Giovanni Guardalben, HiT Syndicaat

Developing Enterprise Syndication Management Systems

Location: Affi, Italy

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Anyone for A9 ?

Recently, in this web log, we described how we aggregated content obtained from BBC backstage RSS feeds, how we combined it into just one RSS feed and made that feed searchable thru A9. We received a number of objections to this experiment. People told us that popular RSS search engines can already be queried using A9. Others objected to the fact that RSS content is just a fraction of the "real" content pointed to by the RSS link field (optionally) contained in each RSS item. Both objections indeed raise reasonable doubts about the approach.

However, being able to carefully select just a small set of RSS feeds (possibly filtering them with feed-specific conditions) and make them collectively serchable with A9, has the advantage of visibility. Selecting a specific "column", A9 users make the conscious decision to keep "relevant" columns (i.e., subjects or data sources) visible at all times with query results. This will never happen when searching with a global RSS search engine in just one column.

The other objection about RSS content being too "slim" compared to the "real" content is a very valid one. Indeed, we are already operating on this issue in such a way NOT to include content pointed to by RSS link fields, but rather by ONLY text-indexing it in our data store. This way, when executing a text search on RSS content, items can be returned whose links point to text satisfying the query request.

We wish to proceed with our experiment and are avaiable to freely A9-enable other RSS content pointed out to us by readers of this blog. So, is there anyone for A9 out there ?


Blogger Randy Charles Morin said...

A9 is awesome. Even better is A9's OpenSearch, which allows every into the game. I've been looking at OpenSearch and implemented my own A9 style search.

11:11 PM  

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