Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Texas papers with RSS feeds

Grits tries to be a good source for Texas criminal justice news and analysis, but information doesn't drop out of the sky. More of it should, though. The ever-useful ResearchBuzz! pointed me to a list compiled by The Media Drop of 154 newspapers with RSS feeds. It includes several in Texas, and shows the whole RSS idea is moving way beyond blogs, really quick. Texas papers need to get in the game.

For starters. the Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston Business Journals all have RSS feeds. Of the major Texas dailies, though, only the Dallas News has RSS set up. Theirs are broken up into smaller feeds by city, but there was no Metro feed, which is what I was really looking for -- if I want to click on something different for each city, that's what their web page does!

The Denton Record-Chronicle, like the Morning News, a Belo Corp. affiliate, also has feeds. So does the Galveston Daily News, though the feed link for news wasn't working when I checked this a.m. A&M's school paper, The Battalion, has an RSS feed; so does The Daily Texan, but it wasn't on the list (I left a comment with The Media Drop).

The Austin Statemsan, the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News and the El Paso Times need to get on the ball. Ditto for the Austin Chronicle, Dallas Observer and Houston Press, which are free, anyway, for God's sake. Now that more Americans are getting their information from the web, those information sources that don't make their stuff accessible are getting left behind.

For my non-geeky friends who don't know what I'm talking about, RSS feeds provide streaming content from blogs and now news sources to other websites or to personal RSS feed readers. Grits' site feed is linked here, and in the column on the right. If you have a personalized MyYahoo! account, you can add RSS feeds using their beta reader by going here. Adina turned me onto Bloglines, an RSS reader with great plug-ins that work with the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Another research note: Search Engine Watch reported a new service last month called reCap that allows searchable access to Congressional debates ten minutes after they occur (SEW also listed searchable transcripts of other TV news sources like PBS NewsHour and Washington Week in Review). Texas legislative debates and committee hearings are televised, the video already gets on the web live, and surely it's already closed captioned for the hearing impaired (I looked on the site, though, and maybe not); why couldn't the website for the Texas Legislature do the same?


Omar said... has RSS feeds for its Lasso, TV Blog, XL Blog and other blogs (I view them myself with BlogLines). Not sure what the future plan is for news content, but it's not like we've never heard of RSS either.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

That's a good point. I was really just localizing the reference from Research Buzz. That said, if you looked at the Searchblog article linked here, I do think it's wise for the dead tree media to move toward stuff like RSS. They're going to figure out how to monetize it, I think (i.e., include ads without clogging and killing the medium), but in the meantime, be sure and remind your bosses at the Real-Estatesman that it doesn't really pay to be the last to jump on the train, but that it might benefit you to get in on the front end of the curve. If y'all provided good Texas legislative coverage, for example, just as larger numbers of folks are starting to use RSS through Yahoo, Bloglines, etc., then by the time they figure out how to monetize it you'd have a significant statewide base to cash in on. Otherwise, you cede that to the Dallas Morning News, which of course is what they're hoping. Thanks for the note!