October 31, 2007
At the end of the Page Monitor Lab lecture, I learned how to use WatchThatPage, Dapper, and Feed43. I used Dapper to set up two useful RSS feeds for my business term project. Dapper is a user-friendly service that can create RSS feeds for websites that don’t normally have RSS. It is able to format in XML, HTML, and a variety of other languages.
I wanted information on Apple’s financial news, so I entered “apple finance” in the search query box. The first result that came up was “News for Apple Inc. - Google Finance.” After clicking on this search result, I was able to select the RSS feed format. After getting a short URL at the bottom of the page, I entered this into my Bloglines account.
From this feed, I learned that Apple has limited sales to two iPhones per customer and banned cash sales. Apple is trying to keep buyers from unlocking and reselling the phones for a profit. There were also many search results on Apple selling two million copies of its new operating system called Leopard. Shortly after those results, a search result said that Apple’s shares reached a record high after the announcement of the sales.
This feed has been very successful so far in returning financial-related news for Apple. It covers general information on Apple’s news on the web from Google Finance. The only criticism I have of this feed is that many results were duplicated. For example, “Apple says sells two million copies of latest Mac OS” came up at least 10 times. Also, “Apple limits iPhone buys to 2 per person, bans cash sales” came up at least 10 times too.
I also wanted general information on Apple’s news, so I entered “apple news” in the search query box. I saw two results that I liked, one being “Apple Hot News” and the other being “Apple Hot News Version 2.” Judging by the appearance of the two results in the preview box on the left, I chose the second version; it was more aesthetically pleasing. Like with the first feed that I generated, after clicking on this search result, I came up with a short URL and entered it into my Bloglines account.
From this feed, I learned that Apple announced the release date for the new Mac OS on October 16th. Also, on October 22nd, Apple reported fourth quarter results which showed growths in gross margin, sales, etc.; in short, they had a very good year. Many results were reviews on the new Leopard operating system. For example, one talked about how Leopard is the most polished and easiest operating system to use. Another one states how using Leopard makes using a Mac more productive and fun.
This feed has also been successful so far in returning general news from Apple. It covers updated information on the Hot News page of Apple’s official website. Similar to the other feed I made, this feed also had some duplicate results but not as much. Furthermore, there were a couple of duplicate results between the two separate feeds. One of them was “Two Million Copies of Leopard Sold in First Weekend.”
Dapper and Bloglines is a great duo for making/finding RSS feeds and keeping track of them. RSS feeds are by far the most useful resource that I have come across in this class. The material was only lightly covered in BIT 200 but I’m glad that this course went in-depth into how they work and how we can use them. RSS feeds are a valuable asset as to how I gather information, whether for a personal topic I’m interested in or for a company assignment that I need to research in the future.
Posted by mjiao at October 31, 2007 11:48 AM