OUT-LAW RSS feeds (UK)

Thanks to Nick Holmes' What's New on the UK Legal Web, I've learned that Out-law.com, an IT and ecommerce site by international law firm Pinsent Masons, has set up a number of RSS feeds together with a helpfully brief and pragmatic explanation of what RSS feeds are and how to subscribe to them. You can find the feeds here.  Oh, and their feeds are user friendly too - more akin to the Feedburner variety than raw code. A sign of things to come.

There's a new RSS to email converter in town

Those using Typepad and certain other blogging services will know only too well that a significant omission is the lack of the option to offer email subscription to site updates.  RSS is, of course, great for those familiar with it but, despite its growing uptake, the fact remains that it is not yet a universally accepted means of electronic content delivery.  Email, more or less, is.   It is for this reason that the ability to offer both RSS and email subscription to site updates remains important.  To date, the two main offerings for people using, for example, Typepad, have been Bloglet and Live Message Alerts.  However, there have been many reports that Bloglet is unreliable.  Live Message Alerts is an excellent system but the sign-up process is not as fast as the "enter an email address" approach one finds with the likes of Movable Type.   

It is great news, therefore, that a new (and currently free) RSS to email converter has appeared.  It's called Rmail and my initial testing suggests that it works a treat!  All you have to do is go the Rmail page which I've just linked to, copy some code provided, replace "{your feed URL goes here}" with the URL of your feed, and then paste the amended code (in Typepad at least) into a Typelist (in the notes section).  And voila, you have an email subscription box which uses your feed to provide updates by email to those who choose to enter their email address.  The service requires users to authenticate their email address and provides easy an means of unsubscribing in each email update. 

All in all, great stuff.

P.S.  You'll see that I've replaced the Bloglet subscription box in feedmelegal with a new email subscription which, no surprises, employs the Rmail service.  So hopefully readers who want to can now subscribe to feedmelegal by either RSS or Atom feed (as has always been the case) or what promises to be a reliable email service.

With "RSS Mix", web-based RSS feed splicing is now a breeze

Thanks to a post at the descriptively named blog RSS Latest News, I just learned of a new RSS splicing/mixing service called RSS Mix.  This new service may be of interest to readers who were interested in my earlier posts:

Until now, there has been a dearth of web-based RSS splicers (i.e., tools to mix 2 or more feeds into one) which anyone can use.  There's currently Blogdigger Groups and Feedster's Feedpapers but in my experience both can be a little temperamental (I've never actually managed to get a Feedpaper to work). 

RSS Mix is exceedingly simple, as you can see from the instructions on its site:

"Create a New RSS Mix

Mix any number of RSS feeds into one unique new feed!

...

To create a new RSS Mix, copy and paste the URLs of the existing source feeds into the box below and hit Create!"

This new tool could be particularly useful for those with an interest in parsing RSS feeds for publication on their own sites (whether internally or externally, and bearing copyright and other IP issues in mind) - using RSS-to-javascript or RSS-to-HTML converters (some of which enable you to filter the incoming feed) - the reason being that many such converters do not accept multiple feeds.  Personally I can think of many uses for RSS Mix.  A great new RSS tool to hit the internet.

Podcasting

Thanks to Kevin O'Keefe for pointing us to Eric Rice/Audioblog's screencast on how to podcast using Audioblog.  I just checked this out and it looks like an excellent service for those wanting to explore podcasting without dipping their hands into any technical complexity whatsoever.  That's not to say that podcasting is difficult - it's not - but a busy lawyer, for example, wanting to create podcasts and a podcast feed quickly may well appreciate the simplicity of what Audioblog is offering.  Audioblog's monthly fee is low and its service straight-forward and user-friendly.   What's more, you don't need to have a blog or site with RSS feed to use Audioblog's podcasting service.

Let's say you're a lawyer using digital dictation with an option of recording to mp3 (which seems to be fairly commonplace these days).  You could dictate a note on a recent development or practical tip, upload it to Audioblog and, with a few clicks, create a podcast feed enclosing that file.  Simple, quick and painless.  If you don't use regular digital dictation, you can do the same thing by using Audioblog's phone-up-recording service or its web-based recording service. 

If you've a blog or other site with RSS feed and would prefer to get into podcasting for no monthly cost at all and minimal fuss, then Feedburner's SmartCast service is well worth a look.  Looks like it makes it easy for your feed to incorporate podcasts even if your regular blogging service doesn't readily accommodate them.

PHOSITA screencasts

Have to be quick but didn't want the day to run by without mentioning the excellent screencasts that are being produced on the PHOSITA blog, the second and most recent being how to set up a "thingy" in delicious to automatically post your delicious links into an MT blog.  The screencasting software that Doug is using looks great and has obvious and cost-effective uses for lawyers wanting to publish, for example, Powerpoint presentations with audio to their blog.  Doug/PHOSITA, keep up the great work!  Looking forward to seeing more of your screencasts. 

RSS feeds: create, aggregate, filter, scrape, modify and convert - The short version

Feedmelegal's previous post, RSS for lawyers and clients alike: (Re)searching into the future and then some, was a fairly lengthy survey of a number of RSS tools out there with which you can create your own search feeds, aggregate and filter feeds, scrape feeds, modify feeds and create email subscription offerings from feeds.  The summary of these tools, in the section "Bringing it all together", was part of the attached PDF file and for that reason did not include links to the various tools discussed.  This post reproduces that summary section and provides links to all the services mentioned.

Continue reading "RSS feeds: create, aggregate, filter, scrape, modify and convert - The short version" »

RSS for lawyers and clients alike: (Re)searching into the future and then some

(What appears below is only part of a 16 page article (because Typepad couldn't handle the whole thing).  The whole article is attached at the end of this post as a PDF file.)

Introduction

There are many ways in which both lawyers and their clients can benefit from blogs and webfeeds (or RSS feeds to use the most popular term). There are even reasons why they positively need to know about them.

Most commonly one reads articles about the benefits of blogs and webfeeds for the marketing of one’s expertise, goods or services, such as The significance of webfeeds for lawyers and Weblogs: A primer for lawyers. One also reads posts about how lawyers can benefit from other people’s existing subject-specific feeds, such as Jerry Lawson’s helpful post entitled Useful RSS Feeds for Federal Lawyers, and about how blogging can help build networks and personal satisfaction. More recently there’s even been interesting talk of The Blog’s New Role in Crisis Management. These are excellent uses of the technology, but they are not the only uses, particularly so far as webfeeds are concerned. The humble webfeed has a great deal more in store, much of which is or may be relevant to lawyers and their clients.

Continue reading "RSS for lawyers and clients alike: (Re)searching into the future and then some" »

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