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In
computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and software. It has sci ...

computing
, a news aggregator, also termed a feed aggregator, feed reader, news reader,
RSS RSS (Resource Description Framework, RDF Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) is a web feed that allows users and applications to access updates to websites in a Standardization, standardized, computer-readable format. Subscribing to RSS ...

RSS
reader or simply an aggregator, is client software or a
web application A web application (or web app) is application software that runs on a web server, unlike computer-based software programs that are run locally on the operating system (OS) of the device. Web applications are accessed by the user through a web bro ...
that aggregates syndicated web content such as
online newspaper An online newspaper (or electronic news or electronic news publication) is the online In computer technology and telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Opt ...
s,
blog A blog (a truncation In mathematics and computer science, truncation is limiting the number of numerical digit, digits right of the decimal point. Truncation and floor function Truncation of positive real numbers can be done using the f ...
s,
podcast A podcast is an episodic series of digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. In digital audio, the sound wave of the audio signal is typical ...

podcast
s, and
video blogs A video blog or video log, sometimes shortened to vlog (), is a form of blog for which the medium is video. Vlog entries often combine embedded video (or a video link) with supporting text, images, and other metadata. Entries can be recorded in o ...
(vlogs) in one location for easy viewing. The updates distributed may include journal tables of contents, podcasts, videos, and news items.


Function

Visiting many separate websites frequently to find out if content on the site has been updated can take a long time. Aggregation technology helps to consolidate many websites into one page that can show only the new or updated information from many sites. Aggregators reduce the time and effort needed to regularly check websites for updates, creating a unique information space or ''personal newspaper''. Once subscribed to a feed, an aggregator is able to check for new content at user-determined intervals and retrieve the update. The content is sometimes described as being '' pulled'' to the subscriber, as opposed to '' pushed'' with email or IM. Unlike recipients of some ''
push Push may refer to: Music * Mike Dierickx (born 1973), a Belgian producer also known as Push Albums * Push (Bros album), ''Push'' (Bros album), 1988 * Push (Gruntruck album), ''Push'' (Gruntruck album), 1992 * Push (Jacky Terrasson album), ''Push ...
'' information, the aggregator user can easily unsubscribe from a feed. The feeds are often in the
RSS RSS (Resource Description Framework, RDF Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) is a web feed that allows users and applications to access updates to websites in a Standardization, standardized, computer-readable format. Subscribing to RSS ...

RSS
or
Atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of ato ...
formats which use Extensible Markup Language (
XML Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language #REDIRECT Markup language In computer text processing, a markup language is a system for annotation, annotating a document in a way that is Syntax (logic), syntactically distinguishable fro ...

XML
) to structure pieces of information to be aggregated in a feed reader that displays the information in a user-friendly interface. Before subscribing to a feed, users have to install either "feed reader" or "news aggregator" applications in order to read it. The aggregator provides a consolidated view of the content in one browser display or desktop application. "Desktop applications offer the advantages of a potentially richer user interface and of being able to provide some content even when the computer is not connected to the Internet. Webbased feed readers offer the great convenience of allowing users to access up-to-date feeds from any Internet-connected computer." Although some applications will have an automated process to subscribe to a news feed, the basic way to subscribe is by simply clicking on the web feed icon and/or text link. Aggregation features are frequently built into
web portal A web portal is a specially designed website A website (also written as web site) is a collection of web page A web page (or webpage) is a hypertext File:Douglas Engelbart in 2008.jpg, Douglas Engelbart in 2009, at the 40th annivers ...
sites, in the
web browser A web browser (commonly referred to as a browser) is application software for accessing the World Wide Web. When a User (computing), user requests a web page from a particular website, the web browser retrieves the necessary content from a web ...

web browser
s themselves, in
email upThe email_address.html"_;"title="at_sign,_a_part_of_every_SMTP_email_address">at_sign,_a_part_of_every_SMTP_email_address Electronic_mail_(email_or_e-mail)_is_a_method_of_exchanging_messages_("mail")_between_people_using_electronic_dev ...

email
applications or in
application software Application software (app for short) is computing software designed to carry out a specific task other than one relating to the operation of the computer itself, typically to be used by end-users. Examples of an application Application may refer ...
designed specifically for reading feeds. Aggregators with
podcasting A podcast is an episodic series of spoken word digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. In digital audio, the sound wave of the audio signal i ...

podcasting
capabilities can automatically download media files, such as
MP3 MP3 (formally MPEG-1 Audio Layer III or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III) is a coding format for digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. In digital a ...

MP3
recordings. In some cases, these can be automatically loaded onto
portable media player A portable media player (PMP) or digital audio player (DAP) is a portable consumer electronics device capable of storing and playing digital media such as audio, images, and video files. The data is typically stored on a compact disc (CD), Di ...
s (like
iPod The iPod is a line of portable media player A portable media player (PMP) or digital audio player (DAP) is a portable consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic ( analog or digital) equipment ...

iPod
s) when they are connected to the end-user's computer. By 2011, so-called ''RSS-narrators'' appeared, which aggregated text-only news feeds, and converted them into audio recordings for offline listening. The syndicated content an aggregator will retrieve and interpret is usually supplied in the form of
RSS RSS (Resource Description Framework, RDF Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) is a web feed that allows users and applications to access updates to websites in a Standardization, standardized, computer-readable format. Subscribing to RSS ...
or other
XML Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language #REDIRECT Markup language In computer text processing, a markup language is a system for annotation, annotating a document in a way that is Syntax (logic), syntactically distinguishable fro ...

XML
-formatted data, such as RDF/XML or
Atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of ato ...
.


History

RSS began in 1999 "when it was first introduced by Internet-browser pioneer
Netscape Netscape Communications Corporation (originally Mosaic Communications Corporation) was an American independent computer services company with headquarters in Mountain View, California Mountain View is a city in Santa Clara County, Californi ...

Netscape
". In the beginning, RSS was not a user-friendly gadget and it took some years to spread. "...RDF-based data model that people inside Netscape felt was too complicated for end users." The rise of RSS began in the early 2000s when the New York Times implemented RSS: "One of the first, most popular sites that offered users the option to subscribe to RSS feeds was the New York Times, and the company’s implementation of the format was revered as the 'tipping point' that cemented RSS’s position as a de facto standard." "In 2005, major players in the web browser market started integrating the technology directly into their products, including Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari." As of 2015, according to BuiltWith.com, there were 20,516,036 live websites using RSS.


Types

Web aggregators gather material from a variety of sources for display in one location. They may additionally process the information after retrieval for individual clients. For instance,
Google News Google News is a news aggregator In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithm of an algorithm (Euclid's algorith ...

Google News
gathers and publishes material independent of customers' needs while
Awasu Awasu is an RSS aggregator In computing, a news aggregator, also termed a feed aggregator, feed reader, news reader, RSS reader or simply an aggregator, is client software or a web application that aggregates web syndication, syndicated web conten ...
is created as an individual RSS tool to control and collect information according to clients' criteria. There are a variety of software applications and components available to collect, format, translate, and republish XML feeds, a demonstration of presentation-independent data.


News aggregation websites

A news aggregator provides and updates information from different sources in a systematized way. "Some news aggregator services also provide update services, whereby a user is regularly updated with the latest news on a chosen topic." Websites such as
Google News Google News is a news aggregator In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithm of an algorithm (Euclid's algorith ...

Google News
,
Drudge Report The Drudge Report (stylized as DRUDGE REPORT) is a U.S.-based news aggregator, news aggregation website founded by Matt Drudge, and run with the help of Charles Hurt and Daniel Halper. The site was generally regarded as a conservative publicati ...
, ''
HuffPost ''HuffPost'', formerly ''The Huffington Post'' until 2017 and sometimes abbreviated ''HuffPo'', is an American news aggregator In computing, a news aggregator, also termed a feed aggregator, feed reader, news reader, RSS reader or simply a ...

HuffPost
'',
Fark Fark is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense o ...
,
Zero Hedge Zero Hedge (or ZeroHedge) is a Far-right politics, far-right libertarian financial blog, presenting staff-written articles and aggregating news and opinions from external sources. Zero Hedge, per its motto, is Market sentiment, bearish in its inv ...
,
Newslookup Newslookup.com is a news search engine, news headline, news feed and news services provider established in 2000, by Michael Kynast. The search engine crawls several thousand news media sites providing time based live run down of headlines by region ...
,
Newsvine Newsvine was a community-powered, collaborative journalism online newspaper An online newspaper (or electronic news or electronic news publication) is the online In computer technology and telecommunications Telecommunication is the tr ...

Newsvine
,
World News Network World News (WN) Network (styled WorldNews (WN) Network) is a news aggregator founded in March 1995 and launched online in 1998. In 2003, Search Engine Watch praised the service for its "Special Reports", and called it "an interesting alternative" t ...
and ''
The Daily Beast ''The Daily Beast'' is an American news publication focused on politics, media and pop culture, founded in 2008. It has been characterized as a "high-end tabloid" by Noah Shachtman, the site's editor-in-chief since 2018. In a 2015 interv ...
'' where aggregation is entirely automatic, using algorithms which carry out contextual analysis and group similar stories together, while other sites supplement automatically aggregated news headline RSS feeds from a number of reputable mainstream and alternative news outlets, while including their own articles in a separate section of the website. Some news aggregators offer subscription services to professionals. News aggregation websites began with content selected and entered by humans, while automated selection algorithms were eventually developed to fill the content from a range of either automatically selected or manually added sources. Google News launched in 2002 using automated story selection, but humans could add sources to its search engine, while the older
Yahoo News Yahoo! News is a news website that originated as an internet-based news aggregator In computing, a news aggregator, also termed a feed aggregator, feed reader, news reader, RSS reader or simply an aggregator, is client software or a web appli ...
, as of 2005, used a combination of automated news crawlers and human editors.


Web-based feed readers

Web-based feeds readers allow users to find a web feed on the internet and add it to their feed reader. Online feed readers include
Bloglines Bloglines was a web-based news aggregator In computing, a news aggregator, also termed a feed aggregator, feed reader, news reader, RSS reader or simply an aggregator, is client software or a web application that aggregates syndicated web con ...
, Feedly, Inoreader, Facebook News Feed,
Flipboard Flipboard is a news aggregator In computing, a news aggregator, also termed a feed aggregator, feed reader, news reader, RSS reader or simply an aggregator, is client software or a web application that aggregates syndicated web content such ...
,
Digg Digg, stylized in lowercase as digg, is an American news aggregator with a curated front page, aiming to select stories specifically for the Internet audience such as science, trending political issues, and viral phenomenon, viral Internet issu ...

Digg
,
News360 News360 is a personalized news aggregation app for smartphone A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmet ...
, My Yahoo!, NewsBlur,
Netvibes Netvibes is a French company that offers World Wide Web, web services. History The company was founded by Tariq Krim and Florent Frémont in 2005. In August 2006, Netvibes closed a funding round of €12 million led by Accel Partners in London al ...

Netvibes
, Tiny Tiny RSS, and Journali.sm. These are meant for personal use and are hosted on remote servers. Because the application is available via the web, it can be accessed anywhere by a user with an
internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

internet
connection. There are even more specified web-based RSS readers. For instance, a news aggregator created for scientists: "Michael Imbeault, an HIV researcher at the Université Laval in Quebec, launched his fully automated site called "e! Science News". More advanced methods of aggregating feeds are provided via
Ajax Ajax (also AJAX ; short for "Asynchronous JavaScript JavaScript (), often abbreviated JS, is a programming language A programming language is a formal language comprising a Instruction set architecture, set of instructions that produ ...
coding techniques and
XML Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language #REDIRECT Markup language In computer text processing, a markup language is a system for annotation, annotating a document in a way that is Syntax (logic), syntactically distinguishable fro ...

XML
components called
web widget Web most often refers to: * Spider web A spider web, spiderweb, spider's web, or cobweb (from the archaic word '' coppe'', meaning "spider") is a structure created by a spider Spiders ( order Araneae) are air-breathing arthropod An ar ...
s. Ranging from full-fledged applications to small fragments of
source code In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and ...

source code
that can be integrated into larger programs, they allow users to aggregate
OPML OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) is an XML format for Outline (list), outlines (defined as "a tree, where each node contains a set of named attributes with string values"). Originally developed by UserLand Software, UserLand as a native ...
files, email services, documents, or feeds into one interface. Many customizable homepage and portal implementations provide such functionality. In addition to aggregator services mainly for individual use, there are web applications that can be used to aggregate several blogs into one. One such variety—called ''planet'' sites—are used by online communities to aggregate community blogs in a centralized location. They are named after the Planet aggregator, a server application designed for this purpose.


Feed reader applications

Feed aggregation applications are installed on a PC, smartphone or tablet computer and designed to collect news and interest feed subscriptions and group them together using a user-friendly interface. The graphical user interface of such applications often closely resembles that of popular
e-mail client An email client, email reader or, more formally, message user agent (MUA) or mail user agent is a computer program In imperative programming, a computer program is a sequence of instructions in a programming language that a computer can execut ...
s, using a three-panel composition in which subscriptions are grouped in a frame on the left, and individual entries are browsed, selected, and read in frames on the right. Some notable examples include
NetNewsWire NetNewsWire is a news aggregator for macOS and iOS. History NetNewsWire was developed by Brent and Sheila Simmons for their company Ranchero Software. It was introduced on July 12, 2002, with ''NetNewsWire Lite'', a free version missing some adva ...
,
Flipboard Flipboard is a news aggregator In computing, a news aggregator, also termed a feed aggregator, feed reader, news reader, RSS reader or simply an aggregator, is client software or a web application that aggregates syndicated web content such ...
, Prismatic, and Zite. Software aggregators can also take the form of
news ticker A news ticker (sometimes called a "crawler", "crawl", "slide", or "zipper") is a horizontal or vertical (depending on a language's writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication ( ...
s which scroll feeds like
ticker tape Ticker tape was the earliest electrical dedicated financial communications medium, transmitting stock In finance, stock (also capital stock) consists of all of the shares In financial markets A financial market is a market in which ...
, alerters that display updates in windows as they are refreshed, web browser macro tools or as smaller components (sometimes called
plugins In computing, a plug-in (or plugin, add-in, addin, add-on, or addon) is a software component that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program. When a program supports plug-ins, it enables customization. A theme (computing), theme or ...
or extensions), which can integrate feeds into the
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems (OS) like macOS, Linux, Android (operating system), Android and Mi ...

operating system
or software applications such as a web browser. Clients applications include
Mozilla Thunderbird Mozilla Thunderbird is a free and open-source Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software that is both free software and open-source software where anyone is free software license, freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the sof ...
,
Microsoft Office Outlook Microsoft Outlook is a personal information manager software system from Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, m ...

Microsoft Office Outlook
,
iTunes iTunes () is a media player, media library, Internet radio Internet radio (also web radio, net radio, streaming radio, e-radio, IP radio, online radio) is a digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or ...

iTunes
, FeedDemon and many others.


Social news aggregators

One of the examples of social news aggregators is . The website collects the most popular stories on the Internet, selected and edited and proposed by a wide range of people. "In these social news aggregators, users submit news items (referred to as "stories"), communicate with peers through direct messages and comments, and collaboratively select and rate submitted stories to get to a real-time compilation of what is currently perceived as "hot" and popular on the Internet." Social news aggregators based on engagement of community. Their responses, engagement level, and contribution to stories create the content and determine what will be generated as RSS feed.


Frame- and media bias-aware news aggregators

Media bias #REDIRECT Media bias Media bias is the bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of many events and stories that are reported and how they are covered. The term "media bias" implies a pervasive or widespread b ...
and
Framing (social sciences) In the social sciences, framing comprises a set of concepts and theoretical perspectives on how individuals, groups, and societies organize, perceive, and communicate about reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or exis ...
are concepts that fundamentally explain deliberate or accidental differences in news coverage. A simple example is a coverage of media in two countries, which are in (armed) conflict with another: one can easily imagine that news outlets, particularly if state-controlled, will report differently or even contrarily on the same events (see for instance
Ukrainian crisis The Ukrainian crisis is the collective name for the 2013–14 Euromaidan protests associated with emergent social movement of integration of Ukraine into the European Union, the February 2014 Maidan revolution and the ensuing 2014 pro-Russian un ...
). While media bias and framing have been subject to manual research for a couple of decades in the social sciences, only recently automated methods and systems have been proposed to analyze and show such differences. Such systems make use of text-features, e.g., NewsCube is a news aggregator that extracts key phrases that describe a topic differently, or other features, e.g., matrix-based news aggregation spans a matrix over two dimensions, such as in which articles have been published (first dimension) and on which country they are reporting (second dimension).Felix Hamborg, Norman Meuschke, and Bela Gipp
Matrix-based News Aggregation: Exploring Different News Perspectives
in Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL), 2017.
Felix Hamborg, Norman Meuschke and Bela Gipp
Bias-aware News Analysis using Matrix-based News Aggregation
in the International Journal on Digital Libraries (IJDL), 2018.


Media aggregators

Media aggregators are sometimes referred to as ''podcatchers'' due to the popularity of the term ''
podcast A podcast is an episodic series of digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. In digital audio, the sound wave of the audio signal is typical ...

podcast
'' used to refer to a web feed containing audio or video. Media aggregators are client software or web-based applications which maintain subscriptions to feeds that contain audio or video media enclosures. They can be used to automatically download media, playback the media within the application interface, or synchronize media content with a portable media player. Multimedia aggregators are the current focus. EU launched the project Reveal This to embedded different media platforms in RSS system. "Integrated infrastructure that will allow the user to capture, store, semantically index, categorize and retrieve multimedia, and multilingual digital content across different sources – TV, radio, music, web, etc. The system will allow the user to personalize the service and will have semantic search, retrieval, summarization."


Broadcatching

"Broadcatching is a promising mechanism to improve the experience of BitTorrent users by automatically downloading files advertised through RSS feeds." Several
BitTorrent BitTorrent (abbreviated to BT) is a communication protocol Protocol may refer to: Sociology and politics * Protocol (politics) Protocol originally (in Late Middle English, c. 15th century) meant the minutes or logbook taken at a meeting, upon ...
client software applications such as Azureus and μTorrent have added the ability to '' broadcatch'' torrents of distributed multimedia through the aggregation of web feeds. Broadcatching is the ervise for smart TV era. "Broadcatching is the act of downloading TV to be viewed on your computer." Files downloaded from BitTorrent have to be read by special screening tool DiVX.


Feed filtering

One of the problems with news aggregators is that the volume of articles can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when the user has many web feed subscriptions. As a solution, many feed readers allow users to tag each feed with one or more keywords which can be used to sort and filter the available articles into easily navigable categories. Another option is to import the user's Attention Profile to filter items based on their relevance to the user's interests.


RSS and marketing

Some bloggers predicted the death of RSS when Google Reader was shut down. Later, however, RSS was considered more of a success as an appealing way to obtain information. "Feedly, likely the most popular RSS reader today, has gone from around 5,000 paid subscribers in 2013 to around 50,000 paid subscribers in early 2015 – that’s a 900% increase for Feedly in two years." Customers use RSS to get information more easily while businesses take advantages of being able to spread announcements. "RSS serves as a delivery mechanism for websites to ''push'' online content to potential users and as an information aggregator and filter for users." However, it has been pointed out that in order to ''push the content'' RSS should be user-friendly to ensure proactive interaction so that the user can remain engaged without feeling "trapped", good design to avoid being overwhelmed by stale data, and optimization for both desktop and mobile use. RSS has a positive impact on marketing since it contributes to better search engine rankings, to building and maintaining brand awareness, and increasing site traffic.


See also

*
Web feed On the World Wide Web The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system An information system (IS) is a formal, sociotechnical Sociotechnical systems (STS) in organizational development is an approach to ...
*
Web syndication Web syndication is a form of syndication in which content is made available from one website A website (also written as web site) is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at ...
* History of web syndication technology *
Comparison of feed aggregators The following is a comparison of RSS feed aggregators. Often e-mail programs and web browsers have the ability to display RSS RSS ( RDF Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) is a web feed that allows users and applications to access up ...
*
Metasearch engine A metasearch engine (or search aggregator) is an online Information retrieval tool that uses the data of a web search engine to produce its own results. Metasearch engines take input from a user and immediately query search engines for results. Suf ...
*
Lifestreaming Lifestreaming is an act of documenting and sharing aspects of one's daily social experiences online In computer technology and telecommunications, online indicates a state of connectivity, and offline indicates a disconnected state. In modern t ...


References


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:News aggregator Information Age