sunstar have feeds, they do not provide their users an easy way to subscribe to them. They should dedicate one page for all of their feeds and add the alternate rss/xml tag in their HTML:

link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Newspaper Name RSS Feed" href="http://www.newspapername.com/feed.xml"

RSS is really simple syndication! I wish to see our newspapers implement this so I can add them up on my reader soon.

Posted in Opinion


  1. 6 Comments

  2. Mindanao Bob said...

    While Inquirer has the best RSS News feed among Philippine newspapers, it is still not that great. My main problem is that sometimes it has 40 or 50 headlines, and other times it has 0. I find it frustrating to use. Still the best, though.

    I also subscribe to the Philstar.com RSS feed, but almost all the time the feed is not working. Sayang!

    GMAnews.tv has a good RSS news feed, though.

    Aug 2, 2007

  3. Andrew said...

    @Bob: Hey, that’s happened to me once. On iGoogle, the Inquirer feeds weren’t displaying anything. Waited a few hours and they’re back! Go figure. Thanks for the tip on Gmanews.tv.

    Aug 2, 2007

  4. Aileen Apolo said...

    iGMA.tv also has good news feeds and includes some local dialects… I hope the Filipino written newspapers and tabloids will also implement RSS for their websites!

    Aug 3, 2007

  5. Adrian said...

    Does the Inquirer RSS still gives you blank headlines? If yes, What RSS is it? Is the breaking news RSS? for suggestions and comments please email feedback@inquirer.net. Thanks!

    Nov 27, 2007

  6. Megan_Ads said...

    Yeah..I think Philippine Daily Inquirer still is the best RSS News feed in the Philippine newspapers though the others are also quite okay.

    Nov 20, 2009


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