Have you ever looked at an html web page and wanted to get the content of that page in a feed? Or maybe you use a service like the Google Calendar that has feeds but not in a standard format?
I was recently asked internally to find a way to feed that content in as an RSS feed so it could be loaded into a WordPress.com site – out of the box, they don’t support Google Calendar – and I stumbled upon a tutorial for converting that feed into RSS using Feed43.
The tool works by entering the feed you want, and then setting up some regular expressions to pattern match the data you want, and then outputting that into a feed – believe me, it’s easier than it sounds.
The service allows you to take any site the outputs a structured document – an XML feed, html, etc – and make that into a useable feed. It’s ideal for sites where you want to make an RSS feed, but don’t want the overhead of creating an RSS feed on your server – one less page to maintain.
It even works for those pesky non-standard RSS feeds that people seem so fond of creating (still don’t understand why it’s so hard to stick to a simple standard like that given the benefits of doing so).
The only downside I can come up with is if the source document changes, the feed will stop working until you modify it. Oh, and you might want to make some of the feeds private for your own use. You don’t want to start infringing on copyright do you?
It’s a free tool – they say in the FAQs that it will always be free – but registration gives you an opportunity to manage your feeds more, and the paid service gives you more control and faster updates.
Feed43 is well worth checking out, even if you want an RSS feed for one of your pages without the overhead of actually making the feed.