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There's a handy trick you can use to put real-time RSS news feeds on your blog on pretty much any keyword you can think of. I've got this technique running at Dean Nation for feeds on Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Howard Dean. I'll show you how to do it yourself below the fold...

First, decide what keywords you want to search on. You can create a custom RSS news feed from Yahoo by using Jeremy Zawodny's RSS URL generator tool. For example, the feed for Howard Dean is:

http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/rss?p=howard+dean

Next, go to http://www.rss-to-javascript.com/">RSS-to-Javascript.com and paste that RSS URL into their generator. You can specify parameters such as number of stories, characters in the description, etc (I use 175 chars in my demos). After you're done choosing your params, it will generate the HTML and javascript code for you automatically.

Finally, paste the javascrippt code into your blog template. This is agnostic regarding whether you are on Livejournal, Blogger, or a MT variant. You can specify CSS class definitions for greater control over look and feel. Take a look at teh View Source on Dean Nation for how I did this if you want an example.

One last note - provide a link for your readers to BugMeNot.com so that in case any of the articles are registration-only, they can still access the content (all Washington Post articles, for example).

This is really an effective technique and will give you dynamic content in the form of updated news headlines, plus descriptions if you choose, on your blog. It even works with other blogs as well - in fact, you can add ANY RSS feed to your blog, not just from Yahoo. RSS to Javascript is a handy tool but I think used in conjunction with Yahoo's RSS-friendliness its usefulness is maximized.

Hope this is helpful - please share any RSS tricks or tips you have in the comments. I'll try to post another diary later this week about using deli.cio.us tags and Flikr to categorize your content even if your blog doesn't support categories (such as all blogger blogs), and to enhance your categories if your blog does support them. I need to actually implement it on Dean Nation, of course, before I can write about it :)

and, if you want to keep abreast of the latest Dean, Obama, or Hillary 2008 news headlines, Dean Nation is now your one-shot stop  :)

Originally posted to Aziz Poonawalla's Amazing Dkos Diary on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 12:57 PM PST.

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