Tech Talk – Building a News Aggregator

Problem: How do I take a bunch of feeds* and put them all through one system so that they will appear in chronological order and display the source and time of the post?

Solution: gAjax RSS Feeds Displayer (hosted) found on

The speed of this aggregator** is incredibly fast and I can control the output in any number of ways.  All of the steps are outlined on the page linked above.  Basically you insert some code into the header of a new HTML*** page, add the code snippet to the body of the new page, save it, upload it to your server and in the same folder upload an image and a javascript****.

So with 10 minutes of work I can now display any news headlines I like.  And If I want to build new pages with different sources all I have to do is make a new page and plug in the new feeds, the script doesn’t change, which means it can be referenced repeatedly for different queries.

(examples below the fold)

Take a look here at the first page with various layouts included. For this example I used Docudharma’s Front Page Feed for the first layout, Daily Kos and Docudharma for the second layout and BBC™, MSNBC™ and YahooNews™ for the final layout. Now I’ll work on an interesting presentation and figure out what to put on the sidebar*****.

With this same system I’ll be able to replace most of the third party systems in the news section of HowOd.  Load time will be very fast, and I can group results in any manner that I wish, perhaps the main section of each page would have an aggregator and the right panels will have single sources.

You’ll need a hosting account that allows for direct uploads and allows you to host your own javascripts.  Some are fussy about that so check before wasting time trying to upload files that will only be rejected by the server.

Once you have the files uploaded you simply add in the news feeds and titles and set your paramaters of how many stories to list and how much of an article to present.  Then you are done, if you need more sources, add them.

* Web feed on WikiPedia

** Aggregator on WikiPedia

** WebMonkey HTML Codes

*** JavaScript on WikiPedia

**** What is a side bar?


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