Feedbooks Helps Replace Newspaper Subscriptions with RSS Feeds
Setting aside newspaper companies’ seemingly hostile attitude towards the Kindle for a moment, doesn’t it sometimes seem counterintuitive that you should have to pay for news on a device with easy access to the internet? After all, most of us can find all the news we need with a quick Google search, so why put down the cash?
For most, I suspect, it’s simply a matter of ease. Subscribing to the Washington Post or to the tech blog Gizmodo on your Kindle gives you seamless, wireless delivery of the news straight to your hands, no muss, no fuss. And you know what? It works amazingly well. With just a little setup work however, you can automatically get the news free of charge via RSS feed, thanks to the handy tools offered at Feedbooks.com.
RSS (or Really Simple Syndication) is a web feed format used by websites to publish frequently updated works. By subscribing to an RSS feed, you’ll get new content broadcast to your RSS reader any time a given site makes an update. (It should be noted that different sites broadcast different amounts of information on their RSS feeds. Many keep their RSS blasts short to entice you to actually go to their website.)
With Feedbooks, who you might remember is also a fine purveyor of free eBooks, you can either subscribe to a specific site’s RSS feed, create a “newspaper” composed of several different RSS feeds, or you can subscribe to one of their pre-made newspapers. Let’s say for the sake of argument that you want to subscribe to the eminently useful ‘BBC Full Content’ newspaper.
- First go to the web browser on your Kindle. It’s under Menu > Experimental > Basic Web
- Now enter the URL of the “Mobipocket/Kindle” file for BBC Full Content listed on Feedbook’s page. In this case it’s www.feedbooks.com/newspaper/114.mobi
- You’ll be prompted to download a file. Hit OK, and return to Home when it’s finished.
- “BBC Full Content” will appear on your Home screen, ready for your perusal. The BBC feed is one of the rare feeds that offers full content over RSS – so reading it is more or less like reading a newspaper. To see all the headlines in one list, simply navigate to the Table of Contents.
- You can refresh the RSS feed to get latest up-to-date content by navigating to the Cover page and hitting the “Update this Newspaper” link. It will download a new file every time you update the feed, so it’s probably best to keep the refreshes to a minimum.
And Rupert Murdoch wants to charge $14.99 a month!
The ability to create your own “newspaper” filled with the RSS content of all your favorite sites and blogs is a really neat feature and one you should definitely play with. Like I said, it’s a less elegant solution than simply subscribing to a newspaper or blog, since those offer a more complete experience with the complete text and pictures. Feedbooks is still definitely a viable alternative for the thrifty and technologically adventurous among us.
Just for reference, KindleChat has an RSS feed too!